by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: February 5, 2013
Genre : YA Thriller
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others. In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.This was my first time reading Megan Miranda’s works and I must say I enjoyed Hysteria. While not flawless, it did offer up a fascinating suspense thriller that kept me entertained. She brings us up close and personal into the mental struggle Mallory faces after she murders her boyfriend. With twists and turns at every corner Miranda kept me on edge.
The tale begins in the aftermath of the murder and the investigation that followed. Mallory killed her boyfriend in self-defense on a fateful evening and the ramifications are wide-spread. Her parents have decided to send her away to Monroe a private boarding school that her father once attended. Mallory is a mess, she is having nightmares, thinks she is being haunted by Brian the boy she killed and to make matters worse she thinks her own parents are afraid of her. She thinks that once she reaches the school that the nightmares and shadows will stop but boy is she wrong. To make matters worse something sinister is going on and Mallory’s dreams are actually causing her physical pain. The tale that unfolds was at times crazy with its twists and turns and I found myself delightfully entertained.
I am not sure I actually like Mallory, but I felt for her as she tried to piece together events from that fateful evening. I thought she was strong when dealing with all the emotional baggage that came with it. She suffers from guilt, a fear that she is evil and she is definitely unstable. I really liked her BFF, Coleen and loved their banter. Reid is interesting and his connection to Mallory was interesting. As much as I liked the way he supported Mallory, we never really got to know him. The romance was complicated, mostly because of Mallory’s issues and it didn’t really add or deter from the tale. The bad girl click was a little cliché, as one girl dominates and abuses the weaker girls. Jason is the big man on campus and struts around like he is all that but he made me cringe. While the parents were present and it’s obvious they care about Mallory they are dolts. Why isn’t Mallory in counseling? Why does her Mom care more about appearances? GRRR!
There is a lot going on in Hysteria and it certainly kept my attention. I read this in a little under three hours. While parts were predictable I liked the complications and additional murder. At times I really questioned whether some of this was all in Mallory’s head and couldn’t help but wonder if as I turned the page I would discover she was in a rubber room somewhere and this was all a dream. How much can one girl handle? I liked the sensation of not really knowing for sure, and the thread regarding the second murder was fascinating. We see growth in Mallory but I was disappointed that the other characters weren't as fleshed out. Miranda ties all the threads together at the end but, I am just not sure I believed all of them.
Hysteria certainly entertained me and kept me on edge as I sought to unravel the events that occurred the night Mallory murdered her boyfriend and figure out what was happening in the aftermath. Overall this was a solid read but I have a feeling reviews will be mixed on this one. I still have Fractured on my wish list and intend to read it soon.
I want to thank Bloomsbury for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Three and a half mystery flavored cups of coffee out of five
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