The Haunted (The Haunted Series #1)

The Haunted (The Haunted Series #1)

by Danielle Vega


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451481467
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Series: Danielle Vega's The Haunted Series , #1
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 37,598
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.

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The Haunted 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
BookPrincessReviews 15 hours ago
Well, um, I wanted a ghostie book. And I did get a ghostie book. It just wasn't the ghostie book that I wanted. It's not the ghostie book we all deserved. It was just, um, yeah. It wasn't a good one. I think the biggest issue with this book was the fact that it pointed out multiple times that people were cliches. You are now sitting there going, "Um, what's the problem, Mandy? Sounds like this book is self-aware. Isn't that a jam to be had?" And the answer is YES. It is. Except, well, it decided to do nothing with the self-awareness. Everyone literally fit into little pigeonholes with no depth or anything to move on the fact that they were, indeed, a cliche. For example: the brooding ~misunderstood~ bad boy from the wrong side of the small town that only peeks out of his ~misunderstood~ black outfit for the new girl. He has a tragic story, snarky and moody personality, and he, of course, has all the answers. Everything about him SCREAMS cliche. Then add in the literal golden boy; the cool artsy friend that sticks out from the "mean" group; the classic frenemy popular girl; and Hendricks who tried really really hard to be something else besides a Mary Sue but failed - and that's our main cast. I just kept hoping that we would subvert the tropes and cliches, since the author was fully aware that they were there, but we did NOT. I knew instantly how each character was going to react/act/etc. because they were the cliches to the tee. As I mentioned in the above character, I feel like the author did try to make Hendricks more than a Mary Sue, but things really did bog it down. Hendricks has a secret that she is keeping from everyone else, and it's the main reason why her family moved to this small town in the middle of the year and so quickly. She has an ex boyfriend that abused her, and as the story progresses, we find out more about her struggle to find out who she is. When she was dating her ex, she really was only defined her boyfriend, and I really wanted to see who she would become now that she could be herself. However, the book's answer was to completely forget about this plotline and focus only on a) the ghosts and b) her love interests/new friend struggles. I was waiting to see who Hendricks would become, but honestly, I can't tell you any distinct characteristics about her or what she likes. Vega did some great things with it, and she did show what the aftermath of abuse does to you, but the follow through never came through. The plot was very intriguing at first. I was super pulled in with the first few chapters. It was chilling, and as I said, I was intrigued by Hendricks. I thought we had a lot of promise with the creepy ghost, the spooky atmosphere, and the promise of Hendricks's personal growth story. And it worked for a few chapters, but then it struggled. The struggle in plot came from the fact that it would be either really slow going or taking leaps that were super large. At some points, it felt too much like a contemporary, and then other parts, we jumped a lot in logic. Characters would be nothing at first, and then all of a sudden they were friends/in love? We had the ghost situation figured out, and then oh, OOPs no we don't and BIG things are happening? All within a chapter or so. Speaking of romances, I also felt no investments in any of them. In the beginning of the story, Hendricks continuously turns down the first love interest because she wants to find out who she is first before jumping into a new r
Cait63 1 days ago
A Spooky Read! The Haunted by Danielle Vega centers around Hendricks, who along with her mom, dad and baby brother have just moved to the small town of Drearford into Steele House looking for a clean slate. Hendricks soon learns that her new home is the place where several deaths have happened, and that those dead are perhaps still hanging around... I enjoyed reading this book, especially the first half. It really reminds me of the ghost shows I enjoy watching on TV and gives off the same creepy vibe and build-up of dread. The mystery of what actually happened at Steele House was fun to unravel along with the characters, however, I felt the ending was a bit lacking and that the book overall could have used some more depth and layers to its storyline and characters. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review.
JenacideByBibliophile 11 days ago
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Razorbill – Penguin Random House, via Goodreads Giveaway for an honest review. Opinion: Grab your salt and sage, kids. There’s a haunting in our midst. After a traumatic experience involving her ex-boyfriend, Hendricks and her family have just moved from Philadelphia to a small-town in New York, in the hopes of starting fresh. But with a new school and new friends comes questions about her past, and Hendricks isn’t quite ready to share what happened in Philly. As she tries to fit into the small-town atmosphere, Hendricks learns the history of the house her parents purchased to fix-up and flip. Steel House is haunted, a little girl was murdered there a few years ago, and rumors say that it was the brother that did it. But when Hendricks starts to hear male voices in the house and things start moving on their own, she wonders if the rumors are true. That Steel house is haunted, and that it wants revenge. You’ll know Danielle Vega from her hugely popular series called The Merciless. If you don’t…well. What are you even doing? If you have read the series (or even if you haven’t, I guess), you know that she LOVES to freak her readers the f*** out with demented scenes brought to life by truly evil, yet charismatic, characters. So naturally when I saw THIS little gem, I knew I had to have it! I, like the next darkness seducer and lover of loners and creepers, have an affinity for spiking my anxiety levels to ghastly rates so I can never feel safe again. But can I say The Haunted was on the same level of creepiness and horror The Merciless is on? Did it make my skin crawl? Make my stomach twist into knots? Did I feel as if I could never close my eyes again for fear that I’d be transported into Steel House and forever haunted by sadistic ghosts and a cat that goes “mew” “Mew” “MEW”?!?!!? No. But it was good. If there’s one way to get me hooked into a book, it’s to introduce a protagonist with a trauma that is kept hidden until halfway into the book. What happened with her ex-boyfriend? Did he dump her? Did he “Carrie-fy” her with a bucket of blood at prom?! Did he ASSAULT her?! Well, I’m obviously not giving those precious little details up. But that is definitely what spiked my curiosity and got me hooked. The book as a whole, however, is a little lacking. Don’t get me wrong! It was enjoyable, an easy/quick read and definitely had the spooky vibes I was looking for. But there’s nothing that really sets it apart from EVERY OTHER haunted house tale. It felt a bit rushed, especially near the end, and I wish the author would have made the book longer so the suspense and horror could REALLY build up! Though the ending was rushed, I am left feeling pleasantly annoyed with the author. Danielle Vega really likes to build me up and then set my heart on fire. At first, I thought “oh, just a little gasoline on my aching heart. No problem, it’ll be doused later.” But then I got to the end where, instead of putting out the fire on my heart, SHE ADDED MORE GASOLINE. To see my full review, go to my website:
CrossroadReviews 11 days ago
In this gripping story about a girl recovering from an abusive boyfriend finds herself living in a haunted house. Man I knew that Vega wouldn't let me down with this one. It was so good!! I love how she can take 250 pages and turn it into such a vast story with so much emotion. The only thing I did feel was left out was Hendrick's ex boyfriend. We learn a lot about how he was so obsessed with her and he only lives about 4 hours away. So why didn't he show up? I think that would have added just one more aspect part of this story. Without it that the story felt a little less important at least on the side that Hendricks was always afraid that he was going to show up. The rest of the story was so amazing!! We get this awesome cast of characters that are spunky and nice and then the lone boy that has a bad past. I loved everyone but this does have a bit of insta-love. I'm not sure how long Hendricks really speaks to Eddie in this one as we don't get a lot of time line related things. But by the end he is professing his love for her and it just feels like its been about a month or so. And they didn't really spend all that much time together. I do think that if the story would have been just a little longer so they could have spent more than a hot second together that this would have made more sense. So for me the romance in this one was a little over the top but what are you going to do? The twist in this one was out of this world. Like REALLY!! It deals with ghosts and a little girl who had been killed a few years prior and how her killer was found, released, and then he killed himself. I really enjoyed how this one started. It really got the story moving in a very suspenseful way. And by the end when its revealed where and who the ghosts are I was just like wait WHAT!! Because I really didn't connect something that had happened earlier in the story with the ghosts. So that was so awesome! Thinking about this now there was one other thing that wasn't tied up by the end of this story. I won't put it here as I don't want to spoil anything but the real killer who was still around. The story never said what happened to them. Were they prosecuted? Did they get off Scott free? I would really like to know. All in all this was one spooky story with ghosts, young love, recovery, and friendship. Go Into This One Knowing: ghosts, young love (insta-love), recovery, friendship, PTSD, Abusive Relationship mentioned (happened in past)
Cristine Paquette 12 days ago
Your typical scary movie-esque story about how something big happens in a family's life to make them move into a beat up old house in a small town, that may or may not be haunted. Hendrick's family moves into the infamous Steele House that has been rumored to be the spot of multiple murders through the years and is the cliche haunted house of Drearford, NY. Think teens PG-rated version of The Haunting of Hill House. I went into this book expecting it to be a spooky teen ghost story and that's exactly what it was. I would definitely recommend this book for grades 8-10 and not a year older. It was a cute high school version of supernatural and I kept hoping they would call in the Winchester brothers to fight their ghosts, but I suppose Hendricks and Eddie did just fine.
Savingsinseconds 12 days ago
I won a copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions shared are mine. I adore scary stories -- the more ghostly the better -- so I went into The Haunted with high hopes! Right off the bat, it reminded me of the first season of American Horror Story (the haunted house season). It's definitely a teen-driven story; young adult seems to be a bit of a stretch for a target audience. Despite the comparison to Stephen King, it was mildly suspenseful at best. The high school students in The Haunted experienced a lot of adult situations despite their young age. I found myself tremendously disappointed in the adult characters. If you're looking for an out-of-the-box thriller or horror, I don't think this is it. It's perfect for those who like a bit of the paranormal in an overall romance.
Kamisha 13 days ago
I really enjoyed this YA ghost story! It was simultaneously fun and hard hitting. Danielle Vega conveyed horror in many different ways throughout the story, both realistic horror and supernatural horror and I think that added a great element to Hendricks’s story. In The Haunted, Hendricks and her family are moving to small town Drearfield, for a “clean slate,” as her mother puts it. Hendricks is dealing with some pretty hard and dark stuff leftover from her life in Philadelphia, and unbeknownst to her the old house her parents are moving their family into is about to bring some even darker occurrences her way. This was such a good, classic ghost story but with some really important issues contained in it as well. Early on we learn that Hendricks was in a manipulative and abusive relationship prior to moving to Drearfield that still haunts her everyday. She suffers from panic and anxiety and Vega portrays this so well throughout the story. She tells Hendricks story of her relationship and how it impacted her horribly, but still occasionally makes her feel nostalgic for the beginning, without ever making Hendricks come off as a young, naive teenager or victim blaming. It just read like a very accurate portrayal of a young, manipulative relationship to me and I could really appreciate that. The haunting of Steele House itself was also quite spooky at times and a lot of fun for a horror fan like myself to read! (Say nope to all cat sounds, always!) The parts of the plot that were revolving around the ghost story were cinematic and just good, quick scares. Overall I really enjoyed The Haunted, it as a fun, teenage ghost story but also incorporated some heavier plot points that I really enjoyed as well. I never feel like there is enough YA horror out there and this is a great addition to the genre!
n_halliwell 13 days ago
On Nov. 16, 2018, I wrote a review for Bookish First on a First Impression (except about 100 pages) of The Haunted by Danielle Vega. After reading the excerpt I rated it 5 stars and wrote: Hendricks is a high school junior who was from Philadelphia. Something went horribly wrong there and her family moved to a small town north of NYC. What that something is, the reader doesn't know yet. Piece by piece it is being revealed. Her parents bought an old house to fix up in this idyllic little town. If they had spent a little time googling their new address, they would have found their house has a name, Steele House, and a very nasty reputation. As Hendricks tries to settle into her new school, her "new" house, and make new friends. She is haunted by whatever happened in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, that is not the only thing haunting her. Now having finished the book, I must downgrade the rating. Hendricks' mystery of what happened in her previous school is somewhat underwhelming. Many of the secondary characters are tropes. The popular beautiful girl who rules the social pyramid of the high school. The outcast boy who dresses all in black skips more school than he attends, and is antisocial. Hendricks' parents barely make an impression in the book. The book is fun (for a horror/haunted house fan) until the last fifth of the book. Then the story starts to unravel. I do not want to reveal any spoilers but the end was very predictable. This is the first of Ms. Vega's work I have read. I do hope to read another in the future. I won a copy of The Haunting in a raffle at This is an honest review
Anonymous 13 days ago
A good, spooky read! I don't normally read or watch horror, but I couldn't resist this one, and I'm glad I didn't. A family moves into a creepy house in a small town looking for a clean slate. Hendricks (the main character) not only has to adjust to a new school and new friends but also to a house that may be haunted. (Spoiler alert, it is.) The horror elements were a bit cliche, and you could see some stuff coming from a MILE away. However, it was still enjoyable. The characters were...also kind of cliche. But they were aware they were cliche. And honestly, I still liked them. I really enjoyed Hendricks' internal narration, and the writing is beautiful. The ending could have been handled a bit better, but overall, good, fun read. (But NOT one to be read at night alone!)
HugsandKissesforBooks 13 days ago
Perfectly spooky! Thanks to Bookish First for choosing me as a winner of The Haunted by Danielle Vega! Hendricks and her family moved to a small town and into a house with history after some undisclosed problems in Philadelphia. The house they moved into is known as the Steele House. This is where a girl was murdered years ago. Hendricks begins to have hallucinations that terrify her. She also discovers tragic things about her neighbor’s past and deals with PTSD ex-boyfriend issues. On the upside, Hendricks makes friends and begins to enjoy her new home but not necessarily the house. Her friends are fun and make her laugh and enjoy life again. But when she’s home, strange and terrifying things happen. A perfectly spooky young adult horror book that gave me chills! The mystery surrounding the house and also Hendricks’ past kept the story interesting and suspenseful, 5 stars for this creepy tale!
Lisa_Loves_Literature 13 days ago
Another book that reminded me so much of a horror movie. And the ending was perfect! Fit in again with today's horror movie endings, in that it wasn't quite what you'd expected, even with solving the haunting the way they did. There were the moments that were so scary and horrifying. People really getting hurt or attacked. This is my first book by Danielle Vega, although I've wanted to read her books before. Now she'll be higher on my list to check out. I started adding her other series in my school library, and I'll be sure to finish adding all of the books in the series, as well as this one, for those students looking for a good horror story.
JMBS1212 13 days ago
I loved this book, it was a quick read (QUICK READ) but it was creepy and fun! I was lying in bed late at night, reading this and I heard a noise in the kitchen and my dog cocked her ear and started slowly growling and I legit scared myself silly! The suspense build up was amazing! The book was written for the “younger crowd” but being in the over 40+ club I still enjoyed it. I really had me at the edge of my seat trying to figure out why this house was being haunted. There are some “shocking” scenes and the book is campy but I really enjoyed it! Way more than I thought I would. I have not read anything by this author before but I truly will check out her other works! The cover way eye catching as well!
bookscoffeeandrepeat 13 days ago
THIS EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS I am confused. I'm feeling both heartbroken and creeped out at the same time. What a weird combination. And look - this new YA installment is actually my favorite release from this author. Granted, I've only read the first book in the Merciless. But I felt that there's something about The Haunted that reminded me of the horror media that I actually consumed so this book kind of has a special place in my heart. I can't believe it. This book was as campy as R.L. Stine's Fear Street books but The Haunted had also been as violent and gory as American Horror Story: Murder House (a little bit). Sounds interesting? Then keep on reading! The story starts with a cheesy but boring prologue. I know, I didn't even expect to like this book. It wasn't riveting, scary, nor surprising. The scene was used as a shock factor like in the first few minutes of every episode of American Horror Story. Needless to say, I wasn't completely "sucked in" the story. Additionally, writing can be awkward. I remembered reading a scene where the main character felt that she was "flying," however she was actually "sinking." Sometimes though, the writing can be pretty on point. The details of the mc's paranormal experiences and the transitions (page by page or chapter by chapter) just flowed. It was like watching the story unfold in front of me. Writing wasn't choppy and it had been easy to imagine what the author wanted to show. Our main character harboring a secret (seems very Fear Street to me). She was kind of paranoid and hoping no one will learn anything about it. I admit that I could care less about the character. Fortunately, this book's plot driven so it didn't really matter. It did not affect my reading experience in a negative way. In fact, I was more curious how the author was going to end her story. Also, there had been some missed opportunities for other characters to be more involved in the story. I just felt that some characters needed more spotlight. Trigger warnings: blood, self-harm, abuse just to name a few. All in all, I liked the story and the romance (which was what I've been wanting since the beginning) except how it was all wrapped up. I just felt that it could've been handled differently. I understand that the author wanted to write this story but I badly wanted this novel to be more than this... I was just expecting something else entirely.
YourDreamComeTrue 13 days ago
I'll admit, this had me hooked from the first page. When someone tells you that Danielle Vega is the young adult genre's answer to Stephen King, you have to wonder, because that is a high threshold. However, I hate that I doubted it because Vega's writing and style certainly blew me away with her debut Haunted. This is a book to read in the daylight or a one to read to scare you just enough that you'll sleep with an extra light on and your bedroom door closed. Don't be alarmed, this has just enough spooky-ness to it that it will get your nerves going and make you wonder about the noises in the dark at night, but it is a thrilling tale through and through. This is definitely for fans of Stephen King and Grady Hendrix, even if you don't regularly read YA.
xokristim 13 days ago
For some reason going into this book I felt like I had already read something by this author. I didn’t, but I do own books by her so that’s some thing ha ha. I think this is a great place to start with this author for me because I’m really into reading books about haunted houses or people etc. Oddly enough at the time I was also reading another book about a haunted house that was an adult read, but I think that made me love this book even more. I feel like there was just enough explanation behind the story of the house and description of the house without being overly wordy. I found myself a bit jumpy at some parts because I felt like I was actually in the house with the characters, which always makes for a good story. I definitely found myself fully immersed while reading and had an amazing experience. Overall I feel like this was a very good book to read especially if you are not a huge fan of four. Well it gives you parts that are a bit jumpy I didn’t feel there was anything overly scary about the whole vibe of the book. I can’t wait to pick up more books by this author.
Jerricka 13 days ago
I was looking for a change of pace and this was perfect timing! I have never read a book by this author and I officially found it to be creepy. Although I did guess the identity of the ghosts long before the main character, Hendricks, I was pleased with the reveal. The story came together so well in the end. I do wish the group of friends she becomes involved with weren't as judgemental. I found it unnecessary. At the same time I enjoyed each of the characters and their sarcasm. I like the cover even though I have been eyeing Danielle Vega's other books for their simplistic covers. I am hoping this cover has a cool effect in it's published form, more like 3D. Overall, I give this book 4 and 1/2 stars.