From Goodreads: 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 is my first Megan Miranda novel, and it certainly won’t be my last. Miranda has completely captivated me with her writing; the mystery and intrigue surrounding Hysteria pulled me in from the very beginning, making it impossible to put down. I just loved how the novel started, with Mallory’s mother hiding all the knives. That betrayal, as seen by Mallory, is our first glimpse into this novel filled with betrayals… if only Mallory could remember.
Trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle concerning the murders was a lot of fun, especially as Miranda slowly introduces new evidence that whisks both the reader, and Mallory, off in different directions. I thought I’d figured out the mystery time and time again, only to learn new information that changed everything. The fact that Miranda was not only able to keep my attention piqued, but also keep me guessing is a great testament to her writing abilities, as far as I’m concerned. I love a great mystery novel, and Miranda certainly delivers.
Personally, I liked Mallory’s character a lot. Though beaten down, belittled, and alone, she never gives up hope of remembering and beating her demons, especially once a fellow classmate ends up dead. Mallory’s determination to set things right make her a real, strong, lovable character, though some of the events seems a little beyond possible to me. Yet, Miranda does a great job solidifying her story and mixing the elements of the real and surreal together, making the reader wonder just how much is happening to Mallory, and how much might just be in her head. Overall, this is a great young adult novel that I highly recommend to all. Four stars.
I recieved an ARC of this novel from the publisher during NCTE 2012. Hysteria releases February 5, 2013.