YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for May 25, 2009

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.

On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

I was really excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! I loved it! I gave Deadly Little Secrets an average score when I read it last year but Project 17 gets 9/10! Unlike Deadly Little Secrets, Project 17 is not predictable at all. You have no idea what to expect. And there’s a mystery too. The book is set in Danvers State Hospital, a real place located in Danvers, MA. That is something I love about this book. It’s set in a real place! The book started slowly and it wasn’t till page 65 when they enter the asylum. But once they are in, it’s I think I am going to talk about my feelings of each character individually. Here we go..

Derik: I like reading about him the most. I like his character and since the story is mainly focusing on him, I like him the most.

Liza: She’s the studious girl with good grades and all but can’t get into the school she wants. I like her but she started creeping me out whenever she said “we shouldn’t be here.”

Mimi: Mimi is a very interesting person. I always looked forward to reading her chapters.

Chet: Not much to comment about. His a typical prankster/joker.

Greta and Tony: Greta reminds me of Sharpay Evans. The spoiled and snobbish drama queen. And Tony is just like her sidekick/boyfriend. Found them both very annoying. Greta totally freaked me out when she tried to get into character and find the doll. I was wondering if she got possessed or something. Freaky!

Each chapter is told by different people but it was not confusing. I read Project 17 at night and it totally spooked me. I didn’t dare to go to the bathroom because I am a scaredy cat. In my mind, I could totally see Project 17 as a movie. It would be AWESOME if there was a movie of the book. Back to the review, the deeper you get into the story, the scarier things become. Everyone starts to lose their mind at one point or another.

There are unanswered questions too, like the talking doll, the bathroom message, etc. My own conclusion would be that they just belong to the ghosts who live there. If anyone else has read this book, I’d love to discuss it with you!

Overall Project 17 is a fantastic suspenseful horror novel that sends chills down your spine. I highly recommend it. Fans of horror books, you have to READ THIS BOOK! If you can’t stand psychological books, I don’t suggest you reading this because this book is very intense. Imagine if you were reading this book and suddenly the door slammed. Guaranteed that you will jump out of your seat. Laurie Stolarz writes exceptional horror stories and I look forward to her future horror books.