Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hell Phone” as Want to Read:
Hell Phone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hell Phone

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  604 ratings  ·  95 reviews
A murder story with a devilish twist.

Nick wants a cell phone so he can talk to his girlfriend, Jen, after school, but he doesn't have a lot of money. The used phone he buys seems like a bargain, until the phone calls begin—strangers calling night and day, some begging for help, others making demands. Nick wants to get rid of the phone, but something prevents him, and, soon
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Harry N. Abrams
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hell Phone, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ysabel Mystic Oh heck yeah. I loved this book. It has a great start, doesn't drag in the middle, and the ending isn't anti-climactic! What more could you ask for?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  604 ratings  ·  95 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Hell Phone
Adarsh Kota
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another amazing book by William Sleator. I hate when books take forever to get into the story, but this isn't the case with Hell Phone. I couldn't put it down! The first couple chapters had me actually scared, something so far no Stephen King book could do. It was interesting and entertaining, but I wish there was a longer detailed ending to it, or I wish there had been a follow up, but sadly I suppose that won't happen now =/

R.I.P William Sleator
I've yet to read a bad book by him.
Apr 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen
In my opinion this was the stupidest book ever, and I usually like everything. I couldn't ever get past chapter 1. The scenario was just strange..and... I can't even really put my finger on it, it was just one of those books *shrugs*
Monique Mabin
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was an excellent read. If you love thriller suspenceful readings then you will love this book. Its a page tuner so you might want to make sure that you have plenty of time set aside to read it =)
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Although a big fan of Sleator's I was not impressed with this book. It reminded me of a horror film, where you keep shouting, "no, don't do that," and they do it anyway and the inevitable happens.
Jennifer Wardrip
May 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Reviewed by Karin Perry for

All Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.

Nick's mother, who works hard every day, usually from daylight to sometime in the night, doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house, much less afford to keep the phone turned on. Nick works almost every day himself in the hospital cafeteria after school and has saved up money to buy a cell
X'avier Gamboa
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Hell Phone by William Sleator.”

I would rate this book a 3.9 and the reason for that is because the author doesn’t go much into the life of Nick and that annoys me because if I had known more about Nick I could’ve understood the story and why he had to go such high lengths to save a woman even though he was warned not to help them.

I never stopped reading the book because it kept dragging me in and in, the parts that kept keeping me into the book were the plot twist because it had a bunch of
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'm almost ashamed to say that I read this book because I was falling behind on my goodreads goal for the year, and I saw this at the library and thought it would be a quick read to boost me up. It turned out to be an alright read. There was a lot of focus on the class system- poor boy who lives in a trailer with his mum is going out with a beautiful rich girl. To keep in contact with her, the boy buys a cheap, used cell phone. The phone is strang- some of it's features are disabled and it is ...more
Tranna Foley
Feb 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
From Follett Destiny - "Seventeen-year-old Nick buys a used cell phone only to call his girlfriend, but strange and desperate people keep calling--one of them a denizen of Hell--begging for or demanding his help."

Not impressed...
Oct 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
For a short, simple, POLITE summary of my feelings on this book:

Be back at a later date to explain why.

(Later date)

Wow, it’s been a loooooooong time since a book has actually infuriated me, or insulted my intelligence. But here we go.

So let me summarize what exactly happens in the book (SPOILERS, okay?)

Nick is our teenage protagonist, who’s an underdog. He’s poor, lives in a trailer with his single mother who works long hours, he works a job too, works hard in school to get good grades, eats
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this as a joke the other day, and while it wasn't bad enough for me to just throw down in anger, that doesn't mean it was good. The IDEA was pretty amusing, hence why I picked it up in the first place (also, my penchant for bad lit) but the execution? Characters were one-dimensional; the same stereotypical characterizations were played out over and over again (the main character is poor... in case you don't pick it up while reading). If only it had been ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mediocre and totally not what I thought it was going to be.
Amanda Wingfield
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was my absolute favorite book as a kid. Re reading it opened my eyes a lot and shed light on the fact that my taste has improved. Okay maybe that's too much credit, I think I'm simply older and more mature now. Nick, the main character, is annoying to me now, and I remember relating to him so much in the past. It's a great sci-fi for young readers. Doesn't really hold up when you are old and corrupt. Still, a great book and I will always love Sleator.
Jan 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
All Nick wanted was a cell phone so he could talk to his girlfriend, Jen, in the evenings. What he got was a nightmare he would have never imagined.

Nick's mother, who works hard everyday, usually from daylight to sometime in the night, doesn't earn enough money to keep much food in the house, much less afford to keep the phone turned on. Nick works almost everyday in the hospital cafeteria after school and has saved up money to buy a cell phone.

After school one day, before he headed to work,
Alex F
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
From looking at the cover of the book Hell Phone by William Sleator I assumed that it would be a book filled with constant fear and terror. However I now understand why you should never judge the book by the cover. The book was all about this selfish kid trying to make himself look better in front of his girlfriend while trying to save himself.

As the main character, Nick, with the help of his new phone and new found friends he goes on a journey of revenge and jealously. Nick’s mission contains
Juan Almaraz
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing

When one thinks of a cellphone, one does not associate it with bad things. If anything a cell phone has become one of humankind's most useful gadget. With technology accelerating everyday, one could say the cell phone is "humankind's best friend." The tremendous amount of things that can be done on it are countless. Without one, many people say their life would be disastrous. In this book however it is quite the opposite. A teenagers life changes completely from white to black when he purchases

Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This book had an incredibly interesting premise - a boy buys a phone to talk to his girlfriend and starts getting mysterious phone calls from hell. I was immediately intrigued. I think this book delivered on that premise -- maybe not along the lines of what I initially thought, but it still delivered. I enjoyed the story and the twists in the plot, but there were two main issues I had. One, the beginning set-up seemed too forced to me. It was clear the author wanted to get across how good of a ...more
Alex Boyle
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I decided to read this novel because it's shiny red front cover caught the corner of my eye , pulling me like a magnet towards it.

Hellphone, by William Sleator fits under the category; 'science fiction or fantasy book' as it contains paranormal fantasy with a tad of scifi. This category was interesting as it has a wide range of books within it to choose from.

The quote from this novel which I found the most interesting was "you killed him!" because it clearly stated what the main character had
May 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Despite the promising premise that is ruined because the book ends before any kind of explanation can be revealed about the phone - there exists one of the worst protagonists in all my readings. First, he won't shut up about being poor: buying things used, studying to get a scholarship, girlfriend's parents don't like him because they have money and he doesn't, can't tie up the house phone, has to watch his portions when eating, etc. The entire book is filled with these little things. I GOT IT. ...more
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hell Phone is a spooky, comical story that will keep you turning pages until there are no more to turn. But warning-it is not for the faint of heart!
All Nick wants do is talk to his girlfriend, Jen. But, being poor, Nick must buy a cheap $20 used phone. What’s the catch? Nick cannot change the number or return the phone; there also is no caller ID on it. When Nick goes home to his trailer and turns on the phone, It rings. But nobody has the number-right? When he answers the phone, a man begins
Sep 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Nick is poor. So poor he lives in a tiny trailer, has no computer, and has to work everyday after school. And he has no cell phone. Then he gets the flyer: Cheapest prepaid cell phones in town. With his precious savings Nick buys a $20 phone (a refurbished with no caller ID) and 150 minutes. He's overjoyed and can't wait to talk to Jen, his girlfriend and the reason he bought the phone.

But as soon as Nick turns the phone on, the calls begin. A sobbing woman begging for help. A pushy man who
Natalia M
Hell phone is about a teenager named Nick who's parents never wanted to buy him a phone because they thought it wouldn't be necessary. So he decided to get a job to buy a phone for himself. He worked for about a week and got enough money to buy a burner phone. The guy at the front desk told him that it was a weird phone that plenty of customers complained about and returned endlessly. But he was desperate for one. So he bought it and started getting random phone calls. It first started with a ...more
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting story. However it just wasn't very alluring or mind grabbing.

The first thing that really put me off from the book was how it was written. In the beginning it seemed a bit choppy and out of sorts. Then it started to get better and it did flow easier and become easier to read. However, the story was just so far fetched, it did not seem plausible.

Yes, I get that there are plenty of other books out there that have very far reaching themes, it just felt like there were so
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought that “Hell Phone” by Sleator, William was a very interesting book. I think that Hell Pone was a really fun book to read but it had some surprises. The main character Nick was at work and had an idea of buying a phone but he had to keep hidden so his mom wouldn’t find he had a phone because if she did Nick would have gotten in trouble. The reason why Nick bought the phone was so he could be able to talk to Jen, his girlfriend. Nick goes to a store and buys the cheapest phone he could ...more
Aby Luna
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is really good I loved it alot. Nick is a kid who is poor but is dating a cute girl and will do anything her so he goes to get a cell phone to talk to his girlfriend and as soon as he gets the phone strange things start happing, he gets all these weird calls and start getting curious, so he tells his girl friend about it, she doesn't like how he's getting involved with this strange phone that somehow is getting really connected to him and wants him to throw it away, but we know how ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen horror fans
Nick Gordon is poor, but he's a good student who works hard at school and at his after school job He dreams of getting a scholarship so that he can go to college and get out of the dismal trailer park where he lives with his single mother. The greatest thing in his life is his girlfriend, Jen. Since his mom has a hard time paying the phone bill, Nick is often without a phone. He saves $50 and goes to a discount store where he is able to buy a cheap phone. Though it looks new, it lacks many ...more
Karla Burrow
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is about a boy, Nick, who lives in a trailer park with his mom. They aren't very rich, so Nick mom works three or four jobs (depending on the day of the week), and Nick works at a hospital serving food. Nick also has a girlfriend, and they want more privacy talking on the phone. Nick saves the money and buys a cheap cell phone from a resale shop. Right as he gets home, Nick gets a call that will change his life forever.

This book was okay. It was very fast paced. Everything was good
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like the unknown
Hell phone is about a boy who bought a phone so that he could talk to his girlfriend, and he finds this cheep phone that the seller seems almost eager to get rid of it. after he bought it, he starts getting calls from people who clam that they're in Hell. The people always ask the same thing, to tell this person something, or give another this. Finally he is coaxed into steeling a phone application and suddenly someone who was dead isn't anymore. He now has to get this dead guy back to Hell, and ...more
Sara Shrieves
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was tons of fun. I actually had this book chosen for me at random by my husband. He had a game where he would get to go around the library while I browsed on my own, and he would get to pick any book which I would then have to read, no matter what. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

It was funny and totally insane and it thoroughly entertained me. And I think that is the point of a good book. It doesn't have to have some amazing mind-blowing plotline, it just
Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
The whole thing could have been avoided if Nick did the sensible thing of just trashing the phone, and saving up to buy a new one.

I'm sad because the premise of the book is B-movie-tastic and has a lot of potential, but Sleator just threw plot-curveballs in there that make little sense whatsoever. Like they are so loosely jointed it's a miracle they even string together.... I'm not as turned off by the writing style as some people are. I thought that although it wasn't the best, it was
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Don't you hate getting those annoying calls on your cell phone? 1 3 Feb 21, 2013 05:14AM  
What did you like in this book? 2 6 Sep 06, 2012 08:49PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Origins (Truancy, #0)
  • Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3)
  • Skeleton Creek (Skeleton Creek, #1)
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Truancy (Truancy, #1)
  • Truancy City (Truancy, #2)
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Feed
  • Haunted
  • Sunny Rolls the Dice
  • Anthem
  • She, Myself, and I
  • Silver in the Blood
  • Falling Man
  • The Body Artist
  • Jar City (Inspector Erlendur, #3)
  • Frost
  • Doppelganger
See similar books…
William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »