Jayla Walters isn’t sure what to expect when her father’s job uproots her and her brother, Dion, to Estes Park, Colorado. But right away, something doesn’t seem right with their hotel. Jayla soon discovers that their home for the week, room 217 of the Stanley Hotel, is the most haunted place in all of Colorado. Barely asleep the first night, Jayla watches a ghostly woman walk toward her bed. And the ghost visits her room every night. What does the ghost want? And what happens when Jayla and Dion get in her way?
Every state has its own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses real-life ghost lore as jumping off points to new, chilling tales. But beware: sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.
Publication date: 1st September 2018
Confession: I saw the cover, fell in love and didn’t bother reading the bit that said ‘middle-grade’. So I’m reviewing this book from my 8yo perspective.
Young Nia was a bit of an oddball (not much changed, in all honesty. I didn’t even get much taller), I loved reading horror and ghost stories, grateful that nobody was keeping tabs on my reading habits!
8 year old me would have been all over this book! 11yo Jayla and her younger brother Dion have been left to their own devices in a haunted hotel while their dad is working. On their first night there, they wake up to the ghost of a hotel maid walking through their room. From that point on, Jayla is determined to discover who the dead woman is and free her from her nightly vigil.
This book is child-friendly in that there’s no gruesome deaths or violence, the scares come from rattling door handles and bits of furniture being thrown around – I feel like there could have been a more satisfying ending though, one that would explain why the ghost is doing what she does.
The writing style is perfect for young readers and the story the right length to grip their interest without insulting their intelligence. The ARC copy didn’t contain illustrations but did have place holders for them to be added in the final edit, all I can say is that if they’re anything like the cover then they’ll be a great asset to the final book.