Book Review: Hysteria

Published By: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Page Count: 336
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary, Mystery

There were times reading this when I felt like I had missed a lot. I thought it was me, but then I looked at the title again and realized that I was knee deep in Hysteria, where sometimes you don't even know what is real.

Mallory finds herself questioning everything, as she doesn't know who to trust or what is really real. Between the sleeping pills and her avoidance of even thinking about the night she killed Brian, it is hard to work out what is going on. There are disjointed flashbacks to the night in question, which take a slightly frustrating amount of time to sort out into some kind of order, and the most pivotal moments are held back until later on in the book. All Mallory really knows is that she killed a boy, in self defence, but her life isn't really worth living. 

So she is sent away to a fancy boarding school, for a fresh start away from the family and friends of her victim. Why did she kill him? She doesn't even really know. She figures it out in the end, but not before she thinks she is losing her grip on reality. To say any more would ruin the story, which I thought was really good. I got really quite into it by the end, but I will say that I was annoyed at the start when Mallory was sent away. I felt like that radically changed the feel of the book, which I had immediately sunk into. It jarred me out of sync for a while. 

I like how Megan Miranda writes though, because she takes medical phenomena and puts them into a really interesting plot. What held me back slightly on this read was that I didn't particularly connect with any of her characters, unlike in Fracture, which was one of my favorite reads last year. None of the characters were strong enough, no one was out and out evil, or horrible to Mallory, or good... I also didn't swoon away over anyone, like i did Decker in Fracture. It was all a little grey. I think perhaps that was because Mallory herself was so messed up she barely knew what was going on with herself, so she couldn't figure out the people around her either. Having said that, the climax to the story was excellent and kept me glued to my seat. This was well worth a look for something a little different. 

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.


  1. I read and enjoyed this one. I was confused at a lot of different parts in this story. I don't know if I ever resolved who was physically hurting Mallory. Did you?

    1. I don't want to post spoilers here as some folk might accidentally read them, but I'm happy to chat about the ending if you want to message me on Goodreads? :)

  2. I just finished this book a few days ago and I didn't really like it... I got really confused at some parts of the novel and I just couldn't keep up with all the possibilities and plot changes... It was an interesting read though, and got me to think~

  3. I agree, it was confusing. I just had to keep remembering that Mallory was not seeing the world straight, and try to past that to the truth.

    Not for everyone, but definitely thought provoking!


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