Hysteria by Megan Miranda0
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.
Hysteria is the tale of Mallory, traumatized from when she killed her boyfriend Brian in self-defense, as she gets shipped off to a prep school that she has never wanted to set foot in. You follow her as she struggles from differentiating real life from her trauma. Her fear distracting from what is actually going on.
Mallory is an interesting main character, she lacks a lot of what typical main female characters have in characteristics like sarcasm or stubbornness. I think a lot of it has to do with what her trauma has done to her over time, especially without any real help. The thing that really tied me to her was her trauma because like most people, I have this urge to fix people and make them feel better. Another admirable quality of Mallory is the fact that she is a suffering in silence type and that's what makes her a strong character. I love that she has a desperate need to protect everyone from herself and from anything that is going on with her.
Throughout the course of the novel, Mallory's background with murdered boyfriend, Brian, is revealed. I liked that it didn't focus on just the night that the murder occurred and that it never repeated the same stuff you'd already read in each flashback but rather picked up where the last one left off. By about half way through the book, more of the incident is revealed and it's clear that Mallory doesn't remember just what happened that night. I was constantly desperate for the next flashback just to have more of my questions answered.
The love interest of the story, since it obvious wasn't Brian, was a guy named Reid. A very well fleshed out character that had his own flaws. Reid came across like an average guy -- an attractive one -- and I think that is what made him such a great love interest. Instead of finding myself pining after some unattainable guy, I found myself investing myself in someone that could very well be a real person. An interesting piece of information was that Reid and Mallory knew each other prior to her being shipped off to prep school and their history is frustrating to say the least. Real boys are stupid. They make dumb choices. Got it? Good because it doesn't help with the frustration.
Two characters introduced once Mallory arrived to the prep school was Jason and Krista. They were, I suppose, the bad guys of the story. But I almost don't want to say that there was one set bad guy(s) because I think the biggest issue of the whole novel is Mallory's trauma and everything took a backseat. They were an interesting pair of characters, though, and they played off each other's dark characteristics very well. There was a lot of mystery surrounding the two of them throughout the novel.
Bree was the sort of character that you hate at the beginning and cheer for near the end, she was a classic case of the girl that got caught in with the wrong crowd. Colleen was a different kind of best friend than most. The relationship between Mallory and her was very real though, despite the fact that I don't have any sort of friendship like it.
The writing reminded me a lot of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer because of the tone used throughout the story and that definitely isn't a bad thing! I enjoyed the plot twists that the author threw at different parts of the books. There was a lot of things left unsaid or undiscussed -- things that I felt needed to be covered. I would've loved to look more at Brian as a character as well as his brother. Sometimes I felt like the things that were thrown at Mallory found no resolution and how I ached for those things to be resolved.
It's a great book and I'm not kidding about the Mara Dyer thing. If you enjoy those sort of books, you definitely should check this out!