Just as many bodice ripper authors ended up publishing smutty versions of the Gothic and Regency romances they read as girls, all of my published books are basically smutty versions of the YA pulp I read growing up. Nightmare Hall, as well as the other Point Horror novels, are a huge part of the inspiration behind my Horroscape series, with each book highlighting a YA horror/thriller trope I loved (can you guess which ones? lol).
I remember reading THE SILENT SCREAM when I was a kid and thinking that I was reading some really good shit because this is one of the few books that actually had college-age characters instead of teen or middle grade ones, so it gave the books a really "mature" feeling that made them feel extra edgy.
In this book, a girl named Jess is starting her first year at college. She's living off-campus in a place called Nightingale Hall along with a bunch of other coeds: artistic Milo, low-key Ian, tightly-strung Cathy, athlete Linda, and the repair guy, Trucker.
Right away, you know this isn't going to be a chill year. The book opens with a pretty graphic description of the house mother finding out that one of her female residents hung herself. Then Jess finds out that she actually got the dead girl's room and weird things start happening. Objects turning up missing or destroyed, spooky letters, and all kinds of unexplainable creepiness.
And the question: Did Giselle, the dead girl, really take her own life?
Part of the fun of these vintage YA is the dated pop culture references. I loved seeing Tom Selleck and Kim Basinger referred to as sex symbols in this book. Also, the students at this school use typewriters and have to go to the school computer lab if they want to use a computer. The story also held up pretty well. I knew who the bad person was from the beginning, which took out some of the fun of trying to figure out whodunnit, but the mystery was well crafted and well written.
Looking forward to reading the rest of the series! I only ever read the first book!
3.5 out of 5 stars