Hawthorne High

Narrated by: Rachel Leblang
Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dylan Hatfield is the outcast in her new town. It isn’t just that her “crazy” grandmother scares people away, but the real problem lies with her best friends: They’re imaginary. Dylan’s bullied by her classmates to the point of physical abuse, and there’s no point in reporting it anymore. 

She knows it’s crazy to still believe in imaginary friends when she’s about to graduate from high school, but they’re her only solace. 

Then, they ask Dylan to help them possess the bullies. That’s crazy, right? It will never work.

When it does, horrible things start to happen around town. Dylan’s childhood friends might not be imaginary. They might be evil. Dylan must uncover the town’s past before there’s nothing left...and she loses her family and the boy she has always loved.

©2019 Jordan Hallak (P)2020 Jordan Hallak

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I tried.

I was given a free copy, for an honest review.
I just couldn't finish this. Struggled to get to chapter 9.
The main character is just completely annoying. Not only is she unbelievably mousy, but she denies reality in a way no sane person could.
Her boyfriend is 2 dimensional & very forced.
The voice actor only accentuates the character flaws. Everyone sounds like Violet from the Incredibles.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ok

BOOK REVIEW......
The story idea was interesting. It could've been better with a better narrator and less characters to follow.

NARRATOR REVIEW......
The narrator was not very good at different voices it made it hard to follow who was talking

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Annoying Voices ... Okay Story

This just didn't do it for me. I received the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was able to snag the Kindle copy too, as it was on Kindle Unlimited. I was very glad for that because ... I could NOT deal with this narrator. The voices of everyone (except Dylan and maybe Amelia) were so annoying and terrible. So I ended up reading the rest of the book. Probably would have been a DNF except I felt obligated to finish.

Beyond the audiobook narration ... the premise was fine (reminiscent of a favorite movie Heart and Souls), and it started off okay. I was quite frustrated with Dylan. Has she never even thought of ghosts vs imaginary friends? It was never addressed or questioned really, but Amelia and Mary never aged, right? They were always older, even when Dylan was young. Wouldn't imaginary friends have been the same age, and then "grown up" too, if they stuck with her that long?

I was fine with the name Dylan. I know I shouldn't pinpoint silly little "unbelievable" things amidst ghosts and such, but the third grade teacher saying "You can't be Dylan, that's a boy's name" ... really? Yes, Ashley gets teased for HIS name (why did his parents, or this author, name him Ashley) and then there is Amore. Maybe the teacher should have also said "Amore is a word, in a different language, it can't be your name). Not a fan of the names (that teacher's name BTW was Mrs. Overdorff) ... and GrossMutter. So yes, if they are German that is a correct term ... but in today's day and age, and here in the U.S... "gross" and "mutter" have connotations. Being German played no part in the story, and Grandmother could have been called "Oma" ... it was just distracting. As was she ... especially with the voiced narration!

Because I was reading for most of this, rather than listening to the audio ... I caught some errors/typos. "psychitzo" ...was that a made up word, cross between psycho and schizo? There was a hat "biox" (box). Just some odd word usage ... like "thrice" (and this was not by Mary, I fully accepted some of her odd vocabulary), or "keeping the noise at a low" ... a low roar? Keeping the noise down? "Dylan shook off the ponder" ...

The story just didn't really flow. It would pop back in time to memories from the past and I'd have to really watch/listen to catch the "back in 3rd grade ..." and the resulting scene shift, then back to the present. Some spoilers below ... A big deal made of mom not letting Dylan look through the old photographs ... not really much to that part. As Mary asks Dylan to "let her possess" someone, WHY does she need Dylan's permission? What part does that play? That was actually pretty huge. It seems like what Dylan had to do might have been mentioned/thought about/discussed before she actually did it. But no - just straight into mouth to mouth.

There were things that just weren't really explained why they were there ... yes, Amore and friends finding Dylan's disguised Facebook page shows the bullying. HOW did they happen upon that though? What part did the mysterious penpal play? Dylan just happens upon a Wicca shop that has connections to exactly what she's looking for? It wasn't really an insane asylum ... but Mary sure seems insane!

So - promising idea, but it didn't deliver.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So-So Paranormal YA Story

Dylan Hatfield has imaginary friends, or so she thinks. When they ask her to help them posses some classmates, things start going sideways and Dylan starts to realize that there may be more going on than her active imagination.

First things first. I was given a promotional code in exchange for my honest review. So here it is.

This is not a bad premise for a YA book and Dylan's struggles with her classmates are certainly relate-able for anyone who dreaded going to school for fear of bullies. I honestly felt for Dylan but there were times where I had to question the adults in Dylan's world because none of them seemed capable of making logical conclusions in regards to Dylan's plight.

And then Dylan makes some bad choices that lead to the central conflict. But the story seems to end suddenly. We reach the climax but there's no satisfying denouement. There are so many questions I had and none of them get answered. Surely, after the events of the story, there would be consequences for everyone. And yet, that was left out and I was left wanting more. Not more story, but more resolution. Plus, I really wanted to see Dylan grow a backbone.

Rachel Leblang's narration is acceptable but not outstanding and the voices all sort of blend together into a whiny buzz. Leblang brings out Dylan's introversion in a way that is more annoying than endearing. It's hard to root for someone who consistently fails to stick up for herself, which is what Leblang's narration suggests.

Younger audiences may find this more interesting than I did and I don't regret having listened.