This addictive YA horror about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.
When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.
But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.
Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.
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Well: this seems like fiction version of Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel documentary on Netflix with paranormal twist! You know where Elisa Lam, college student travels to have a Hollywood experience, choosing the wrongest place to accommodate: a hotel located in Skid Row: Its long history of police raids, targeted city initiatives, and homelessness advocacy make it one of the most notable districts in Los Angeles ( as Wikipedia mentioned)
She checks in the hotel and never leaves the place like the other 80 people!
This book’s Horror Hotel theme is based on this terrifying historical place. Just like amateur sleuths who were still investigating Lam’s case, at this book a group of kids: including Chrissy who has psychic powers are trying to find the real reason behind the death of famous blogger at this hotel.
The idea of retelling the story with paranormal twists was good but the execution of the plot was a little haphazard, undeveloped with the very foreseeable mysterious revelations.
It could be better read with more layered characterization. There were too many similarities with the real life haunted hotel premise. I wish the authors worked more on the plot to differentiate it from the original story.
So I only give three stars. I was expecting a little more from this book after seeing the magnificent cover and intriguing title.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
the authors said they wrote this book after seeing a publisher tweet asking for the "most commercial and consumable proposals for YA horror" which is hilarious like how do you admit you only wrote this so it would be easy to sell? no wonder the characters in this book are vapid pieces of shit, it seems like they get it from somewhere.
the book follows four teenagers who are social-media famous for making ghost videos since one of them can communicate with the dead. to capitalise of this incredibly exploitative power, they stay at the very haunted Hearst Hotel to try and figure out what happened to Eileen Warren who mysteriously died there a few years earlier.
it completely copies the Netflix documentary about the Cecil Hotel down to the letter, simply swapping names of people and places (Hearst Hotel instead of Cecil, Eileen Warren instead of Elisa Lam, Streetstalker instead of Night Stalker etc.) and it felt .... dirty to say the least. the authors dedicate this book to Elisa Lam and other girls who "don't have a voice" then go on to write the most exploitative work of fiction surrounding the event, full of violence and dead girls who do almost nothing for the plot or have any real personality outside of their deaths. also the "killer" is the most pathetic attempt at writing a serial killer I have ever read and I laughed continuously at their mayhem because once they're revealed, they speak like a cartoon villain, maniacal smirk and all.
if you're here looking for an amazing piece of fiction that gives voices to the women in the true crime genre, read Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka instead (plugging it in this review because it's a masterpiece). it does it much better than this book and with far more complexity than "dead girl sad and forgotten :("
if you're here looking for an easy, quick, light horror novel that will make you sigh but also turn the pages, then you're in the right place. yes, the main characters are the worst my generation has to offer, being self-obsessed TikTok stars with daddy's bank account, but they're enough to prop up the story. the pacing is terrible but at least it wasn't slow, just devoid of any life or personality. the epilogue is straight up trash and destroys any attempt at "meaning" in this book as the main characters have learned essentially nothing and continue to exploit the dead and their tragic deaths for money and fame. yay.
also, the unbelievability of four teens from LAS VEGAS being surprised and disgusted by people who smoke weed almost put me off reading YA forever.
Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren is a young adult horror read. The story in this one is told by changing the point of view between the group of four teenage characters.
Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki weren’t always YouTube famous but once they formed their group the channel took off. Chrissy was dealing with seeing spirits and no one believing her when she met Chase with him being the first to actually believe. Along the way they formed the Ghost Gang with Emma and Kiki.
Now on the verge of one million subscribers Chase has planned a trip to the horror hotel, a rundown establishment known for a series of murders. After arriving Chrissy can’t unsee the ghostly gore and before they know it the gang finds themselves being stalked by yet another murderer in the hotel.
Being way beyond the actual age this book is meant for wasn’t going to stop me from picking up Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren also being a long time fan of all things horror, I mean that cover!! Thankfully I did enjoy this one with the group of teenage ghost hunters. The murderer wasn’t hard to see coming but considering the age range I didn’t expect to be too surprised and just enjoyed the journey.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
1.75 generous stars. (Originally 1.25 stars) What on earth was that 1.25 for? 1- I could have guessed the bad guy from thousand of kilometres away. 2- There was no use of POVs because EVERY CHARACTER FELT THE SAME to the point where I only knew who was who because of the person they had a crush on. 3-Short? Choppy? Idk anymore.
Why an addition of .25 stars? Because one character googled how to stop bleeding from a wound and that was..... satisfactory.
As someone who has recently been watching Sam and Colby's horror investigation videos, I was excited for this one. But it was a let down fr.
Um. This book may have one of the greatest horror covers I've ever seen, and the most of the characters made this story fun and camp in the midst of the chaos, but there was so much that went wrong with this book.
Basing the story on Elisa Lam and the Cecil Hotel made me uncomfortable. The Cecil Hotel alone could have worked, but using a dead girl as a plot device in a story where she isn't even a main character, or needed in the story, didn't feel right.
Chase working out all the passwords to the three girl's phones, breaking into them and installing trackers on them to find them if he wanted to was described by Kiki as "making her feel warm and fuzzy inside". If a guy installs a tracking app on my phone I'm burning two sets of evidence.
Kiki constantly requests that her friends don't use the gendered term "guys" and they... simply laugh, ignore that and keep doing it for the entirety of the book. I have no idea why they made this such an ongoing thing.
I thought this was going to be an actually haunted hotel, with a story to tell, but the ghosts felt secondary to the very real current murder mystery turn the story took. I didn't enjoy this, that wasn't what I came for, I wanted them to traipse around the hotel filming the ghosts.
Superbly suspenseful and inspired by true crime, Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren’s YA debut was a thrillingly enjoyable read that gave The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel meets Ghost Adventures vibes but for a younger, social media savvy audience.
It centres around a group of ghost hunting YouTubers (Chrissy, Chase, Emma and Kiki) who decide to visit one of L.As most haunted hotels for the Halloween Weekend (infamous for the tragedy that befalls residents), secretly filming after dark to attract more subscribers, and get that coveted gold play button.
But when they stumble upon something unexpected in a room previously belonging to a gruesome serial killer, they soon realise they’re in over their heads.
Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.
Firstly I just want to say that I’m absolutely obsessed with the cover which is stunning! Now on to my review.
I really enjoyed reading this one, it’s a really fast paced and fun ghostly adventure but it does touch on some dark subject matter that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Personally I thought it’s quite tame for a YA Horror so if your new to this genre Horror Hotel would be a great place to start.
I loved the multiple POVs of The Ghost Gang and feel that out YouTube Ghost huntering protagonists will definitely appeal more to a younger audience.
However, as someone who gets easily scared I appreciated the atmospheric descriptions that were creepy enough for the setting —but not soo scary I have to sleep with a light on. I also loved Kiki (TikTok star, endorsement extraordinaire and complete scaredy cat) she definitely helped me feel validated in my fear of all things spooky.
I also loved Chrissy (our mind reading, ghost whisperer) and her POV was an absolute smorgasbord of creepy, spine chilling moments that had me glued to the page.
I really loved the writing style and found soo many quotable moments—particularity from Chrissy’s perspective (which make sense, she’s the teams resident psychic and the only one who can see ghosts.) Her descriptions of Hearst and it’s spectral inhabitants are soo good, they really bring the Hotel to life!
I did work out the identity of the killer pretty quickly but there were a few moments which really helped keep me engaged with the storyline. So, if your a YA Horror fanatic or mystery lover who likes to be surprised you might not enjoy this one as much.
Overall, a solid start and pretty commercial YA Horror that teen readers are sure to love.
Also, a massive thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Underlined for the digital arc.
This novel is basically a fictionalized, near plagiarised, version of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, but more annoying. Like, if you watched that docu-series on Netflix and didn’t want to slap the amateur detectives the whole time, we’re not the same.
The authors of this apparently said they came up with the idea after a publisher tweet asked for the most commercial horror novel someone could come up with. So like, they wrote this because we’re all dumb-dumbs who will consume the most basic shit. But hey, maybe they’re right because I did read this. I just didn’t really like it.
Four teenagers check into the Hearst Hotel to film their ghost-hunting Youtube show, and one of them is a medium. They intend to find out what happened to Eileen Warren, a young woman who died at the Hearst a few years prior under very mysterious circumstances. I’m pretty sure I actually did see this on an episode of Ghost Adventures because we all know Zak Bagans has no issue exploiting shit, just like the characters in this novel. And maybe Elisa Lam’s family might be owed some kind of compensation for how heavily it takes from her life and death.
This novel is boring, easy and cliché. It’s not scary, but it tries and there is some gore. The pacing is odd – it’s so fast, but there is no space to develop any real atmosphere or detail. The main characters are fucking awful examples of Gen Z – vapid and ignorant and obsessed with being famous for nothing.
“It’s weird to think about a pee break when a woman’s dead body is lying on the ground right next to my Converse.”
“A bolt of heat runs through me when his eyes drop to my lips. The feeling almost makes me forget we’re hunting a killer and running out of time.”
Just end it, my god.
Also, the teens are from Las Vegas but are disgusted by people smoking weed? You’ve never seen anything worse in fucking Vegas?
A notoriously haunted L.A. hotel. A group of teenage ghost hunters. A dead girl and her secrets. And something lurking in the dark...
Location/Concept: ★★★ Sense of pacing: ★★★★ Personal enjoyment: ★★
Chrissy, Chase, Kiki, and Emma are quickly becoming famous for their YouTube channel, Ghost Gang. In a setup that feels pretty similar to Buzzfeed Unsolved and other real-life online channels, this group of teens goes to haunted locations and films their explorations and reactions to creepy locations. And Chrissy is their ace in the hole: she actually CAN see spirits.
The Ghost Gang needs their next big hit. Chase, the group's organizer, decides to set their sights on the big one: the most haunted hotel in Los Angeles, California.
In this hotel from hell, a young girl died brutally within its walls and her erratic behavior before her untimely death was caught online for the world to watch. Something happened to this girl, and someone—or something—killed her. No one has found out the truth.
Chrissy and the rest of the group aren't exactly wild about visiting this location, but they let their better senses get the best of them and agree to go. (What's a horror setup without a few dumb decisions?)
They have no idea what they're in for...
So first off, a small disclaimer: I think this book is quite good for the right audience, and in that audience I could see Horror Hotel being a new favorite YA thriller/horror. It has all of the right hooks, shocks, and drama.
Unfortunately, I was not the right audience for this story because I'm a frequent horror movie and true crime documentary buff and knew the source material inside and out before starting this story.
If you've watched the Netflix documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and heard the very true story of the tragic death of Elisa Lam at that real L.A. hotel, then this fictionalized account with different names and slightly different tweaks might not work for you. The authors of Horror Hotel pay tribute to Elisa Lam in their dedication, which makes sense as this story was inspired by hers, but to me this novel was almost an exact replica of that particular Netflix documentary.
Now I'm not getting into whether replicating stories is good or bad, retellings are a very popular thing and I've enjoyed a few of them, but regardless of my opinion on that element I found Horror Hotel to be pretty low stakes and low interest for me, personally, because I knew where it was going all of the time. Without the feeling of "where is this story going," I quickly found my interest waning.
Again, this issue only happened because I was so familiar with that Netflix documentary. For those who haven't seen it and are just casually aware of the Elisa Lam story and the Hotel Cecil, this might be a very different reading experience.
Recommended for new fans to the genre and for those who have not watched the referenced Netflix movie.
Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't realize this story was inspired by the events at the infamous Cecil Hotel until I started reading it. If I did, I might have never picked it up—I loved the Netflix documentary and I was invested in the story; I didn't necessarily wanted to read fiction about it. But I'm glad I did—it was creepy, addictive, and I liked the characters. Also, the story was filled with little details that fit the actual story and timeline, which made it even creepier. For example
I first have to say that a book rarely ever scares me. I read and read and it never happens. This time, it did. I was reading this one scene and I got myself so scared that I couldn't sleep. Even though this is a YA book, it's scarier than heck.
Ghosts, kids, hotels and Halloween night. Sounds like a best seller to me.
It took me so long to get to this review because I hate this book, I hate the fact that I actually read it, and I hate talking about it, but if this singular review could get to someone and convince them not to give these authors money, then I'll do what I must and write it.
As other people have stated, this book is so unapologetically a take on the tragedy of Elisa Lam and her death at the Cecil Hotel. (Notice how I said tragedy?) Now, when I picked this up, I had no idea it was going to be so heavily based on the Cecil; I genuinely thought the authors were doing something different of some ghost fighting teenagers that explore a hotel that's haunted. Maybe more of a Tower of Terror deal? But no, within the first few pages they should've just slapped on CECIL HOTEL in big bold letters because that's essentially what was implied. But sure, that's fine, it's an interesting location and I can understand how someone can be inspired by it.
What ripped me apart was the fact that they basically stole Elisa Lam's story. The storyline follows a group of kids who are exploring the hotel after it became infamous for the death of Eileen Warren who, you guessed it, is just their Elisa Lam. Down to the Tumblr posts that Elisa would write during her travels, this Eileen character is basically the exact same just with a slightly different death. I'm trying to avoid spoilers so I don't have to hide this review, but if you've done research on Elisa's case, you'll see how disturbingly similar they made this character, and why it's insulting that they wrote her the way they did. They did her no justice, and boiled "Eileen" down to a one dimensional figure only worthy of her sad death and her comparison to the actual main character, Chrissy.
It gets even more horrifying once you get to the end. I know a lot of people don't read acknowledgements, but I do, and I cried when I realized they did not once mention Elisa although they just piggybacked off the notoriety of her death. They never said anything about her tragedy, never said that she was an inspiration for this novel, never mentioned her at all; except for in the dedication of the book where they wrote "To Elisa Lam and for anyone who's ever felt like a flicker in the universe." I found this so incredibly insulting, to take the horrors that she experienced, turn it into some YA novel to profit off of, and still find the audacity to only mention her in a dedication where you include being a flicker in the universe.
So here they are using someone else's horrible death for profit and not having the humanity to even say something about her life. I hate this book for how disgusting it is with their version of Elisa even though she was a real person, out there, who experienced terrible things, and now it's used as entertainment in this way.
Aside from that, even if they had done the decent thing and NOT used an actual person's death for this book, it still wasn't up to par. This is the first YA novel where I can't justify the characters being absolute shit people with their age, because they are just horrible horrible people who make such disrespectful decisions (wonder where they got that from). The writing style was mediocre at best, not bad but not anything special. There were no saving points of this book at all and now I wonder how the hell people are reading this all the way through without feeling massive regret.
I wish I had DNF'ed this. I made the wrong decision convincing myself to power through, but I had held hopes that at the end they would say something about Elisa and what her death meant to people. But nope! Just thanking mom and dad for supporting you while you disrespect a deceased woman right? :)
Anyways, please, don't read this. Do not give these authors money. This will be the very first book I don't even unhaul because I don't want to subject someone else to maybe finding it and reading it. I wish the same relief for you.
Most people know about the Cecil Hotel. If not from the Netflix documentary on Elisa Lam, than from AHS: Hotel that was strongly inspired by the Cecil.
This book explores a case similar to Elisa Lam, but with a supernatural twist. A group of teenage ghostbusters (one of which is a psychic) decide to travel to the most haunted hotel in LA on Halloween. They're goal: to get 1 Million subscribers. But they're also hoping they can learn more abou the mysterious death of an internet blogger as well as get more information about a series of murders in the building. Unfortunately, they stumble upon a murder during their stay and are thrown into the middle of the killer's twisted game. Will they make it out alive? Or are they doomed to become part of the hotel's dark history?
Honestly, I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I didn't have the highest of expectations, but this story really delivered on the horror. There's some pretty gruesome scenes, and I won't be using a hotel hotel ice machine anytime soon! Additionally, I really enjoyed the characters. All four of the sleuths had unique and interesting personalities and motives. I would love to read more books about their ghost adventures in the future.
This is a nice mix of horror, mystery and true crime. If you're a fan of those genres and don't mind the YA tag, definitely give this a read.
"Sometimes the dead want help. Other times they just want to scare you or show you how they died. And sometimes they just don’t want to be alone."
Welcome to Hotel Hell!
The Cecil Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels on this planet. People from around the world travel to Skid Row in CA just to get a glimpse of this infamous hotel. Terrible things have happened inside of that hotel and people are curious. It has been closed for renovations for the past couple of years but that doesn’t stop people from breaking in. Ghost enthusiasts want to experience the horror that is that hotel.
What really put that hotel in the public eye again was a recent documentary about that hotel and the death of one of its residents, Elisa Lam. It’s called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. You can currently find it on Netflix. Elisa’s case has swept the nation and amateur sleuths are still investigating her case. There’s something fishy about her passing and I highly suggest watching that documentary.
I know for a fact that these two authors watched that because this book is that show. They switched a few things around and added a mini mystery that was extremely predictable within but it was too similar. I went into this excited because not many have ventured to use that hotel as their location before. So I figured we would get something unique and hair-raising. What we get is a copycat story of a popular show.
What I did enjoy was the horrifying cover. I love it. I also enjoyed the fact that they used the hotel as the main location. (They did change the name of the hotel in this story but we know what they were making a reference to.) Who doesn’t love an old creepy hotel with a deadly history? And I also liked that the main character was a psychic. This character could read minds and see and communicate with spirits. It was interesting.
The story as a whole was not unique and I’m surprised that they could get away with stealing a story from a popular show on the worlds largest streaming service. They didn’t change enough of the story for this to be an original story. Yes, the authors did dedicate this story to Elisa and I appreciated that but this still felt a bit sleazy to me.
Horror Hotel wasn’t worth my time and bored me. If you know about about that infamous hotel then this isn’t worth reading. Readers who don’t know what I’m talking about will enjoy this because it’ll be something new and creepy for them. This was a huge no from me and it definitely gave me trust issues again for paperbacks from Underlined.
Short version: 1) Bad writing. 2) The true crime aspect. Yes, there's a murderer. It is not only painfully obvious but it also doesn't do much to throw anyone off. It's not a crime to have the Bad Guy™ be rather obvious, but I always appreciate it more if somewhere down a line I get to doubt it for, like, a second at least. 3) The supernatural aspect. Ghosts exist. That's pretty much it.
The rest because for some reason I feel passionate about it? IDK I usually can't be bothered to write anything but here I go. Oh boy, this was bad and I don't even know where to start. Maybe with my biggest problem: that it's tacky. Yup, I said it. I read books that were much worse but at least for all their cliches they were someone's idea. Not very original, sure, but an idea nevertheless. "Horror Hotel" isn't just a cliche: it's also a ripped off story of someone who was ACTUALLY ALIVE and happened to die in unfortunate circumstances in a hotel. Reading it was painful because I could see actual scenes ripped from that Netflix documentary about Cecil Hotel, shoved into a book. Oh yeah, I am calling you out on Linda. Come on now. Worst offender? The blog posts of "Elizabeth Warren" (aka fictional version of Elisa Lam) being so awfully rewritten real posts. Like, seriously, you had a girl die in a hotel and you couldn't come up with anything other than LITERALLY copy and paste all the details (including that "elevator game" bullshit that was used as a throwaway comment)? Couldn't you just, idk, throw that part out and make up some other case to justify the gang going to this particular hotel? Have some respect.
Then again our protagonists (spoiler alert for something that doesn't happen!) at the very least don't solve Elizabeth/Eliza's murder. So, a... win?
"Horror hotel" was written by two adult women and didn't read like it; yeah I don't need all my YAs to have some outstandish vocabulary or long descriptions filled paragraphs, but something above "I did something. Other person looked at me. We talked." level of writing would be nice. Maybe if the story was, super good, it would be less noticable. But alas, by far the longest description in the entire book was probably of what Protag 1 thought of Protag 2's lips, because, sure. (Did I call them that so it's not a spoiler or because they all have basically the same character with maybe one trait each? Who knows.)
The good? It was quick and easy and I just challenged myself to reading a book a week. Def helped to knock it outta the park.
This was... horrendous, and not in a good way whatsoever. The premise was intriguing, but this was executed terribly. The writing was mediocre at best. All of the characters were extremely annoying and just awful people in general. It took me months to finish this book because I was dreading it so much. I continued just hoping it would get better and it absolutely did NOT. There are grammar mistakes as well. For example, instead of 'accepts', it was written as 'excepts'... That is something that should have been caught by an editor... and with two writers, you would think someone would have caught it. The multiple POVs were unnecessary as the characters were so bland and entitled brats that they all just blended as one terrible person. Tell me, who in their right mind stumbles upon a dead body and their first thought is "we can't tell anyone" or "let's hide it"?! I was so disgusted by this. As someone who consumes a lot of true crime/crime fiction media, this was so disappointing, distasteful, and insensitive. Especially, that their inspiration obviously came from the Elisa Lam case at the Cecil Hotel. I expected so much more. On top of all of aforementioned flaws, the plot was so predictable. It's been done a thousand times before... I could have told you who the murderer was from the beginning. As soon as they are introduced, you just know.
This is the worst book I have read in a long time.
I have read very very few (if any) books in the horror genre, let alone YA. So I am definitely not the judge of whether these books are creepy or scary enough. That being said, I wasn't scared? The spooky factor had to do with ghost and some gruesome crime scenes. But yeah, if gore ain't your thing, then move along.
My biggest problems was with the characters. It was pretty obvious from the beginning who the killer was, especially because of how small the cast of characters are. This didnt bother me, but I know it might annoy other reader. My problem came with how much ROMANCE there was in this book. like. excuse me. there is someone runnin around strangling people and your to busy worrying aboUT IF YOUR CRUSH LIKES YOU BACK? like, please, take just a second to look at your priorities. all of the characters felt two-dimensional as well. i, straight up, did not like Chase. True friends don't discover a dead body at a shady hotel and go "oh yeah it's chill."
the plot was fine. it wasn't the most entertaining, but i have definitely read worse. i was hoping for it to be more high-stakes? but it felt like everyone was more concerned with kisses and cuddles then cold-blooded killers. they were just in a silly, goofy mood.
So, I didn't really like it. I feel kinda bad for my 2-star because I thought that the premises for the plot were great. But the result left a lot to be desired. To be completely honest, I was very bored 90% of this book. The very end was exciting and I was somewhat interested in how the two romances in the book turned out. That's about it. So nope sorry, this was a miss for me.
This book was very close to being four stars, I enjoyed it a lot! Obviously, I was originally intrigued by the cover but the premise and execution were pretty good. Starting with the characters, I felt they read a little younger than intended but that wasn't really an issue for me as I loved the drama. Admittedly, they were a little flat and I wish the authors explored their relationships and backstories more in-depth as some of their actions and thoughts were a bit abrupt and out of place at times. The characters were also kind of stupid but I love dumb characters in situations like these. There is also a major case of insta-love which and a very predictable plotline but, again, it adds to the drama which I really enjoyed.
The writing did read on the younger side of YA at times, but at other times the horror aspect was done quite well and it handled the push and pull of tensions well. The ending of the book was definitely the best part of the book as it was such a page-turner and I refused to put it down, it was that fun. The main issue for me was the lack of descriptions surrounding the Hearst Hotel as it would've added an extra layer of horror and tension if it was used to put pressure on the characters more than it did. The tone also felt a tad too light, but I think that the authors wanted a campy, slasher vibe to it--if that was their intention then it worked well too.
I do wish the book was longer as some of the plotlines felt too unresolved for me, perhaps there will be a sequel that would address this better. I kind of hope there will be. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I recommend checking it out!
Youtube-famous ghost hunters Chrissy, Chase, Kiki and Emma visit a haunted hotel in LA and try to hunt some ghosts while they are there.
The story starts off normal enough. We get to know the characters, how they got into the ghost gang and what makes them special for their channel. They all are likable but one-dimensional, we don’t get to see a lot of them, especially Emma and Kiki. This, and the fact that the whole book plays out over a weekend, doesn’t leave much room for character development.
The story reminded me constantly of the vanishing of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel. The blog posts we get to see of her before she goes missing are nearly the same to the ones Elisa made and all the circumstances seem to be the same. We even see an elevator scene which is basically the same as the last video of her. Only that this book has a supernatural twist.
Still this was a good book, it was suspenseful and was interesting to follow.
2022.02.10 Kończę na 90 stronie. Nie mam chęci wracać do tej książki. Liczyłam na szybki, współczesny horror, a do prawie połowy książki praktycznie nic się nie dzieje prócz nastoletnich dywagacji. Miałam świadomość, że to młodzieżówka, ale ze względu na tematykę sądziłam, że będzie to trochę wyższy poziom. Do tego skusił mnie wątek social mediów (który brzmiał jak dodany na siłę) oraz porównanie do horroru The Blair Witch Project (totalnie chybione wg mnie). Choć czyta się szybko, jak na pozycję po angielsku przy których nie mam jeszcze takiej wprawy, to jednocześnie jest zbyt łopatologicznie. Autorka opisuje mnóstwo podstawowych czynności, które są zbędne dla fabuły. Do tego nie bardzo jej idzie dodanie głębi do historii i jej bohaterów. Szczerze mówiąc wszyscy zlali mi się w jedną osobę, mimo że są tam aż 4 główne postacie. Żaden bohater i jego los mnie nie zainteresował, a warstwa obyczajowa jest przewidywalna do bólu. Przyszłam po horror i dostałam go tylko na okładce. Szkoda jej na taką byle jaką historię.
Death of Elisa Lam meets the Bates hotel meets the Shining. But YA with a YouTube psychic plot. Super fun read, and a great idea, but fairly predictable. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I read it again? Probably not, but I would recommend it and would pick up another by either or both authors.
I'm sorry, but I didn't like this, y'all. I LOVED the concept of a fictional horror story set at a hotel inspired by the Cecil and--my God would you look at this cover?! I want to blow that up and frame it on my wall! If only the story was just as glorious, but it was a dud. Here's my list of gripes:
The multiple narrations: Each chapter is narrated by one of the members of the Scooby Doo gang of kiddos, and they ALL SOUND THE SAME! I had to keep flipping the pages back to see who was narrating what because their voices just morphed into one--same tone, same snarky commentary, same lingo, same self-serving decision-making, yada yada. As per usual with young adult books, it was hard to like any of the characters. Hmm...maybe I need to just stop with YA once and for all and just read the classics. Either way, I digress. I had a hard time caring about the poor little rich boy/wannabe YouTube viral sensation, the flirty fashionista "influencer" girl, the edgy nose ring girl, or the sensitive girl who sees dead people. They all sounded like one person to me in each of the short, choppy chapters, making this thing a real bear to get through.
The hiding of bodies: So, the gang stumbles upon not one, but two murder victims while staying at the Hearst Hotel. For me, personally, my kneejerk reaction would be to call the police because-- oh, I don't know, maybe because a murderer needs to get caught?! But that would throw a wrench in their plans to reach their 1-million hits on YouTube while investigating the Hearst, so it's just best to hide the bodies, contaminate the crime scenes and continue on with the ghost hunt. Cool. I'm sorry, but this is just very strange decision-making, and I'm just not sure I'm understanding. Then again, we live in a weird "look at me!" society, so I guess this is just par for the course.
The whodunnit: So, this is supposed to be somewhat of a whodunnit with a killer on the loose and all. I was hoping to have the rug ripped out from under me at the end, but nope. The killer turned out to be the most likely suspect, so whomp whomp.
Sorry if that was a spoiler. I'm just keeping it real here. At the risk of sounding like an ol' lady, YA books just ain't what they used to be. I'm becoming more and more disappointed with these books filled with vapid characters, people speaking in acronyms and really flat character development. If you're in the mood for a spectacularly spooky haunted hotel book, pick up The Shining by the dark master Stephen King. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James was also quite thrilling and atmospheric.