Margaret’s Letter Essay #4: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall



I have recently finished reading, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender. This 329 Mystery book keeps you flipping the pages all the way up until the end. Katie Alender grew up in South Florida, where her first article was published while she was in high school. Her first book to be published is Bad Girls Dont Die. Even though Alender says that she doesn’t like scary movies or books, many people say that her books give them chills. I read one of Alender’s other books, and definitely enjoyed it. I picked up this book without even realizing that it was the same  author. 100 or so pages into the book,  I was definitely figuring out that I’ve  read something of this authors before, and flipped to the back of the book, to find that I had read one of books before. Katie Alender’s books all have the same eery, creepy topics that keep her readers hooked. I look forward to reading more of her books. I chose to read this book only because the back of the book really intrigued me. The cover caught my eye, and that’s what first got me into the book.


Delia finds out that her grandmother has died. She never really knew her, but she did exchange some letters with her. Once Delia finds out that her grandmother has left her her house, she believes that it will be kind of cool, but nothing too special. Until Delia sees the house. It looked like a castle. But then Delia goes inside the house, and doesn’t like what she sees. After finding out that Delia’s knew house used to be an asylum, all she wants is to live. But her parents have another plan. Spend the summer fixing up the house, and then put it on the market. So Delia is forced to stay. But the question is, how long can she last before the house traps her there?


“The slippery smoke was now up to my neck. It squeezed lightly on my throat, and then the warmth of it stroked my chin before slipping, sweet and smoking, down my throat. It seemed  as if the fingers of a hand softly shut my eyelids for me and coaxed the breath out of my lungs.

I tried to open my mouth.

I tried to call for my mother.

But there was only silence.

And deep, deep darkness.” (Pg. 59)

I chose this passage for my book because I believe that it really depicts what’s going on, and what’s really happening. I also think that it shows what Delia is going to have to overcome throughout the novel, but Delia doesn’t know it yet. These descriptive words really draw the reader into this novel. I look forward to reading more of Alender’s work. This book was an 8 out of 10 for me.


Margaret Brady

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12 thoughts on “Margaret’s Letter Essay #4: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

  1. Margaret,
    You put a lot of effort into the first and second parts of the letter-essay, the Introduction and Summary, but the Reflection is lacking. You include a quoted passage but didn’t use any of those “Writing about Reading” sentence starters. Please do that next time.

  2. Dear Margaret,
    I really enjoyed reading you letter essay. Mystery is my favorite genre so and I have never have read this book before. Maybe I will try to read this novel and see if I like it. I liked how in your letter essay you included how you thought that 100 pages into the book you have read the authors work before. This shows that you have been paying very close attention to the writing. Do you like this author? If so what do you like about this author? Nice job.

  3. Dear Margaret,

    I thought your letter essay was really good! I have read the first book this author has published, Bad Girls Don’t die and the summary that you wrote is persuading me to read this book. You included a lot of great background information about the author and a very detailed summary. I enjoyed reading your letter essay!

    -Sara Wiesenfeld

  4. Dear Margaret,
    I enjoyed reading your letter essay because it was descriptive and this book seems really interesting. I like mystery and think that this would be a great book for me, so I’ll be planning on reading it sometime soon. Great job!
    P.S. the quoted passage seems a bit creepy…

  5. Margaret,
    I have heard a lot of good things about this book! I wonder if I should read it. Your quoted passage gives me the idea that it is a very creepy and suspenseful book!

  6. Dear Margaret,

    I saw that book at the book fair and it looked really interesting. It is a book that I want to read because even though it seems really scary it sounds really interesting. I really like those kid of books and I just finished Dead Girls Don’t Lie and it was pretty scary but I am terrified of books and movies that have anything to do with ghosts but they can be really really good and your quoted passage scared me a little but makes me very interested.


  7. Dear Margaret,
    This is a really well written letter essay. This book sounds so good as well and I like mystery books so I think this one would be a good one for me! I have a question, Has the author written any other books? and is this one of your favorite authors?

  8. Dear Margaret,
    I really liked your letter essay because it felt very mysterious and allusive like the book is. It really fit the obvious theme of the book and it was very well written your introduction was very well written and i really enjoyed reading your letter essay.


  9. P.S. I really liked how you gave background knowledge on the author. It made it seem much more informational because of it!

  10. Margaret,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay! I too have read some of Katie Alexander’s books and enjoyed them. The summary of the book got me a little hooked on, I might read it in the future!
    ~Alex H.
    P.S. I really liked reading the quoted passage you put in.

  11. Dear Margaret,
    I loved reading your letter essay because it was so descriptive . I have never heard of Katie Alexander but I’m looking forward to finding some of her books and reading them. The summary was really great and it made me want to read the book!

  12. Dear Margaret,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay! I have never read any of these books but they sound very interesting. Your summary had me hooked and I might read it in the feature! Over all, great essay!
    – Anthony T

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