Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, Mystery
Release date: February 5th, 2013
Pages: 336 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
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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.
Everywhere she looks, Mallory is reminded of her dead boyfriend...who she killed. Though she isn't very fond of the idea of going to a boarding school in a different state, her mind changes quickly after one too many encounters with Brian's heartbroken family. At Monroe, she feels like the odd one out, but soon befriends the son of her dad's childhood friend and slowly realizes that she shouldn't punish herself forever. It was all self-defense, right? At least, that's what her lawyer keeps telling her to say...
Expecting a lot of mystery upon opening this book, I can say that I was definitely satisfied. The reader is always kept on their toes, especially throughout the first half of the book. Here is this completely screwed up girl full of self-doubt, and I can't say that I blame her. No matter where she turns, there's someone who will look at her with fear in their eyes. She doesn't want to be judged, but then again, what she did was unforgivable and she knows that. The more she spends time isolated from everyone she loves, the more she realizes that the time we have on this earth is limited.
The uncertainty kept me interested and the fact that the main character was haunted by the memory of her boyfriend was what I enjoyed most. The writing made the reading experience even more spooky. The only complaint I have about Hysteria is that although everything was built up nicely, the climax was a bit of a disappointment. I suppose I wanted something a little more supernatural, or at least something that fit into the story better.
Overall, the story was a perfectly paced and creepy read. The author's style was a little unusual, but in a good way. I'd definitely read more of her work in the future. While Hysteria probably won't be a book for everyone, I can certainly say that I enjoyed it.