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My Daylight Monsters by Sarah Dalton
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My Daylight Monsters

by Sarah Dalton

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I have read my share of books set in insane asylums. Heaven knows I don’t want to go there, but I can definitely see its use as a setting; particularly when you want to scare the crap out your readers. That’s what Sarah Dalton does in My Daylight Monsters, a novella that starts the Mary Hades series.

Mary is a typical English teen, except for her ability to see ghosts. Except that isn’t what they are, exactly. They are frightening visions that come to her as harbingers of bad luck. She sees one before a fire at her school kills a girl.

Either way, what makes them so scary is that Ms. Dalton does not really tell us what they are. We see them through Mary’s eyes, and what she sees has scared her so much that she agrees to be committed to the psych ward of the local hospital. There she meets her fellow inmates, who are all well-drawn, particularly Mo and Lacey, who become her best friends. Instead of getting better, however things get progressively worse. Mary’s meds are taking their toll, and the patients at the Terminal Care ward next door are dropping like flies, so much so that the staff is getting worried. Mary and her fellow inmate know that something is wrong, but who is going to believe them? Not only is their sanity questionable, but they are teenagers. All of this works wonderfully. The atmosphere is constantly tense, and scary, as Mary decides that she has to take matters into her own hands, for the people that are dying as well as herself.

One of the real strengths of the story is the balance between the real-world terrors of the psych ward, and the supernatural ones that only Mary can see. It’s a fine line that Ms. Dalton rides masterfully. There are some terrific plot twists that my role prevents me from spilling, and Ms. Dalton does an excellent job in making Mary, and the terrors she has to face, very real. An imposing sense of the weight of things unseen, and definitely malign, hangs over this book. It’s a tricky thing to pull off, but Ms. Dalton does, giving up enough hope to keep the story moving, but reminding us that things don’t always, or even often, turn out all right. Mary comes out at the end scared, scarred, but strong, and definitely sane.

Review by: Mark Palm
Full Reviews Available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.com ( )
  thebookendfamily | Apr 27, 2015 |
This is a quick read, most likely for older teen readers. Being a very long way from my teens, I still adored this book. The characters are so well written you understand and care about them in a page or two. The young girl who is the protagonist in the story has issues she is attempting to address in a psychiatric hospital for teens. She has both easily recognisable angst as well as an ability to see and interact with the dead, a much more complicating factor. All of the children in the center are both sad and delightful. The story moves fast and I read it in one sitting and it left me wanting very much to know what happened to these kids later on. Here's hoping the author considers a sequel. ( )
  Lori.Walker | Jan 7, 2014 |
I received this book in exchange for my review. I've read a lot of books...this is by far one of the best books ive read. Its a shorter book but its crammed full of excitement and it unraveled quickly but well paced. I hope there will be a sequel for this book! I cant wait to read more of her books. The story was detailed enough to give you the feeling of being there but not so detailed that you get bored of the details. I cant recommend this book enough. It was absolutely such a good book and I didnt want it to end ( )
  kris0490 | Nov 28, 2013 |
Where do I even start???? This was such an amazing book to read, it left me completely speechless. Such a suspenseful, creepy, quick and gripping novel. I am really happy that I won this book without any knowledge or expectations. May be that's the reason, I was completely mesmerized. I couldn't even give a tiny bit of gap while reading. I just want the suspense to end. Author's writing style was gripping, engaging and interesting. I instantly loved all the characters, Mary especially and always felt interesting about Johnny.

I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy quick and suspenseful reads. ( )
  kommana | Nov 24, 2013 |
I loved this 15 chapter book. It was told through Mary’s first person point of view. At 17 years old, she witnessed Anita die in a fire. Mary had to leave, otherwise she would’ve died too. I’m sure she felt awful, and I felt bad that she had to live with survivor’s guilt. This tidbit made me instantly care for her.

Mary was committed to a psych ward. There were interesting people there–Johnny, Lacey, Mo, and the doctors. It was cool that Mary had her guard up at first, then everyone started bonding with her. From this, she found out that Johnny had died. He’s a ghost. In fact, many patients next door ended up dead. I loved that the patients banded together to solve the mystery.

My favorite lines: 1) “Scary Mary. That’s what they started calling me–after the incident.” 2) The shuffling stops. Somehow, silence is worse. 3) “You’re betting on deaths?” I blurt out. “Isn’t that a bit…morbid?” 4) I don’t know anything about these subjects, and when I try to offer any kind of opinion, it’s so matter-of-fact and abrupt that I wonder about my tact and social skills. 5) You could say that it’s weird. That I’m weird. Because I don’t believe in ghosts, but I believe in what I see. I see some strange things.

Sarah Dalton was great with the setting details. I could see the places and people vividly. This story was pretty suspenseful; I even jumped out of my seat in some scenes–when they sneak upstairs and a scary story is told, when Mary is locked in a room for an extended period of time, and when readers found out that the creepy killer knows Mary figured out everything and begins stalking, threatening her.

I RECOMMEND this book to read. ( )
  Yawatta | Nov 20, 2013 |
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I always thought my demons came out in the day, rather than at night. I’ve never been scared of the dark. I’ve only ever been scared of real things: getting ill, having injections, physical pain… death. Those are my monsters, not ghosts or vampires or whatever else can hide under your bed at night.

I was wrong.

The dark makes everything worse.

When Mary’s psychiatrist advises a short stay at a psychiatric unit, her worst nightmares are confirmed. How can she get better in a place that fills her with dread? When she meets the other patients, she begins to gather some hope, until she realises that the death toll in the hospital is rising without explanation. Something sinister stalks the corridors and maybe she is the only one who can stop it…

Mary has to confront the Things that she sees if they are to stand a chance. But will she survive a confrontation with death itself?
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