After stabbing and killing her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Mallory, who has no memory of the event, is sent away to a boarding school to escape the gossip and threats, but someone or something is following her.
As you read, readers are in the same state of mind that Mallory it - you don't know anything. She has to put together the pieces throughout the book and you get to do so alongside her.
Hysteria wasn't quite as scary as I was expecting, which was a great thing for me as I am a wimp. The last section of the book was one though that I had to wait until morning and the light to finish because I was afraid of how things would play out.
I really enjoyed the characters in Hysteria. Mallory is a great main character, and I wish I had a friend like Colleen. Also, Reid? TOTAL HUNK. All the scenes with him made the book 10x better. I loved the relationship that developed between him and Mallory - it was sort of a slow build throughout the book.
This was my first Megan Miranda book and will certainly not be my last. Megan Miranda delivers a fast paced ride that doesn't let up for a moment. While a few parts weren't as clear as I would have liked, the story and the characters just really are fantastic. (
Where do I even begin? This was one of those "Who cares if I have to get up in the morning? I'm going to keep reading!" books. It's dark, haunting, suspenseful, and poignant, and I found it absolutely compelling.
I'll start with Mallory. Poor girl had suffered a traumatic event and instead of getting her some counseling, her parents shipped her off to boarding school with a prescription for sleeping pills and the admonition to be good. Mallory *was* good, or she was trying to be, but she was slowly losing her mind to hallucinations and secret memories and the terror that gripped her tighter and tighter as the story progressed. I found Mallory to be sympathetic. I easily identified with her relationships with others. And her terror became my terror until I was nearly skimming the paragraphs because I just had to know that it ended okay for her.
I really loved the setting, too. The author is skilled at bringing details to life. I could smell the ocean and feel the breeze in the scenes in Mallory's home town. And the dark, foreboding, secretive atmosphere of the boarding school became a setting in its own right.
The pacing was superb. The tension tightened as the plot progressed, and the author fed us bits and pieces of Mallory's past even as we hurtled into a future where she seemed destined to go crazy, either from a ghost haunting her or from the dangerous girl in her dorm or from the fracturing of her own mind. There were moments of heartwarming friendship, terrible fear, and poignant insight into what makes us human and what matters. The story itself is both lovely and scary, a combination that definitely works for me.
What Left Me Wanting More:
There were a few times early on in the story when the author gave us flashbacks without using italics (structuring it as Mallory just remembering something offhand) and I found myself sometimes a bit confused over *when* that memory happened. I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs to make sure I understood the context. But after that, every detail, past or present, was smooth.
A dark, terrifying tale full of heartache and suspense, HYSTERIA is a must-read for fans of thrillers, mystery, or simply a well-written story that will keep you up long past your bedtime.
The main character kept on digging her grave throughout the whole book. Her parents ship her of to this boarding school which sounds fantastic if you ask me. By fantastic I mean, if I was a sane person not accused of stabbing my boyfriend. She should ship her ass to a looney bin till she sorted out her problems. Not send her into a place where she can get it on with everyone, since this wasn’t an all-girls boarding school.
There were too many YA stereotypes in this book I couldn’t ignore. First of there was a bunch of mean girl and the main mean girl, Krista was of course blond and somewhat slutty looking. Then there was a guy she knew before and a new cocky/obnoxious ladies-man. Acting like a bunch of brats, not just the ‘bad’ characters. I could deal with all of this is any of them had any real personality. But there wasn’t anything new about them. They were just like every other typical annoying kid.
If I had to imagine what "going crazy" was like, I think this book would accurately depict it. Mallory was certainly on the edge of something.
There isn't a whole lot to mention, really other than the concept behind the book. It was different. I don't recall reading (or even knowing about) a book about a character that is on the edge of losing his/her mind from a traumatic event. So of course, that made Hysteria a one of a kind read for me. It was "fresh"-- if something so dark can be described as fresh.
Something worth mentioning that I enjoyed was the mentioning of one of my favorite books of ALL TIME: The Lord of the Flies. There was an interesting reference to the mob mentality of the boys that killed Piggy-- which totally relates to a few scenes in this book. Honestly, doesn't that relate to life in general?
Finally, I guess the characters should be mentioned. I mean, what is a book if not for the characters, right? Mallory was conflicted. Screwed-up actually. She went through a pretty traumatic event that has left her scarred and slightly unstable. Her best friend, Colleen, seemed solid enough eventhough she didn't have much face time in the book until the end. There relationship was different. Maybe a little beyond the standard bestfriend role? I dunno... they seemed connected on a different level. Then there is Reid. Love him. He was the new love interest, but also more. He was a nice solid in the middle of all the crazy. There were some villain types in the book hiding in the form of mean boarding school girls. They sucked. But the most vile of them all (in my opinion) was Dylan. When you read this you'll know why. Douche bag extreme. Everything is his fault! At least I think so.
So go ahead, check out Hysteria. It was interesting and a quick read. It will surprise you with some of the plot twists, which is always a plus in a novel.