Author: Katie Alender
Source: ARC sent by Scholastic
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
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Delia's new house isn't just a house. It used to be an insane asylum, a place to lock up "troubled" young women long ago. And a restless, wicked spirit is still at play--and it doesn't want defiant girls like Delia to go anywhere. So the house kills her. Now Delia is a ghost, trapped in her creepy home forever. As she meets the other ghost girls who haunt the narrow hallways, as well as the handsome ghost boy on the grounds, she learns shocking truths about the house's history. Delia also realizes that her alive and grieving sister might be the house's next target. Can Delia unlock the mystery of the old asylum, save her sister, and free herself?
Though I am a horror junkie, I don't read as much of it as I use to anymore. I have had my eye on this one for months and I was thrilled when it showed up at my door. I loved Katie's Bad Girl's Don't Die trilogy, and I knew for a fact her writing wasn't going to let me down. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was what I expected it to be and more. Interesting characters, fast paced plot, mysterious and dark it had everything I was looking for in a horror novel.
I have this strange obsession with old Asylums, I will be all over a book that involves an asylum in any way, shape or form. Delia doesn't realize the new home she inherited from her Great Aunt Cordelia was once a mental institution for the troubled and defiant woman of society. After Delia's unexplained death she comes face to face with the house residents, the good and the bad. The dark energy of the house that trapped spirits of those who have died there for eternity isn't done with Delia yet. Now, it wants her sister.
The book takes place over four years. Delia will start thinking, and it is like she entered a time warp. Things sped up. From when Delia dies to the end of the novel is four years she is dead. We see the aftermath of her death on her family and friends, and especially herself. Through out the novel Delia learns about the dark secrets of houses's history, the horrible man who built it and then rules over it, the unexplained deaths of patients, and why there is dark energy running around the house hunting the living.
I won't lie I teared up a few times. Delia is able witnesses what the aftermath of her death caused her family and friends, they were all still grieving as if Delia was gone, but really she was right next to them the whole time (As long as they were at the house) Delia tries to communicate with her family even though she knows that she can't. Delia's younger sister Janie went from a bubbly, blond haired eleven year old to a black hair, goth fifteen year old. Her ex-boyfriend and best friend look to each other to fight off their grief and her always bickering parents got a divorce. The mystery of the house and what actually was going on had me reading through the night. Katie created a creepy plot that sucked me right into Delia's world and wouldn't let me go.
I only have one small problem with The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. I didn't quite understand Theo's part in the story. Sure, he was a *maybe* love interest for Delia, but he didn't really push or move the plot forward. He was sort of just there. I probably would have gotten a better feel for him if he was in more of the story.
Overall I really enjoyed The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. I crown Katie Alender the queen of nightmare inducing horror novels.