Publisher: Bloomsbury: Published on 13th February 2013
E-Arc Courtesy of Bloomsbury & Netgalley
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?
Mallory is going through the worst time in her life – her boyfriend is dead, she stabbed him in her kitchen and now her Mum won’t look at her and her Dad packs her off to his old boarding school separating her from the only person she can talk to, her best friend. But at her new school, secrets are currency and someone wants Mallory’s secrets...
Hysteria is a complete revelation – a YA contemporary that avoids expected clichés and tackles the emotional and mental impact of a moment of insanity. Mallory is upset, confused and isolated. She has trouble sleeping and remembering what happened. She also has a touch of paranoia, not sure who to trust. All the emotions you would expect after someone has gone through that type of trauma. However, Mallory also has some steel in her – she has the kind of strength that is only discovered through adversity and I loved her voice in the story. How she was unsure what to do or who to trust – even doubting herself. Her new school has some creepy elements with plenty of characters and secrets, but Megan Miranda skilfully manages to avoid expectations to create a familiar world that is only slightly off-kilter. I loved the way Reid tries to reconnect with Mallory after two years and how unsure she is with trusting herself again.
The writing is wonderfully deft and involving. Your emotions will swirl around more times than dirty socks in the laundry, leaving you washed out and exhausted. I’m not usually a big fan of contemporary YA, but this is one of the most realistic and impactful stories you’ll read this year, bringing real depth and passion to every situation. I read this in a day, loving Mallory’s attempts to rebuild her life and her relationships. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Megan!
Recommended for fans of Jenny Han and Jeri Smith-Ready. 9 out of 10