PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing
RELEASE DATE: 14th February 2013
FORMAT: Ebook, 272 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Young Adult
Mallory’s life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can’t remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear… When Mallory’s parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There’s the hand that touches her shoulder when she’s drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory’s name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it’s never gone. Can Mallory live with that? (Goodreads)
Hysteria is a dark and disturbing mystery novel written from the point of view of the main protagonist sixteen year old Mallory. From the outset we are thrust into the confused, scared mind of Mallory who had recently stabbed her boyfriend Brian to death in her kitchen.
Mallory keeps living this stabbing over and over in her mind and feels some sort of presence haunting and punishing her, this is the main theme throughout Hysteria and I love the fact that you are uncertain if this presence is real or a figment of her imagination, this keeps you turning the pages easily trying to solve the mystery.
With no friends left except her best friend Colleen and to give Mallory a chance to move on, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a boarding school to try and build a new life. Boarding school has its own trials and school would never be a normal affair without a cute, caring boy on the scene and the inevitable mean girls.
The cute boy comes in the form of Reid, an old family friend of Mallory’s and a past crush. It’s obvious that Reid cares a great deal about Mallory and despite the rumors about Mallory, he watches out for her, even though Mallory tries to push him away. I liked Reid and his compassionate nature, he is loyal, protective and positive, giving Mallory the encouragement she needs.
The mean girls, Bree, Krista and Taryn are spiteful and of a totally different calibre to Reid giving Hysteria another dimension to its plot and another obstacle for Mallory to overcome.
I loved the flow and pace, Miranda kept the balance between school life, romance, fear, suspense and mystery pretty much perfect. You were in the confused head of Mallory the whole way through, trying to deal with the traumatic incident and going through the emotions with her.
As the events unfold, it becomes apparent who is behind the stalking’s, allowing you to be able to predict part of the twist. Even though I did predict part of the story correctly, there was still a part that surprised me.
When Mallory’s best friend, Colleen needed her, I was amazed by the strength that Mallory possessed, especially after all Mallory had been through. However, Mallory on the whole was unlikeable, this was due to her temperamental nature and sulky attitude, I even had to question why Reid was attracted to Mallory.
It was obvious that Mallory was going through some post-traumatic stress and was unable to deal with her emotions, shutting herself off and taking vast amounts of sleeping pills.
The air changed in my dorm room. It started throbbing with the slow and steady beat. And because I was a coward, I ran for the desk. I threw open the bottom drawer, snatched the vial of sleeping pills, and took one. I buried myself face down on my bed and covered my head with my pillow, but sleep didn’t come quickly enough. I felt something taking shape behind me. And this time, I swear I could hear it laughing. I felt the hand on my shoulder, fingers digging in, as it held me down.
There were marks the next morning.
Until the conclusion, you never know if these episodes are caused purely by hallucination or someone taking advantage of Mallory’s drugged up state. This caused me to wonder why she wasn’t in some sort of care rather than at school. Especially when a body is discovered on the floor to her bedroom!
With death on her hands already, Mallory becomes the prime suspect and has to clear her name by finding the real culprit. Mallory has her suspicions and now needs to find the evidence and motive to support her theory.
I’m very mixed in my overall opinion of Hysteria, I think Miranda is a clever writer, the suspense and mystery surrounding the stabbing of Mallory’s boyfriend is intriguing and exciting sucking you in from the very first page. With Mallory’s confused state and hallucinations you are never really certain what parts of her life are imagined or which are real, this keeps the pages turning freely in your quest to discover what happened on that dreadful night. There are a few twists and I must admit I did see some of them coming and even though I thoroughly enjoyed my journey with Mallory I was left deflated at the end and I can’t quite put my finger on why. An exciting, yet forgettable, read.
BUY YOUR COPY