The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Written by Katie Alender
Number of pages: 329
Average Rating: 3.94/5 stars
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Published August 25, 2015
Read in April 2016
Summary according to Goodreads
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, harbours 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.
This novel is categorized as horror, but I considered it to be more of a thriller. Unfortunately I went into this story expecting to be scared, and came out of it very disappointed. The premise of being set in an abandoned insane asylum was very appealing and showed a lot of promise, but did not end up being as strong as it could have been. I was very happy with the basic plot, but not so much with the characters.
As mentioned, this is set in an asylum which was very creepy, and at the beginning seemed like it would be a scary story. Things in the house moved, messages were left, sounds were heard, etc. The writing was done well in that I wanted to keep reading, however I did not find it to be descriptive enough. When Delia would walk through the building, I had a hard time envisioning how it was set up. It was a quick read but I understood the characters better than the setting.
The characters were nothing special and did not see any significant development throughout the novel. I did appreciate our main character, Delia's attitude as it kept her on her feet and led her to discover some key things. The other ghost characters I found to be very dramatic, and seemed to act a lot like the "high school girl" type. If they were bitter about their death I would understand the emotion, however they were selfish and catty, which was not necessary. The backgrounds of each girl trapped in the asylum came together in the end, and revealed something about each past that made the character who they were in death.
The ending of this novel was expected, and nothing that excited me. Unfortunately I enjoyed the buildup of this story a lot more than the climax or ending, as it was something that could have been done much better.
Overall, I was not blown away by this novel even though my expectations were not very high. This was not the first book I have read by this author, and I am afraid it might be my last since I have not enjoyed any of them so far. It is a good story but don't expect much out of it except a quick read!