Sep 27, 2022

Review--Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton & Faith McClaren


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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Let the spooky reading season begin! I was eager to read Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren's Horror Hotel because the premise was spot on for the kind of read I was looking for; spooky, creepy, and ghosty! This one hit the mark on all three points and was a delight to read!

After a school project put Chrissy and Chase together, the two realized they had something in common; ghosts, Chrissy sees them and Chase believes in them. Joined by their friends Emma and Kiki, the four have created their own Youtube channel in which they have ghostly adventures. Chrissy is their ghost whisperer and though they go to haunted places, they are not so much exorcists. They just document the hauntings. They have become pretty popular with fans and a stalker or two; Chase hopes they can one day hit the one million subscriber mark and all the perks that come with it; i.e. a plastic trophy (but also notoriety!).

When Chase plans for the group to go to the Hearst Hotel on Halloween weekend to hopefully find out what happened to Eileen Warren, another internet famous kind of ghost whisperer who was found brutally murdered at the hotel sometime ago. When they get to the hotel, it is most certainly without its charm. Back in the day it was likely a bustling place, but now it caters more to the type who pay in cash and don't want to be seen. There are also communal rooms and bathrooms, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that they have an "interloper" in their hotel room due to the type of room it was.

Bram is a young man Chrissy's age and the two share a connection with one another. Bram can see ghosts too and isn't opposed to help Chrissy find the ghosts of Hearst Hotel. You can smell the love triangle coming a mile away, for we learn early on Chase has a secret crush on Chrissy, but hasn't had the courage to tell her yet and now that she is showing Bram the affection he so longs to have, there is a great deal of tension.

Everything starts to go smoothly, averagely. The teens start to walk around the hotel and Chrissy is definitely seeing and sensing the ghosts. It's creepy and terrifying because they're ghosts and some of them are really creepy and terrifying! Lol. But when they enter the room of the serial killer that supposedly stayed at the hotel during his crime spree, they find a dead body that is most decidedly NOT a ghost!

While I wouldn't call this one a full out horror fest, it was definitely creepy! I mean there are ghosts and I wouldn't call them Casper anytime soon. Add in a murder mystery and you have the makings of terrifying situation for four teenagers! You've also got an array of suspects from the shady hotel owners to the other hotel stayers to even the creepy ghosts themselves! 

I will say that I kind of foresaw what this outcome was going to amount to. Call it good detectiving, years of Scooby Doo watching, or an easy's a mix of all that really. But still, while I may be able to see something about the ending, the details are always up for grabs and these details were very telling indeed! And I while I did enjoy that aspect of the story, I guess I just wanted more from their original mystery of trying to find out what happened to long ago Eileen Warren. Her mysterious death will remain a mystery sadly.

All in all, while some aspects of this book may come off as a cheesy 90s horror movie--a fact that does get mentioned in the book and had me cackling--it was still a mighty entertaining read! The horror aspects were terrifying and mysterious, the other mystery that the teens find themselves in was chilling and made for good story telling! There were some cheesy romantic moments as well, but again, I'll direct you back to other 90s horror flicks! This book pretty much had it all! And though it definitely rings as a standalone, I would not be adverse to a sequel if only to tell more of Eileen's tale, but I'll have to learn to live with a lack of answers...something I've experience in with other canceled series.

Horror Hotel is the perfect read for this year's spooky season! It's a verifiable fright fest! What more could you ask for than ghosts, murderers, shady hotel owners and a mystery to boot? I mean besides the talking Great Dane...this book had it all!



Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars






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