Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.
Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore? (Source)
Plot: This plot is a fairly simple one. It is about a girl whose little sister starts acting weird and not like herself. What could it be? Possession. Just like Alender’s previous books I’ve reviewed, this is a thriller/horror kind of book with ghosts as the bad guys. Her family is an unhappy, dysfunctional family and Alexis is often stuck taking care of her sister. But suddenly, her sister starts acting like a completely different person and no one else notices. Then there’s the dolls. Kasey is obsessed with all those creepy, porcelain dolls. Alexis has to try and figure out if Kasey is really possessed or if it is just her normal creepy self.
Characters: Alexis- To me Alexis is just another angsty teenager. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but it seems like Alender like to write her main characters as whiny, annoying teenage girls. Alexis wasn’t awful, but she didn’t really appeal to me. I couldn’t relate to her! She wasn’t the worst, but there really wasn’t anything I liked about her.
Cover: This is probably my favorite thing about this book. I really liked all of the covers in this series. They were creepy and dark and I really thought they were cool. The first cover was definitely my favorite. I’m not sure why, but I really liked the lace with the window.
Closing Thoughts: The thing is I did enjoy reading this book. It is just one of those books you read, but then afterwords realize it wasn’t anything special. I did read it all fairly quickly, but when I realized it was a series, I stopped. There was nothing propelling me forward to read the next one. She wrapped up the store nicely, and the second one just seemed unnecessary. I think if you like Alender (like I do) or you like creepy, thriller-type books, then you might as well read it. But there just wasn’t anything special. If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie about possession, you already know how this goes. I think I was mostly surprised because this is one of Alender’s most popular books (as far as I’ve seen). And I enjoyed Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall much more than I enjoyed this one.