AUTHOR Megan Miranda
PUBLICATION February 5th 2013 by Walker Childrens
READ January 17 to 20, 2013
SOURCE From Netgalley for review
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.Hysteria was a novel that caught my eye the moment I saw the cover reveal. I loved the font treatment, the popping use of the color red and the eerie feel that it conveys so well. Once I started reading the novel I was quick to realize that the eerie feel was going to be a running theme between the cover and the text which was so great. But as the story wore on my failure to connect with the characters on a deep level kept it from reaching amazing status and left it as simply an enjoyable read.
The short, fragmented thoughts Miranda uses to convey emotions is definitely effective. It’s not flowery, it’s simple and to the point which is something that I always find myself appreciating. While the clipped style can be a bit disjointing at first, I always find myself sucked in and a fan of the style once I get going. It’s a bit reminiscent of how I felt from Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz, or Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann. There’s a lot of mystery to this novel and we are spoon fed little details slowly, very slowly. We know that Mallory has killed her boyfriend Brian in her house and that it was deemed self defense in her own home but we don’t know exactly what led up to the murder. The way we got little glimpses of what happened that day and the days before was awesome! I really liked when I saw we were getting a flashback and I think Miranda used them very well in this case.
As for the characters, I really wish that I had connected with them a bit more. I was definitely intrigued by Mallory. Her psychosis is up for question here and it had me second guessing everything that happened around her wondering if it was simply her hysteria manifesting itself. But I failed to really feel for her. I felt like we didn’t get to know enough about her outside of what she was experiencing after the murder. I would have liked to have gotten a better glimpse at how the event had changed her so that I could feel how jarring it was for her personality. The one thing we do get to know about her from before the event doesn’t exactly make her out to be a good person, but I would have liked more of that, good decisions or bad. I have to say that my favorite character was her best friend, Colleen. She was incredibly supportive and understanding of what Mallory goes through.
The mystery is what really sucks you into Hysteria. Not only do we slowly unveil what happened to lead Mallory to where her life is today but we also travel with her to a boarding school where the students all seem to have their own agenda and Mallory learns that she can’t ever really escape her past. This was definitely a book that I had a lot of fun reading & that I thought about a lot when I put it down but I would have liked a little more substance to the characters. If you’re looking for a good mystery to pass your time, this could be the one for you!