Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hysteria, by Megan Miranda- Review

From Goodreads:
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.

I am a BIG Megan Miranda fan.  Her paranormal leaning  thrillers, full of a kind of background buzzing tension are both subtle and deeply enjoyable.  Fracture was her debut novel last year and it made an otherwise deadly boring day of jury duty an edge of your seat thrill ride, plus I read it stupid early, so I was looking forward to Hysteria forever.

Like her previous book, Miranda filled Hysteria with both fantastic characters and a creeping plot full of ominous overtones. While you're never quite sure until the end what happened with Brian, you are unmistakably on Mallory's side. The push and pull between Mallory and the secondary characters is what's especially intriguing thoughout. Since you're never entirely sure what happened to her, you're also never entirely sure what to expect in her other relationships.  There is something festering with her best friend, something potentially growing with the childhood friend she's meeting again for the first time in years and a whole wealth of unspoken issues with her roommate and her various other school mates who have all somehow heard about her problems back home and the little issue of the dead boyfriend.

On top of this is the infinitely mysterious plot, full of murders, secrets and possible paranormal issues.  Is Mallory hallucinating things? Or are they somehow really happening? I was never sure until the end.  Edge of your seat kind of stuff but balanced nicely by the romance overtones between Mallory and Reid.  Miranda has a talent for charming romances in the bedlam of a thriller plot, that still come across as both natural and endearing without being the die-hard love-fests so many authors are prone to writing (especially in the paranormal genre).

An excellent read that was both a wonderful page turner and the right degree of creepy. I simply can't wait until February for Miranda's third foray into the genre (also, it's the companion book to Fracture, told from Decker's point of still my heart).

Hysteria, by Megan Miranda
Published by Walker Children's Books, Feb 5th 2013


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