This is the book that I wanted to write! Well I wrote a very bad version of this book in 2010 for nanowrimo and now it is lost somewhere because it is one of those things you don't want to find accidentally and be reminded that you are a seriously bad writer! 53,000+ words of bad writing about a curse at Dixmont and a cover-up in town and teenage angst. But it had a beginning, middle and end and that was the first and only time I won nano!
My abandoned mental asylum story was about the former Dixmont State Hospital, near Sewickley, PA, where as Project 17 takes place at the former Danvers State Hospital, near Boston. The two places were very, very similar, both designed according to the Kirkbride Plan, both originally lovely places when they were privately held, and then once the state got involved they turned into places of ruin, torture, over-crowding and abuse, according to people who worked and lived there. Both were closed around the same time when it was no longer the trend to treat mentally ill people in such hospitals, both left to rot, with a lot of the stuff left inside, both hangouts for kids and ghost hunters and movie-makers and both torn down.
As I've mentioned here before, I got to visit Dixmont before it was torn down, I knew someone who knew someone and she called someone and my dad and I were able to bypass security and tour the building and the grounds on a Sunday morning before it was torn down to put up a Walmart. The Walmart never made it, as while they were preparing the land, a huge landslide happened and Rt. 65 northbound was closed for a million years! I drive by there a few times a week on my way to Sewickley and there's always something going on up there, but I don't know what. I just know there won't be a haunted Walmart going in.
Project 17 is a multiple POV story and all of the characters are likable in their own way. The main dude is Derik "LaPlaya" LaPointe, who doesn't care much for school, but loves the ladies. He is heir apparent to his folks' diner but doesn't really want to be. Nor does he want to let his parents down by telling them what he really wants to do is go to film school. A reality tv network is holding a film contest and the winner gets an internship to a big deal film thingiemabob. Derik wants to film his movie in Danvers and win the internship.
He needs to find folks for his movie and he has an interesting bunch. What they run into at the hospital is, as the teasers say, "MORE THAN THEY EVER EXPECTED! DUN DUN DUN!"
So if you have a thing for abandoned mental hosptials and you like a little creepiness, this is a fast, quick, creepy read.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.