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Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

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.
*Digital galley provided by publisher for participation in the blog tour and an honest review* 

Captivating as well as haunting, Hysteria caught me in a riveting web of curiosity from start to finish. There was never a dull moment in Megan Miranda's newest novel, and I had been hooked from the get-go. The very first line just snapped me straight into the novel; where most novels fail at that initial grasp of attention, Miranda had mastered right at the very beginning.  With well developed main protagonist, Mallory, charismatic and the best friend that you wish you had, Colleen, I knew that Hysteria had all the qualities that I look for in a book.

When I thought I was going to find out what really happened that night when Brian was killed, the reason behind it, Mallory's flashbacks always kept inching closer and closer keeping me suspended in this limbo of almost knowing and not knowing enough. It was torture in the best possible way, because it was done right. I pressed forward with my reading until I got the answers that were being hidden from me. 

Even the present story was engrossing in it's own way. Sure it had the common typical thriller story elements: school hidden in the woods, no cell reception, new girl story, rumors spread. But Mallory was just this invigorating character who made all of those pot holes of story elements seem like little cracks, not even noticeable. Mallory happened to be the major focus of my attention. It was her past, her witty dialogue, the way she would stand up for her best friend that she loved the most, her bravery, her dauntlessness; she was the character that I was waiting for for so long. One who knew how to defend herself when she needed to and defend others when they needed defending. Mallory Murphy is a true character that bloomed before my eyes and never let me take my eyes off her.

Even Colleen, Mallory's spectacle of a best friend, took me by surprise in all the best possible ways. She was snarky, sassy, flawed and an essence of teenage resilience. Now when I say "teenage resilience" I mean the poster child for being grounded. And that never even stopped her from sneaking out just to see Mallory. Guts is what she's got, and a friend is what she has. Colleen would do anything for Mallory. I was told by my dad that you only had a few good friends throughout your entire life, ones that are really there for you and stay no matter what, and even though this is a fiction story, Colleen would by Mallory's true, good friend throughout her entire life. There was nothing either of the two would do for the other. They were each other's crutch while they had each other's backs -- I've never enjoyed a friendship in YA as much as I have with Colleen and Mallory.

I got a text from her. A peace offering, I guess: I'm still grounded. But you should go.
I wrote back: Lame without you anyway.
And she wrote: My life would be complete if you had a Y chromosome.
*Hysteria uncorrected copy* 

On another technical note, the writing was well developed and fit perfectly to create suspense. Miranda executed the present and flashback technique to her advantage in keeping not only the pacing for the novel well in check, but the mystique of the story as a whole. The repetitious parts of the story (the bang bang bang, the ritual of hearing Mallory, wait and everything about her shoulder) though had a slight bothersome quality throughout, I was able to grasp the reasons for the constant reminder not only to the reader but to Mallory as well. 

Final Summation: Hysteria is definitely worth the read. Whether you're in the mood for an interesting turn of events being slowly but surely pieced together or a side of well developed friendship, Hysteria does justice. I never, while reading, found myself bored or uninterested. There is a spark that this story has, this craving discharged while reading, that I just had to have more. And more is exactly what I got.

First Line: My mother hid the knife block.
Story: XS
Cover: S