Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

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I love a good ghost story.  Sure, blood and gore are fine.  But the scariest stories take you right to the edge and no farther, leaving your imagination to conjure things far scarier than the author’s words alone could ever manage.  This one from Katie Alender does just that.

When Delia’s aunt passes away, it comes as a surprise that she’s left her home to Delia.  Sure, they wrote to each other from time to time.  But they weren’t especially close, or at least that’s how it seemed to Delia.  But apparently she was wrong.  So off she goes with her mom, dad, and sister to clean out the rambling estate and sell it off.

She wasn’t prepared, however, to be the owner of an abandoned insane asylum.  And not only that, but it’s haunted.  When the first odd happenings start, she brushes it off as just her imagination. But then things get too real too fast.  And then Delia’s dead.

Here’s where the real fun begins.  Now she’s one of them.  She can see, feel, and communicate with the other ghosts at Hysteria Hall.  And boy, are there plenty of them.  It seems that more than a few patients didn’t ever leave.  Now they’re stuck there forever.  Delia probably could have resigned herself to wandering the hallways for eternity.  Until her family comes back to the house.  She can’t just sit around and watch her sister suffer the same fate she did.

This was a fun book to read.  Lots of ghosts with great descriptions, high on the goosebumps factor, and high on the page-turning scale.  Also a great read for young adults!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

Review: The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

the-bridge-from-me-to-you-by-lisa-schroederDisclaimer: I am not a romance/love story person. Most “mushy” stories leave me running away as fast as I can. But sometimes the romance is secondary to a bigger plot, as was the case with this newest book from Lisa Schroeder.

Meet Lauren. As the new girl in town, she’s the object of much speculation. We find out very early on that she’s come to live with her aunt and uncle, but the suspense builds until we find out exactly why. She struggles with the loss of her immediate family, her place in her new family, and how she fits in to this small, close-knit town. Her point of view is told in prose, for the most part, which lends a poetic quality to her story.

But hers isn’t the only perspective that we hear. There’s also Colby. In this small town that’s centered around football, he’s one of the team’s rising stars. He’s going places, just not the places he wants to. His family, and the entire town for that matter, have every expectation that he’ll go on to make it big in college football. His story is told in more traditional narrative form as he tries to find the strength to stand up for what he wants, both in love and out of life in general.

This was a good, engaging book that earned a solid four out of five stars for me. The alternating writing style works completely and adds credibility to the different stories being told. It’s a love story, no doubt, so don’t go into it thinking you’ll be getting some deep, mysterious, angst-filled young adult book. My only (slight) complaint would be that it really does paint a somewhat rosy picture of high school life and small town life in general. But in today’s world of harsh headlines, sometimes that’s just what you need in a good book.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Bridge From Me to You