Horror Hotel | Review
Rating - ⭐⭐1/2
"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."
Horror Hotel is a standalone YA horror book by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren.
This was a big swing and a miss. I think marketing this as Blair Witch for the TikTok generation wasn't the greatest idea as it was a stretch aiming for trendiness that didn't pull off. Nothing about this story, from the characters to the mystery, was particularly interesting.
Let's get into the details.
The writing was okay on the whole, but I was not a fan of the multi-pov and mixed media. The characters didn't stand out from each other, so I found that it just wasn't necessary to have any other perspective than Chrissy. I also thought that the small excerpts from Eileen, the dead girl's, blog weren't needed either.
After a girl's body was found in the elevator shaft of a hotel, the 'Ghost Gang' goes to investigate in the hopes that this is the case that will get them to 1 million subscribers on YouTube. This sentence alone presents a lot of the issues I ended up having with this book.
I didn't enjoy the social media aspect and didn't think it added a very interesting layer to the story. It felt more like the authors were trying to cater to a social media-forward audience and ended up missing the ball. I also was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that they were so focused on documenting this recent case for views, even as someone who loves true crime.
As for the mystery side of the plot, it was plainly obvious the direction the story was going to go in and I don't know if the authors didn't realize their story was predictable or not. There was a big hint early on in the book that gave the twist away if you paid enough attention to catch it as I did, which was disappointing.
A big flaw on the part of all of the characters was the fact that they all felt like something was off with the hotel, and not one of them decided to call it off. After that point, I ended up not caring for any of them, partially because they just weren't interesting to follow, but also because they got themselves into this mess willingly. The characters also made some very bad decisions that were not logical at all (and were frankly criminal).
It was a very odd choice having Chrissy both see ghosts and hear thoughts. I don't think it was necessary to make her psychic as it didn't really amount to anything.
Now, let's talk about the romance that no one wanted from this book, or at least I didn't. I honestly don't understand why romance is a subplot for YA horror books, because the two genres don't mesh well together. It just added a whole 'nother level of unnecessary drama that took away from the horror/mystery.
In all honesty, if you want ghost hunting, Buzzfeed Unsolved is the way to go.