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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Stefanie's Thoughts: 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.

Hi everyone! Apologies for my absence last week. It was my birthday over the weekend and I usually write my posts on the Sunday, which is why I didn't have anything up for you. Now that we're just that much closer to Halloween I'm full force reading everything spooky I can find. I'm currently reading Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon and just found out that it's currently in development for a Disney movie (Halloween + Disney = absolute perfection)!

Katie Alender is an auto-buy author for me and I saved Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall for this Halloween, knowing it would fit the mood.

I was really into the story when I first started it. I liked Delia as the main character and was instantly drawn into her narrative. The mystery behind the house kept me intrigued and I was on the edge of my seat trying to see if I could figure out all the mystery behind the house before it was revealed.

However, even though I loved the setting of a creepy old mansion that housed "hysterical girls", I felt the plot itself was a little slow and dry. I was bored throughout because nothing really happened. There were complete chapters where not a single thing happened; then we'd get the next chapter and I'd be back on the edge of my seat. This made the book feel almost too dramatic because it was like I'm going to throw in this twist but not follow it up until fifteen pages later.

The love interest Theo even let me down, because to me it wasn't a true relationship; I felt he was written for the convenience of having a relationship because that's what readers almost expect. Don't get me wrong, I love having a romantic interest but in my mind this would have worked perfectly well without it and just having Theo be one of the regular ghosts. I liked Theo by himself and hearing about his past was actually one of the highlights of the book.

Overall I felt letdown. I was expecting some horrortastic creepy book you normally find from Alender. If she hadn't been the author I think it would have been rated 2.5-3 stars but because Alender wrote it I'm giving it a 3.5 stars, because the ending really did wrap things (mostly) up nicely. I did find some endings were abrupt but we as readers aren't left with some major cliffhanger like The Walking Dead (sorry I don't watch that show but it was everywhere on social media as I was writing this).

Other #Spookathon Reads - Quick Thoughts

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova 

I wasn't feeling it and I'm skeptical if I'll read the next book in the series. I had a hard time getting into the story. It was perfect for the Spookathon though. I'm giving this one 2 stars.

And The Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

I had super high expectations for this one because her debut The Dead House was amazing. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it. This one had all the creepy aspects I wanted (including snakes in a toilet to a creeptastic manor) but the overall execution if it confused me. A lot of it felt it was randomly written and didn't all come together. The ending was great though giving this one 3 stars.  

I'm saving Fantastic Foursome for closer to Halloween. That's all form me this week. Talk to you guys next week! 



  1. I've not read a book by this author. Sorry it wasn't as good as you'd hoped, though.

  2. I just started And the Trees Crept in and I'm SUPER confused. It feels historical, but the girls are wearing jeans. Also, just all the random nursery rhymes or whatever???? I read Women in the Walls and it kind of sounds (and looks) very similar to Hysteria Hall. After ATTCI, I think I'll be done w/ horror for a while.

  3. Good to see you getting in the spirit of Halloween with some spooky reads, Stefanie. Too bad that they were all kind of letdowns though!


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