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the dead girls of hysteria hall

In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…

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 gets trapped.

And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.


Rating: 4/5

A good horror story makes you go “Oh my freaking goodness I’m scared.” in the middle of the day. So I think that it’s safe to say that this book was pretty good, because I’m sure that my face was like this half the time when I was reading.

scared meme

Okay, maybe I can only watch horror movies meant for 13 year olds, and maybe I still scream like a 5 year old when I’m watching, but it doesn’t matter. Because this is a book. And books don’t have scary faces popping up in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, my opinion is completely valid.

Cordelia (Delia) Piven was the star child of the family, until she made an error in judgment one day. Her parents, having decided that she was never to be trusted again, chose to move to the house left for Delia by her recently deceased aunt for the summer. But the house is not some quaint little cottage left by some ordinary little old lady. It was actually an insane asylum, nicknamed “Hysteria Hall” from the late 1800s to the 1940s. Once they arrived, weird things started happening, and Delia wound up in the middle of it. She has to find out why the house is haunted, and stop the house before it does to her family what it did to her.

I really like Delia. She didn’t do anything that I considered TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).

pervy face (Did anyone see what I did there?)

She knew that there was something weird about the house and so, she wanted to get out. She didn’t want to explore more rooms, or go down into creepy dark basements. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so she decided to work with what she got. There were certain tantrums thrown, but I can’t blame her. If I were in her situation, I’d probably just go and curl in the corner for the next 20 years. She managed to pull herself together, make really good friends, and even get herself a boy! She did all this while solving the mystery of the house and keeping her family safe, so kudos to her! It’s pretty rare to see such a brave, strong young lady in YA. I’ve had my share of TSTL, weak-willed girls who swoon at the touch of her stalker-ish to-be-boyfriend.

The other characters were really enjoyable to read about too. I loved reading about the interactions between all the girls. Because there aren’t that many guys, there wasn’t any cat-fighting, jealousy, and slut-shaming. We really got to know more about the girls and their lives through conversations and actions, and I really appreciated that.

I knew that the romance was coming from the moment I read the blurb. What I didn’t know was that it took pretty darn long for the romance to actually happen. I’m not mad at it; I actually prefer the slow development of their relationship. I just wasn’t expecting it to only happen in the last few pages. I would have liked to see a little more of the two of them together. They’re cute 😀

While this story wasn’t vastly original, I was still kept on tenterhooks throughout, so the book did its job well. Recommended for anyone who likes a good and quick horror story.

He gave me a half smile. His still, quiet nature was like soothing balm on an itchy bug bite. I realized that by fraternizing with another ghost, I was breaking the pledge I’d made to myself. But Theo didn’t seem particularly ghostlike. He was just a normal person.