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Hysteria by Megan MirandaGoodreads:
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
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.
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After reading Megan Miranda's debut title, Fracture, and loving it, I looked forward to seeing how her writing would progress. When the cover for Hysteria was released, I knew I would enjoy this book. No, it's not the best book of all time, but it really is a exellent and eery tale.
Mallory can't remember the night she killed her boyfriend, Brian. She wasn't charged with a crime, since it was ruled self-defense, but her parents still decide to send her off to Monroe, her father's old prep school. She isn't happy with the idea, but is willing to go to get away from Brian's memory, which is haunting her. When a student at Monroe is killed, all eyes are on Mallory and people really start to question her. Was Brian's death really just self-defense?
Hysteria has some obvious plot twists, and the climax fell a bit flat, but what leads up to them is what kept me reading. I found myself captivated by Mallory's story. Even though more often than not, I didn't agree with her actions, it was impossible for me not to be drawn into her world. Mallory can be a difficult character. For me, at least, she's not a character that I immediately fell in love with. She's pretty selfish and immature. As the story progressed, my feelings towards her fluctuated, but my enjoyment of the story, did not.
The characters in this story had a lot of flaws, and not very much kindness. For the most part, the characters are stereotypical. You've got the mean girls, cruel boys who want into everyone's pants, and parents who don't know what the heck they are doing. Colleen and Reid were the only characters that I really liked. Reid's faith and the way he cares about Mallory are the two major reasons I liked him so much. Mallory's best friend, Colleen, and I didn't always get along. For the most part, I believe she is a good friend, but there were times in this book where I wanted to yell at her. That being said, there were also many times in this novel where I felt Mallory needed a good talking-to.
The plot was extremely creepy. We see flashbacks of Mallory's relationship with Brian, how the relationship started and… how it ended. The prose, the unstable main characters and the occurrences within the school pull together to make a truly spooky tale.
We also are introduced to a setting that is perfect for this thrilling story. The boarding school is perfect for this novel. The outside layout of the school, the forest, the ghost stories surrounding the school all made Hysteria that much darker. Miranda did an excellent job at creating a novel that was suspenseful in every nook and cranny.
I'm not sure what it is about Megan Miranda's work, but she knows just how to hook me. If I had to pick one thing that really sticks out, it's her compelling, haunting prose. She has a serious knack for it. I'm not all that into thrillers, but Ms. Miranda dispels my hesitancy and sucks me into her stories.
Miranda's sophomore novel is as compelling and darkly fascinating as her first. Hysteria will provide its audience with a thrill ride that will keep them reading from start to finish. I cannot wait for the author's third book. It will definitely be one that I pick up immediately!
I received an e-copy of this novel for my honest opinion and review from the publisher via Netgalley.