The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

336p. ebook available. Scholastic/Point. Aug. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545639996.
Gr 7 Up—When her Great Aunt Cordelia Pevin dies, "little namesake" Delia inherits her home, which was once the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females. The family heads there once school is out to get the place ready to sell, but Hysteria Hall (as it was nicknamed) has other ideas. And, Delia can't help but think that her parents might actually want her there because of her failed attempt to run off during Spring Break. Very quickly, the teen senses something is dreadfully wrong with the house, but can she escape in time to save her family? The protagonist's path is fraught with challenges and her eventual understanding and acceptance is hard-won. Alender has created a chilling tale of forgotten tragedies and family secrets. Strong female characters anchor the story and its suspenseful tone is carried throughout. The author adeptly imbues the atmosphere with hints that something sinister is lurking just beneath the surface.
VERDICT A great choice for fans of horror or suspense novels.

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