Mallory killed her boyfriend. She doesn’t remember much of what happened, just the fear, but the authorities agree it was self-defence. However her parents decide that she would be better off finishing her education away from the town where everyone knows. Arriving at boarding school, Mallory hopes for a fresh start, but she can’t escape the feeling of fear. The other students aren’t welcoming and she starts to wake up in the night; convinced there is someone in her room with her. Is she losing her mind or is someone out to get her?
Hysteria is a fantastic pacey thriller for young adults. It treads a fine line between reality and supernatural, keeping you guessing right to the end whether or not she’s just going crazy or if there’s something else at play. So often books that take this approach will make it all too obvious is it’s one or the other. There’s lots of edge of your seat tension and I found myself staying up late to finish it.
The word hysteria might conjure up images of Victorian ladies getting a bit emotional but it is a real mental condition. The story plays with Mallory’s paranoia and anxiety and how easily our minds can play tricks on us. We are doubting Mallory as she starts to doubt herself. If she killed one person, isn’t she capable of killing more?
The events of the night she killed her boyfriend are revealed in flashbacks, little glimpses as she starts to recall things and puts the pieces together. The present day story is much more convincing; I struggled to really understand her relationships or feel her terror in the flashbacks. It kind of came across as oh well you killed someone but never mind. When she remembers, it’s not like I felt the actions of others justified what she did. I thought they were a bit harsh on Brian’s mother, her grief has obviously pushed her over the edge, but her son has been killed and justice has not been carried out in her eyes. What do they expect?
Hysteria is published in the UK by Bloomsbury and will be available in paperback and ebook formats from 14th February 2013. The US edition is out a few days earlier on the 5th. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
Subscribe via Email
Somehow it's March already, here are 28 books hitting the shelves this month! https://t.co/xfhhuDSBIpFollow
Scully keeps stealing cauliflowers! This would not be weird if she stole other food items. But we can leave her wi… https://t.co/RgkyjAu6OaFollow
If you happen to be reading articles about Kazuo Ishiguro/Klara and the Sun having not read (or watched) Never Let… https://t.co/Sql7aCHQ6VFollow
Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so. The opening line may seem like something any mother would tell her son, but in the case of Serapio, his mother truly believes he will become the Crow God reborn. She blinds him,…
The day Bree gets accepted into an early college placement at UNC, is the day her mother dies. The last words they spoke were of anger. Unable to deal with her dad’s grief on top of her own, Bree goes ahead with the placement. Once…
Alex Stern does not belong at Yale. When she awakes as the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, presumed a drug deal gone wrong, she is given an unlikely offer. Come to Yale, join the House of Lethe and oversee the rituals of the other…
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
Just let me dust off this blog thing, I have a review for you! One of my anticipated reads released during lockdown was the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. If you read that, of course will will be dying to know what happened to…