Project 17

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Overview

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. On the eve of the hospital's demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their experiences. For Derik, it's an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents' diner. For the others, it's a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what ...

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Project 17

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Overview

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. On the eve of the hospital's demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their experiences. For Derik, it's an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents' diner. For the others, it's a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a dare quickly escalates into a nightmare. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

An abandoned mental institution serves as the setting for this mildly scary novel, sort of a Breakfast Clubmeets Blair Witch Project. Senior year of high school finds Derik (La Playa) LaPointe (from Stolarz's Bleed) making a film in hopes of winning an internship at a reality-TV network. Derik assembles a cast of students from different cliques, then, with help from a classmate similarly obsessed with the Danvers State Hospital, sneaks everyone inside the condemned building and plans to film there overnight. Most of the characters are barely acquainted, and each has a different motive for participating in the project (the straight-A student needs to round out her resume to improve her chances at Harvard; the drama geek wants stardom; the outcast hopes to find traces of her grandmother, who died at Danvers). Exploring how these figures interact is the meat of the novel: they mature over the six or so hours encompassed in the book, pairing off and eventually becoming a team, looking out for one another and united in purpose. Although the action reads like a laundry list for a PG-13 horror movie-the timely discovery of a journal, rats, floors giving way when people step on them, etc.-a soupçon of mystery combines with supernatural overtones to move the plot along rapidly. The familiar story arc and devices comfortably contain the chills, entertaining the target audience without hitting any nerves. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA
High-school senior Derik LaPointe's parents have his future planned for him. They expect him to take over the family business, a diner, which has been in the family for three generations. Derik, however, has other plans-he wants to be a filmmaker. Derik's ticket out of the "grease bucket," as he sees it, is by winning a filmmaking contest sponsored by a reality television show. The winner of the contest gets a summer internship. His idea is to create a film about Danvers State Hospital, an abandoned mental institution long-rumored to be haunted and about to be demolished in a week. Derik recruits five classmates, a motley cast of characters, to participate in his film. With camera in tow, the seniors break into the hospital late one night and their unforgettable escapade begins. This book contains many elements that have the makings of a good, bone-chilling story-an allegedly haunted, abandoned insane asylum and an adventurous, dissimilar group of teens. Rather than being scary, though, this title ends up being a clichTd bonding story, in which the incongruous characters connect because of this purportedly haunting experience. The characters, who tell the story from individual perspectives in alternate chapters, are flat and generic and beg to be more fully developed. The setting of the story is also lacking in development, as the spine-tingling sensation of being in a dark and forbidding environment is nearly void. Readers who expect a frightening story will be disappointed, as only the most fainthearted will find this book even remotely scary. Reviewer: Domina Daughtrey
School Library Journal

Gr 8-10
In this eerie, evocative ghost story, Stolarz sends five teens into that most beloved of horror-genre locations, the haunted house; here, however, it has been updated into a mental hospital, a change that enlivens the tale and contributes to its truly spooky tone. Each teen begins the overnight expedition with his or her own motivation. Derik hopes to make a film that will win a documentary competition, which might mean a ticket out of a life spent toiling in his parents' diner, and he enlists several classmates to participate in it. Class-clown Chet thinks exploring the hospital might be good for a few laughs-plus, it provides an escape from another night spent with his abusive, alcoholic father. Greta and Tony think only of being cast in Derik's film, which they hope will propel them to stardom. Bookish Liza needs to diversify the extracurricular activities on her college applications, and hopes the film project will fit the bill. And Goth-girl Mimi wants to uncover some evidence relating to her grandmother, who was committed to the institution years before. These motivations fade into the background, however, when the group begins to suspect that something-or someone-is trying to communicate with them, and that the hospital won't let them leave until they listen. Although the characters veer close to stereotypes at the outset, Stolarz infuses them with depth and complexity, revealed as each teen narrates in alternating chapters. Page-turning action, genuine scares, and a satisfying conclusion should make this a hit with teens, particularly those who enjoyed the suspense of Stolarz's "Blue Is for Nightmares" series (Flux).
—Meredith RobbinsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786838561
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 12/18/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Project 17 and Bleed, as well as the highly popular young adult novels Blue Is for Nightmares, White Is for Magic, Silver Is for Secrets, and Red Is for Remembrance. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at www.lauriestolarz.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 133 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 22, 2010

    Great Book -- Very Satisfied

    For me, this had a lot of elements that I think make a really good book. Many YA books I get are unfortunately lacking quality writing, but I thought this book was pretty well-written...as in, there were no moments where I cringed and thought 'bad fanfic.' Another thing I liked, though I know some people probably won't, was the fact that it wasn't G-rated. There was swearing, sex jokes, etc., which I actually appreciated. Many YA books concerning teenagers skirt around these things. As a teenager who regularly hangs out with other teenagers, I thought the non-G rating made it a little more believable.

    Some people said the characters were stereotypes...I disagree. I think they *could* have easily been stereotypes (the player, the goth, the brain, the clown), if the book was only in one person's POV. But I thought the multiple POVs provided insight into each of the characters that gave them depth. No, the book is not super-scary or gory, especially for horror-movie fans like myself, but it is suspenseful; once or twice I got so sucked into the tension in the book that little noises around me made me jump.

    Basically, if you're looking for a good, quick read, with good writing, plot, and characters, I recommend this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Project 17: Book Review

    Six typical teenagers spending the night in a Mental Hospital. For one purpose to: film a movie. The secrets that they discover inside the Hospital will bring them into their past and future.

    Derik, a typical high school senior wants more of life than his low-average life of helping his parents with their diner and barely passing high school. He decides to enter into a "real-reality film contest" for a bigger and better picture for his future. He gathers five of the most diverse teenagers in his school and brings them altogether to shoot a taping for the reality film contest during midnight.
    The six teenagers just expect to walk around the hospital's hallway discovering traces of the history of the patients who resided there, but what they discover is more than their eyes can bare.
    A chilling and suspenseful page turner, the characters and the mystery of a seventeen year old girl named Christine Belle who had once lived in the Hospital brings all six teenagers closer to themselves and each other. They will not leave until they discover the past of Christine's life, their own, and what their future beholds.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT BOOK. Project 17 has a great mixture of humor and scarines

    GREAT BOOK. Project 17 has a great mixture of humor and scariness. The characters all have a different personality which works great and gives the book variety. I love how each chapter is a different character cause you get to see what the character is thinking and whats going on from their prospective instead of just one character telling the story. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.

    IF YOURE LOOKING FOR MORE BOOKS BY LAURIE FARIA STOLARZ I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
    THE TOUCH SERIES
    THE BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES SERIES

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Anonymous

    Ok im a twelve year old girl and this book is AMAZING! If you're looking for a scary mysterious book that you can't predict whats gonna happen next, then read this book. I was never able to put it down. I read for three strait hours! But i have to warn you, there is some pretty bad language, thats what i had realized when i was reading it, but it was spectacular book overall !! :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Was Expecting

    I was honestly astonished at the number of four and five star reviews here, raving about how wonderful "Project 17" is. Okay, so the idea of it is great. A haunted asylum that six kids break into to film a movie about their experience...you know the story by now. It could be terrifying. The book has the potential to be extremely scary......but it's not. The setting isn't very well defined, and the "scares" are few and far between and not exactly that scary. And I'm very, very easily scared - I cannot watch horror movies of any sort without being a nervous wreck for the next few nights, or even weeks.

    The characters, like the setting, had the potential to be great. But they were rather two dimensional and not well developed. All the subplots about their relationships don't exactly help the story along.

    Definitely not a book to buy. Borrow? Maybe. But if you want scary, this isn't it. This is a drama with a bit of a mystery.

    (I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could rate with half stars here.)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    The best book ever!

    I loved this book, at first it took me awhile to get into it then I kept reading and fell in love! I love all the scary thrilling parts and the made me want to keep reading and not set the book down!1 I would reccomend it to maybe 13+ or 14+ because of the setting and lauguage, But everything eles was outstanding I would reccomend this book to anyone!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Spooky, but not all it could have been...

    I love a good scary story, so when I read the summary for Project 17 I was, needless to say, intrigued. I was hoping for a funny horror movie in paperback form. When I started reading, I quickly realized that I was going to have to lower my expectations a bit in order to enjoy this story more. One thing about YA fic is that things are often a watered-down version of what they could be. But once I got past that and really got into the book, that’s where the fun began.

    Derik is a high school kid whose future is starting to look a little grim. Not the best student, his options are to work at his family’s diner when he graduates or… actually, that’s it. So when he finds out about a film contest that might give him another way out, Derik leaps at the chance. His idea? To film a low-budget horror flick à la Session 9 at the old, deserted Danvers State Hospital, aka the Danvers Insane Asylum. He and five other kids from his school agree to spend the night at the old asylum and film a few scenes. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that things aren’t exactly going as planned.

    Stolarz gets points for crafting some genuinely spooky scenes. There’s a particular page towards the beginning of the book that involves a talking doll that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand right up. And two thumbs way up for the setting: a creepy abandoned, possibly sentient, probably haunted asylum is always a good go-to horror destination. As for the characters, I was a bit disappointed with their characterization. They fall right into their prescribed stereotypes and although there’s development that tries to make them more three-dimensional, it fell a little flat. The ending, as well, was a bit anticlimactic.

    Quite short at about 250 pages, Project 17 was a quick little read that is a great way to pass the time without getting too emotionally invested in the story. I definitely learned a few common sense things, like 1. Don’t go into an abandoned building in the dead of night and 2. Don’t go into an abandoned building that is also a former insane asylum that might be haunted and 3. Just don’t go into abandoned buildings in general, especially the former asylum ones that might be haunted.
    People who get scared easily might want to read this one with the lights on!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book!

    Now I know everyone says they can't put certian books down, but I sincerely mean it when I say that I couldn't! Now, I will be honest, up until page 50-60, it was a little dry. Introductions you know? But after that, when they finally got into the hospital--I couldn't stop turning the pages. It was the best setting too! I couldn't sleep one night (I read it awhile ago) it was about 2am, so I picked up the book hoping it would get better-and believe me when I say it, it did! I was so into the book I was even googling The Aslyum and lobotomy. I actually learned a lot about them. It even shocked me that the place was real--great plus, made it seem more real! I was reading a nail-biting part when all of a sudden my light bulb blew--funniest thing that happened looking back (even though it was terrifying then). It took me all night to read it, it was about 8am before I actually went to bed. Anyways, back to the book--definitely a good book to buy if you get the chance if you already haven't. And any of her books for that matter. They are all very high on my list! :-)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was amazing!!!!

    This book was absolutely amazing. So great that U could not put it down.It took me only a few hours to read it. I loved how you got a first person perspective from each of the characters. It was a thrilly and always had me on edge. Great setting+great characters+great writing= great book. I recommend this book for anyone up for a spooky and thrilling book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    LUVED IT!!!! AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!!

    omg....that's definitely one of the best books i've ever read. it's suspenseful, really keeps you literally on the edge of your seat, and is a page turner. it's a little creepy, so i recommend that you don't read it before going to sleep. but it has great descriptions. at some points you feel like you're actually there with the characters and you can actually here what they're saying and thinking.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

    Derik needs a way to get out of flipping burgers at his family's diner. He finds a film-making contest for a reality channel, and decides to go for it. It is the eve of Danver State's demolition, a supposedly haunted mental institution. <BR/><BR/>Derik and five of his peers break into the asylum, so Derik can film his documentary. All seems well at first, but then the place starts messing with them. As the teens explore the asylum, they find things, and unravel mysteries of the patients that once lived there. <BR/><BR/>And perhaps some of them are still there - somehow. <BR/><BR/>This book was great. I am fascinated by the paranormal, so that element of the story pulled me in. It was hard to put down. The characters were strong, and they all fit in well with the story. The plot was great. <BR/><BR/>If you are interested in the paranormal, like me, this book is for you, but I would recommend PROJECT 17 to anyone.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    must read book

    this book was one of the best that i have read in a very long time. the way that it was written was just great. from the very beginning i just got hooked. i love to read horror books but the ones that i have read weren't scary enough. i'm not saying that this book was the scariest but it was diffently up there.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    This sounded good. The writing I loved. But then near the end it

    This sounded good. The writing I loved. But then near the end it was a little disappointing. You're expecting something but then its something else. Still, the characters, well each of them, go through something so I guess there's that. The setting was especially good. Reminds me a little bit of Supernatural, well the new cover. Old one is good and creepy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

     

     

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    I think its great but......

    Project 17 was a great book but i dont recommand it for anyone under about eleven maybe. It had a lot of language especially in the beginning and i was tempted to put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Wowowowowowowow!!!!!!!!

    I absolutley love this book! Must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Fve stars

    Expertly done. Suspensful . Excellent. But i would recommend it to oder teens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Hailey

    I'm only 8 should i buy it????????????
    Is it a good book because i'm starting to get the chills here!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Anomus

    RidicuoIousllyawsome a hard hitting drama with a hint of romance.



    ¿¿?{{{}}} O_o

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    FANTASTIC

    I loved this book its one of my top 5's I recommemd it for teenagers and older

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 133 Customer Reviews

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