Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker’s Children’s Books
Publication Date: February 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Mallory can’t tell what is real and what isn’t, since that faithful night she killed her boyfriend with a knife in the kitchen. Now she sees Brian everywhere, haunting her. And she thinks she is losing her mind. When she is sent off to boarding school, she meets some mean girls who may have more sinister plans for her. And a cute childhood friend who may be the right person to help her find herself again.
I wanted to like this book. I did. I tried really hard, but for me, it was just …. I started skimming halfway through.
Mallory has gone through this traumatic ordeal which would normally make her into a sympathetic character, yet I still found her to be unlikeable. Yes, she can’t really remember what happened that night, yes she is ostracized by her parents, her community. But she is such a weak character, I can’t get behind her.
The other major problem I had with the book were the holes in the plot. I liked how it all made sense at the end, but while reading I thought it was disjointed. The writing was OK, but sometimes I felt like Miranda was trying to imitate The Tell Tale Heart, though not well. The tone of the book was dark and sad, but in a really frustrating way. I don’t even know how to describe it. The story didn’t move as quickly as it should. The three mean girls didn’t have any depth and the attraction between her and Reid, the boy she knew years ago, seemed forced. Even Reid didn’t seem special at all.
The only character I can say I liked was Colleen, Mallory’s best friend. She’s only in the book for a few chapters, but she has life, spunk and attitude. Mallory really blooms in these scenes with Colleen, and it’s easy to see how they got along, before all of this horribleness happened.
Overall, I wasn’t blown away by Hysteria. But I think other readers will like it. Just wasn’t my thing.
Rating 4 Not My Cup Of Tea