Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (Blog Tour + Giveaway)The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Published by Point on August 25, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Asylum meets Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, in this riveting tale of ghosts, secrets, and family, from master of suspense Katie Alender.

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?

Kirkus (starred review): "This superior ghost story keeps the creep factor high… A really scary and original ghost story, well told. Read it with the lights on."

School Library Journal: "Alender has created a chilling tale of forgotten tragedies and family secrets. A great choice for fans of horror or suspense novels."


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender! I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


As a lover of all things horror, I’m always keeping an eye out for creepy YA novels. Sadly, most of them don’t live up to my expectations. But The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was full of epicness and creepiness! From the great writing to the awesome characters and the suspenseful plot, this book is definitely up there on my favorites list!

Before I get into the heart of this review, a little side note: This book sucked me in so much, I had trouble keeping detailed notes because I just read and read and read and didn’t want to stop reading long enough to jot down notes. So if some of this is really vague, it’s because I’m avoiding spoilers and also because I don’t have detailed notes to refer to, hehe :)

Delia was an intriguing character. She starts off a bit stubborn and – I want to say self-absorbed, only because I can’t think of a better word, but that’s not quite right. She loved her family, but they didn’t always get along. She was in complete denial when she first became a member of the undead population of Hysteria Hall and her attitude was very self-pitying – but who can blame her, right? Her character growth, as she began to accept her death and embrace her path in (the after)life, was great.

I didn’t like nor dislike Janie in the beginning. She was the stereotypical, annoying kid sister who did whatever she could to get Delia in trouble. But as the book progressed, the changes in her character were unbelievable, fueled mostly by the guilt she felt over Delia’s death. My heart was in my throat at the end of the book, awaiting her fate. I’m not even going to talk about Delia and Janie’s parents because there would be too many spoilers involved and I’d get ragey about sooooo many things!

I really liked Florence in the beginning. She reminded me of Daisy from Dead Like Me, but by the end… Wow. Did NOT see that coming! I never really trusted Eliza or Theo – I was always waiting for something to happen or for them to backstab Delia. I was pleasantly surprised with the way their stories ended, though. As for Maria, I had mixed feelings about her, but I really liked how her story ended, as well – maybe more than anyone else’s. I didn’t like nor dislike Penitence, though I had my suspicions about her from fairly early on. Her story was very intriguing, though!

As someone who loves being scared, this book could have been a touch creepier. However, it absolutely had its moments where I was like, “Okay, I need to put this book down or I’m not going to be sleeping tonight.” It reminded me of a less creepy teen version of House on Haunted Hill (the remake). There was also a lot of foreshadowing, which added to the creepiness. The ending wrapped up a little neater than I expected – almost like a Horror Movie Happily Ever After. I expected more of a creepy, twisty ending. But maybe that’s Alender’s signature move – I haven’t read anything else by her yet to know, but I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books now!

Overall, though I could have done with a little more creep factor, this book was epic. Then again, I’m not one to scare easily, so this book certainly has the potential to scare the crap out of people who DO scare easily. The Creepy Level didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, though. Alender is an amazing writer with a knack for suspense and horror. If you’re looking for a twisty ghost story, I highly recommend this book!


And now for the giveaway! 3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Katie Alender author photo 300x375About the Author:
Katie Alender is the author of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, Famous Last Words, Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer, and the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found quilting, reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her friends (on very special occasions, she manages to do all of those things at once).

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Instagram | Tumblr | Wattpad


Tour Schedule

Week One:
8/17/2015 – The Cover Contessa – Interview
8/18/2015 – Twisted Book Junkie – Review
8/19/2015 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
8/21/2015 – Mundie Moms – Guest Post

Week Two:
8/24/2015 – The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Interview
8/25/2015 – Pandora’s Books – Review
8/26/2015 – bookaholics anonymous – Interview
8/27/2015 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review
8/28/2015 – Such a Novel Idea – Guest Post


Review: The Eternal City by Paula Morris

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Eternal City by Paula MorrisThe Eternal City by Paula Morris
Published by Point on May 26, 2015
Pages: 304
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

From master of suspense Paula Morris comes a tale of gods and goddesses, thrilling romance, and mystery set in present-day Rome.

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.

The Eternal City was my fourth Paula Morris book – I read Ruined, Unbroken and Dark Souls many years ago and really enjoyed them. So when I heard about The Eternal City, I was so excited! Paula Morris + Roman Gods = Need!!!! Though I really enjoyed the setting (Rome!!!) and the mythology, the characters felt flat and hard to connect with and I had a hard time keeping track of all of them. Since I’m used to Morris’s writing style, I expected some of this and it didn’t dampen my desire to read The Eternal City, though it did take longer than expected to get through it.

Morris has a tendency to throw you into the story, head first, without any fluff. I love stories that get right into the action and I loved all the mythology in the prologue; however, I hate to say it, but I was very confused! I had to read the prologue slowly, writing down every God, who they were, what their relation was to the other God’s mentioned, etc. And chapter one was a bit convoluted, with all the characters we met and a small amount of info dump, as well.

Laura didn’t really stand out, as far as main characters go. She sort of went through the motions and that was it. She wasn’t a completely helpless Damsel in Distress, but she needed a lot of protecting and she didn’t demand too many answers, just stumbled on them as she went and as needed. She was likeable enough that I kept reading, but I definitely felt disconnected from her and her story.

I really liked Maia. There was something intriguing about her and I always felt there was more to her than she was letting on. I was a little less trusting of Sofie, though I definitely had a strange feeling about her – but I always thought it was a BAD feeling, until near the end. Maia and Sofie were definitely my favorite characters.

I had so much trouble keeping track of the guys. I think Dan was the only one that I could remember, since he was Laura’s crush. I also kept picturing him as Michael Welch in Twilight (So, like a puppy dog that thinks he has claws, hehe). I liked the slow build between him and Laura (no insta-love here), but I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them.

One thing that really threw me was that Laura’s best friend was almost never around. Usually, in this kind of story, the best friend is around for the whole adventure, despite one or two small (or huge) arguments. But Morgan wasn’t and that made me sad. Overall, I just felt a huge disconnect with all of the characters except Maia and Sofie – and even then, it was hard to trust them enough to truly like them.

The writing was very blunt and to the point, with very little fluff and some info dumping in places. As I mentioned, that’s a bit typical of this author’s writing style, so I knew what to expect, but honestly… if this had been my first Paula Morris book, I don’t think I would have been able to finish it – Or I would have finished it, but given it 3 stars instead of 4 stars. There was just too much of a disconnect with the characters and story.

The mythology in this book is what fascinated me the most. Books with Greek Mythology are like my Book Drug of Choice! Since I haven’t read as many books with Roman mythology, I feel like I learned a lot from this book, which made it fascinating! That, above everything else, kept me reading and is the reason this book still earned 4 stars from me, despite the (many) issues mentioned in my review.

If you haven’t read any of Paula Morris’s books, I ask that you have patience with The Eternal City. It’s hard to connect with the characters and the pace is a bit slow, but the plot is intriguing and the Roman Mythology is epic. I’d also recommend reading Ruined and Unbroken first – I think Morris’s writing was way better in those and they will ease you into her writing style, so you might enjoy The Eternal City more.

But overall, I still really enjoyed it and I hope Paula Morris comes out with another book very, very soon! I really enjoy the worlds she creates and the settings of her books (Rome! New Orleans! York, England!) are always amazing and intriguing!