Hysteria by Megan Miranda
|Hysteria by Megan Miranda|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Gripping psychological drama with lead characters strong enough for me to forgive a plot which relies a little bit too heavily on coincidence to make it one of my favourites. Well worth a read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: February 2013|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Shunned by many of her former friends after killing her boyfriend in self-defence, and unable to remember the details of his death, Mallory feels haunted by his presence. When her parents send her to boarding school, will this be a chance for a fresh start, or will her past catch up with her even there?
Hysteria isn’t quite as strong as Megan Miranda’s excellent debut Fracture, but it’s an intriguing read with some vivid characters – particularly Mallory herself, her friend Colleen, and love interest Reid. (In a neat sidestep of the ‘insta-love’ which plagues some teen novels, Mallory and Reid have a past which makes the speed at which their relationship develops believable.) I particularly liked the intense friendship between Mallory and Colleen, which was one of the strongest I can remember reading about in a YA book for a good long time.
Apart from the characters, Hysteria’s other main strength is the way in which Miranda builds up the tension. It’s a real thriller which gets more and more nerve-wracking as the story progresses, and a really exciting climax meant I was left with barely any nails by the final few pages!
While I’d definitely recommend the novel – and look forward to reading more from Miranda, having enjoyed both of her first two books – I did feel that there were a couple of weaknesses, especially compared to Fracture. The plot seemed to rely a little too much on coincidence, and the ending left a little too much of the previous events unexplained for my liking. (Although that’s partly due to Mallory being an extremely unreliable narrator, to be fair; I’d still have liked a little more of a sense of closure on certain things.)
Still, it’s a gripping read and Miranda has an enjoyable writing style which encourages you to keep turning the pages. That’s more than enough for me to look past the minor quibbles in the above paragraph.
Recommended for fans of exciting teen reads.
The early part of last year seemed to see excellent teen thrillers being released at an incredibly fast rate. In addition to Miranda’s own Fracture, which I’d definitely recommend to anyone who enjoyed this one, we also got Choker by Elizabeth Woods, Poison Heart by S B Hayes and Hollow Pike by James Dawson. Any of that trio are highly recommended to fans of this novel.
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