The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females – an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong-willed. Kind of like Delia herself. But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia becomes trapped. And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.
Ghost girls wander the hallways in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia learns that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, too, harbors shocking truths within its walls — truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free. And she’ll need to act quickly — before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves. Katie Alender brings heart-pounding suspense, gorgeous writing, and a feminist twist to this tale of memories and madness.
When her Great Aunt Cordelia Pevin dies, “little namesake” Delia inherits her home, which was once the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females. The family heads there once school is out to get the place ready to sell, but Hysteria Hall (as it was nicknamed) has other ideas. And, Delia can’t help but think that her parents might actually want her there because of her failed attempt to run off during Spring Break. Very quickly, the teen senses something is dreadfully wrong with the house, but can she escape in time to save her family? The protagonist’s path is fraught with challenges and her eventual understanding and acceptance are hard-won. Alender has created a chilling tale of forgotten tragedies and family secrets. Strong female characters anchor the story and its suspenseful tone is carried throughout. The author adeptly imbues the atmosphere with hints that something sinister is lurking just beneath the surface.
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was so good I had trouble putting it down. It’s a fast-paced, eerily creepy story about a 16-year-old named Delia who inherits her great-aunt Cordelia’s house. Only it’s not just a house, it was an asylum for troubled women that earned the nickname of Hysteria Hall. Oh, and it’s a tad bit haunted. It doesn’t take long for her to figure out that something isn’t right, and that this ‘something’ has no intention of letting her leave. The book spans the length of 4 years. During that time Delia learns more about the history of the asylum and after some unfortunate events involving her family (her little sister Janie in particular) she becomes determined to put an end to the evil that has kept numerous ghosts trapped for the last century.
There is an interesting variety of characters, although honestly, I had the hardest time pegging down Delia herself. She just didn’t have a character presence one way or another and the whole story was from her perspective. It is not that she was bad, just bland. Her sister had so much more personality. So did other, more minor characters. Still, it was an entertaining read. Quick and easy with a few creepy parts. Not quite actually horror but possibly unsettling. A bit more excitement or haunted things happening would have been nice. Or if it had been a bit darker.
About the book Author
Katie Alender was born and raised in Florida with her three siblings. She attended an art high school, focusing on writing and video production, and continued her education at Florida State University, majoring in Film. She currently lives with her husband (her college sweetheart) and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Winston, in Los Angeles, CA, where she works as a freelance producer/writer. For several years, she produced televised dog shows, and she can probably tell you more about dogs than you would ever want to know. When she’s not working, she can usually be found at her sewing machine, making quilts and other gifts for friends and readers.
Title: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
Published Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Hauntings
Publisher: Point Publishing
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 341 pages
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating: 4.6 /5
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