Cover image for The haunted
The haunted
Physical Description:
6 audio discs (7 hr., 24 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
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Compact discs.
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Hendricks Becker-O Malley is new in town, and she s bringing baggage with her. With a dark and wild past, Hendricks doesn t think the small town her parents moved her to has much to offer her in terms of excitement. She plans on laying low, but when she s suddenly welcomed into the popular crowd at school, things don t go as expected. Hendricks learns from her new friends that the fixer-upper her parents are so excited about is notorious in town. Local legend says it s haunted. Hendricks doesn t believe it. Until she s forced to. Blood-curdling screams erupt from the basement, her little brother wakes up covered in scratches, and something, or someone pushes her dad down the stairs. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don t take her first.


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From Danielle Vega, YA's answer to Stephen King, comes a new paranormal novel about dark family secrets, deep-seated vengeance, and the horrifying truth that evil often lurks in the unlikeliest of places.

Clean slate. That's what Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. Forget him. But things don't go as planned.

Hendricks learns from new friends at school that Steele House--the fixer upper her parents are so excited about--is notorious in town. Local legend says it's haunted. But Hendricks isn't sure if it's the demons of her past haunting her ...or of the present. Voices whisper in her ear as she lays in bed. Doors lock on their own. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn.

With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don't take her first.

Author Notes

Danielle Vega spent her childhood hiding under the covers while her mother retold tales from the pages of Stephen King novels. Now as an adult, she can count on one hand the number of times in her life she's been afraid. Danielle is the author of the Merciless series and Survive the Night . Follow her @dvegabooks.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--Hendricks arrives in the small New York town of Drearford with her baby brother, her house-flipping parents, and major baggage from her hometown of Philly. Escalating incidents with her former boyfriend Grayson forced her family to relocate with the goal of renovating a run-down old house, which Hendricks soon learns has a macabre history. Several teens, curious about the new girl, quickly fold her into their close-knit group, and even more quickly, school hottie Connor makes it clear he is interested. But with flashbacks and references to troubles with her ex, Hendricks isn't jumping into anything soon. As she learns more about the history of the house, as well as the connections between it and her enigmatic neighbor Eddie, disturbances in the house turn from scary to violent. Ultimately Hendricks and Eddie must battle the house and the hungry spirits that inhabit it. Interplay and dialogue between the teens ring true, more so than the almost nonexistent relationship between Hendricks and her apparently oblivious parents. Allusions to cruel bullying as the catalyst to events almost get lost as the story culminates in a finale that, while dramatic, feels rushed and overcrowded with explanations. The relationship with Grayson and the role alcohol played are intriguing yet used as a red herring rather than fully explored. Socioeconomic status, poverty, and mental illness are examined through the equally haunted Eddie, who feels that there is something "rotten" with the entire town. VERDICT Teens will relate to the characters and enjoy the creepiness, making this a strong choice where horror is in demand.--Lee De Groft, Jamestown High School, Williamsburg, VA

Publisher's Weekly Review

This spooky supernatural tale by Vega (the Merciless series) follows a well-trod horror arc: high school student Hendricks moves with her parents from Pennsylvania to a small New York town, where she senses a sinister presence in rambling old Steele House-the infamous site of a murder-suicide. The move follows Hendricks's toxic relationship with her controlling ex-boyfriend, Grayson, whose behavior escalated into violence and stalking. Though Hendricks settles into a new social life quickly, with a cast of distinguishable characters, she wrestles with unease at the house and sees visions of Grayson's reappearance. When Hendricks's baby brother is physically attacked by a ghost, she approaches outsider Eddie, who lost both his siblings to Steele House. Vega's narrative is at its best when Hendricks's haunted past foreshadows and mirrors the paranormal events, raising questions about the impact of trauma on the present. The intrigue unravels into familiar scares and cinematic genre tropes (a child ghost with inky black eyes, a visit to a tarot shop), but Vega maintains psychological tension up until the uncertain conclusion, leaving enough loose ends to suggest a sequel. Ages 14-up. Agent: Josh Bank and Joelle Hobeika, Alloy Entertainment. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Further misfortune befalls a girl who can't escape her ghosts.Being the new girl in Drearford, New York, means heaps of unwanted attention for Hendricks Becker-O'Malley, who'd much rather begin anew with a clean slate. Her traumatic past was the main reason behind her family's relocation to the small town, with its dreary gray skies and sinister secrets. However, her new homeDrearford's derelict Steele Houseoffers no comfort. The disturbances start small: the usual moans and groans of an old house, a creepy doll singing of its own accord, devious laughter from another room. At first, Hendricks' past shrouds her in self-doubt fueled by shame. But then she meets Eddie Ruiz, a damaged boy who lost an older brother and younger sister to Steele House's cursed, evil spirits. Together the pair plan to vanquish the ghosts, attempting a misguided cleansing ritual in the process. As Hendricks and Eddie develop a close bond, Steele House launches its final onslaught. Vega's (The MercilessIV: Last Rites, 2018, etc.) take on the haunted house subgenre features an eclectic, well-fitted mix of supernatural spookiness and gore. Overall, the novel doesn't rise above its creaky clich-riddled plot, but the author excels at portraying the aftermath of a toxic, abusive relationship from Hendricks' perspective. Though Hendricks is assumed white, the supporting cast offers some diversity.A gently horrid reminder that some ghosts can be very real. (Horror. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Hendricks' family has purchased the old Steele House, where a young girl was supposedly murdered by her brother, who then killed himself. Soon Hendricks is encountering weird phenomena seeing her skin distorted in a mirror and having a ghost cat pass through her. Are these aftereffects of her PSTD, or is her house truly haunted? With the help of local bad boy Eddie, she tries to exorcise the house and finds three extremely vengeful ghosts who want three sacrifices in exchange for their own deaths. Hendricks thinks she's the target until she discovers it's really Eddie the middle brother of the young girl and brother. Why are the ghosts interested in his family? Vega tries her take on a haunted-house story, but there are shortcomings that may disappoint some readers the ghosts' history is more interesting than Hendricks' , and her instant love with Eddie strains credulity. However, with a relative dearth of YA horror to choose from, readers will be glad to get their hands on any stories that offer the hope of getting chills, which Vega delivers.--Lindsey Tomsu Copyright 2019 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Haunted by a bad experience with her ex-boyfriend, Hendricks Becker-O'Malley suffers from PTSD. To help her start over, her family moves to Drearfield, NY. She quickly makes friends and even starts developing a crush or two. Much to her chagrin, however, Becker discovers Steele House, the fixer-upper her parents bought, is a local legend. People say the house is haunted by a murderous, vengeful ghost. When things fall off shelves without explanation and Hendricks starts seeing things that aren't there and hearing maniacal laughter, she wonders if the house is haunted or if it's her PTSD. Narrator Holly Linneman's character voices are easy to distinguish. The story is slightly predictable, but the characters are likable, well-developed, and sympathetic. VERDICT Readers who like Mary Downing Hahn, ghost stories, and horror fiction will enjoy this listen. Recommend for libraries where supernatural fiction is in demand.--Kira Moody, Salt Lake Cty. Lib. Services