Sunday, March 30, 2008

Project 17

by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Derik LaPointe wants to be a movie producer—not the owner of the family diner like his parents expect him to be. So when he hears about the internship/movie contest on Reality TV Network, he knows he has to take his chance and try to win the thing. But where to shoot the movie? What would be dramatic, interesting, attention-catching? How about Danvers State Hospital, the abandoned mental institution? Derik decides that this is the perfect setting, and since it’s about to be bulldozed next week, he needs to move fast. The cast is a hodgepodge of students: Liza, who does it for her college application; Tony and Greta, who do it for their acting careers; Chet, who does it for fun; and Mimi, who does it because she needs to find out something. The six teens couldn’t be more different from each other, but nothing about their everyday social circles matter once they’re inside Danvers State. The place is forlorn and rotting—an eerie memorial of all the terrible things that once went on inside it. Derik is determined to get his movie filmed and then quickly get out of there, but things don’t turn out that easy. It seems almost like there’s someone or something in the building with them, but that could just be their jumpy nerves. As the companions progress through the building and things become more and more bizarre, they subtly become closer and more trusting of each other. But will this be enough? Does the ghostly voice Mimi hears mean them harm? And what will they do if it does?

Yes, this book is a supernatural thriller, and yes, the very idea of exploring an old mental institution is oddly disturbing. But Ms. Stolarz kept the story haunting and interesting, not full of gore or distasteful things like that. The characters had a lot of personality and you actually cared about them—plus it was interesting to see how each one of them changed, since the chapters alternated between their different points of view. There was a lot of unnecessary cursing, but other than that I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with some spine-tingles included.


  1. Ooo! I want to read this now that I've read your review. ^^ Sounds fun!

  2. wow this sounds good! i hadn't heard anything about it until now! great review!


Hey, thanks for stopping by! We'd love to hear from you, whatever your opinion, so please write any comments below.