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Thursday, February 7, 2013

[Review] Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Cover Rating: ★★★★★
Title: Hysteria
Author: Megan Miranda
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Walkers Children
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Source: NetGalley

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.

I'm not normally a reader of thrillers, but this one sounded really good! Unfortunately, I should have stuck with gut and passed on it. First, the blurb is a little misleading. We don't know what Mallory doesn't remember everything from the night she killed her boyfriend. We get bits and pieces of the story throughout the book, but it isn't until the end when Mallory mentions that she's remembered something new. Also, her past does indeed follow her to the new school, since someone there does know what she did and why she had to transfer, and they know her from the past. So that blurb isn't totally accurate.

One of my first problems with Hysteria was that the writing felt very repetitive. Almost every chapter or tense scene ends with some variation of "And then I was running" or "I ran away." Mallory was always running from something, all the time. She'd go to class, overhear something on the way to her dorm, pop some sleeping pills, think she sees something and runs away. Lather, rinse, repeat. It got boring fast.

My other problem was why she was sent to a boarding school in the first place. It seems like a strange decision for parents to send their teenager away after she's been through something terrible. Out of sight, out of mind? Definitely. Mallory does not do well at the new school at all, so clearly it was a bad decision.

As for the mystery aspect, I was intrigued. Is Mallory suffering from hysteria, or did someone really follow her to her new school? Or is Brian haunting her and leaving bruises on her shoulder? I was surprised by the answer to these, but once it was revealed I still had questions. I can't say what those questions are without spoiling anything though. Then there's the whole murdered student plot. Of course, Mallory is the number one suspect, but who else could have done it? I didn't figure this one out either, but the big reveal was really lame. I still don't understand what the motive was, and the whole thing felt incomplete. What happened to the murderer(s) at the end?

In the end, this one left me with more questions, instead of resolving everything. I am just really bothered by the lack of reason or motive behind the murder and other crimes committed, which kept me from enjoying this one.

Favorite Quotes

"So," Krista said, speaking carefully again, "Lord of the Flies is really just a metaphor for bad fashion decisions?" A few giggles escaped around the room.
Mr.Durham grinned. "Or maybe it's just one big allegory for high school." (30% eARC)

Go back. A do-over. Like this was all a game. Like what you do doesn't count unless you want it to. (61% eARC)

"You can't know you've forgotten something until you remember it." Then she scrunched up her mouth and said, "That was either really profound or really dumb. I can't decide which." (85% eARC)

Title Quotes

See also: Somatoform disorder. Hysteria.
Reid slept on while the words seared themselves into my brain. Psychological. Hallucinations. Hysteria. (50% eARC)

Long, lanky strides. Hair lit in the moonlight. Brian. Hysteria, I though. In my mind. Hallucinations. (62% eARC)

I couldn't see, even though I could look. And in a brief moment of clarity I thought, Hysteria, even while the rest of me refused to process. (65% eARC)

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