Month: October 2020

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender

Published: August 25, 2015
329 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

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.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’m so glad I went back to it. Since it was so long ago, I barely remembered anything about the story. Katie Alender has established herself as a solid horror author. She does a great job with atmosphere. Her settings create the perfect atmospheres that push her stories forward. Hysteria Hall … why don’t I have a rich relative who leaves me an old mental hospital? The story was simple, but unique. The twists were surprising and unpredictable. My only real issue with this story is Delia’s parents. It just annoyed me how much they overreacted to her little stunt. I added tips to my future parenting notes after reading this book. But overall, it was creepy, it was fascinating, and I really liked it a lot! I think it’s a great book to hand to teens to encourage their love of reading!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Narrator: Adepero Oduye
Published: November 20, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 13-17, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

Jessica’s Review:

My Sister is a short audiobook, at just 4 hours long and it is also the debut novel from Oyinkan Braithwaite who is from Lagos, Nigeria where the novel takes place.    It takes place in our current time with all the contemporary things we have including references to Instagram.

The narrator Adepero Oduye is also from Nigeria and that accent definitely enhanced the listening of this novel and made it feel more real.   You also get a feeling of what living in Nigeria is like and it is a country I would not want to live in, especially being a woman.

The novel does focus on the killings, but this novel is really all about family dynamics, sisterly love no matter what one does, and loyalty. We have two sisters, Korede and Ayoola.  One is ‘drop dead’ gorgeous while the other isn’t.  One is responsible in her life and the other isn’t. And one kills her boyfriends and the other helps clean up afterwards.  It’s all about sisterly love, isn’t it????  And who is more guilty? The one who kills or the one who helps cover it up afterwards???

This is a short novel with even shorter chapters and makes for a very quick read. The ending will either be enjoyed or not, it will come in how you take the rest of the novel.  Me, I enjoyed the ending. 

My Sister was not totally for me, I think it was because it ended up being a different type of novel than I thought it was going to be. I was ready for more violence and gore, but again, it is actually more of a story about sisters and family. 

Even though I rated it three stars My Sister, The Serial Killer is recommended. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

Strangelets
Author: Michelle Gagnon

Published: April 9, 2013
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
18-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they’ve been trapped in a future that isn’t of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light Sophie, Declan, Anat, and the rest must decide what to do with a second chance at life—if they can survive to claim it.

Kim’s Review:

This was a random find that sounded pretty cool. I saw the words “abandoned hospital” and that was it! Unfortunately for me, the hospital wasn’t haunted or even the focal point. Once I got over that, I couldn’t put it down! The story is engaging even predictable, but without being obvious. Every time I thought I guessed what was happening, the mystery just continued. My only real issue with this book is that with all the anticipation that Gagnon built up, the ending felt a little anticlimactic. I don’t want to give any more info about the plot, because this book needs to be read with as little knowing going into it as possible.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to those who like mystery with a little creep.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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