Hysteria by Megan Miranda
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Young Adult: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: February 5, 2013
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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.
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 book was a fascinating read. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews about it, and while I can kind of see where the other reviewers are coming from with some of their statements, I actually did like this novel. Maybe, though, I didn’t like it for the right reasons. Let me preface the rest of this review by stating that I work at a domestic violence shelter, so I’m extremely familiar with the cycle of violence.
Mallory kills her boyfriend Brian in supposed self-defense, though she doesn’t remember the night that it happened. This is an accurate portrayal of violence, because victims are often traumatized by the violence and they don’t always remember what happened after the fact. Call it PTSD, call it Battered Woman Syndrome—I choose to call it realistic. And while many people say they don’t see or understand the reason she killed him, I very much did. She felt threatened and afraid, and Brian was unstable and unpredictable.
The other reason that I really liked this book was the friendship that Mallory and her best friend Colleen share. That for me was possibly the most driving force of the book. All in all, the book was eerie and unsettling, and I’m giving it four stars because I enjoyed it. I urge you to discard the negative reviews if you’ve seen them, and give it a shot.
Megan is a scientist - turned - teacher - turned - stay-at-home-mom - turned - writer. She is not nearly as indecisive as she sounds. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor, does the mom thing by day, and writes by night.
Her first novel, FRACTURE, was published in January 2012 by Walker/Bloomsbury. HYSTERIA, a YA psychological thriller, will be published in February 2013. VENGEANCE, a companion/sequel to FRACTURE, will follow in 2014.