Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Print Length: 329 pages
Publisher: Point (August 25, 2015)

From 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.


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me begin this review by saying that I am incredibly picky when it comes to reading something geared towards the teen or young adult crowd. In fact, its rare that I ever pick up anything geared toward someone my daughter's age. However, after my oldest picked this up at her school's book fair, read it in two days and did nothing but gush about it afterwards, I decided why not? If its a horrible read, then I won't both reviewing it and no one will be any the wiser. 

So after a few months of not picking it up from the shelf my daughter had placed it on when she told me that I HAD to read it - I finally did. And actually - got hooked myself. 

This story is different in that Delia is not a human who can sense a place is haunted. Nor is she a human that can interact with ghosts. You see, Delia has become a ghost herself. I found this twist to be one of many that drew the reader in and kept their attention. When you read this, you get to experience first hand what Delia is going through - and to a certain extent - what the other girls have gone through. 

The majority of the characters were different and unique to the story, each contributing something in their own way to the overall feel and story-line. I say the majority because it seems as though the only male character in this story (Theo), really doesn't contribute anything to the overall plot. He almost seemed like an after thought of the author, or as someone who was thrown in to make the original closing of the institution "make more sense". 

For a pre-teen, this book may have been spooky. For an adult? Ehhh not so much. But the writing was solid enough, and the story moved quickly enough and had just the right amount of suspense (and even a couple of twists thrown in) that overall, it was an enjoyable read. 

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is available from

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