Review Blog

Mar 27 2013

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

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Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 9781408834848.
(Age 14+) Recommended. Psychological thriller. Mallory killed her boyfriend Brian with a knife when she was defending herself from him. She is unable to remember what happened and gossip abounds. Her parents believe that a new start at Monroe, an elite boarding school, will give everyone a chance to recoup from the trauma, but her feelings follow her and she begins to think that someone is following her and touching her in her room. Then another student is murdered and once again she must prove herself innocent.
A gripping psychological thriller that kept me hooked to the end, Fracture is sure to appeal to anyone who wants an exciting read which not only has all the suspense associated with a mystery story, but also probes into the psychological background of the main character as well. Megan Miranda looks at conversion disorder, where physical symptoms can manifest themselves without a physical cause. A lot of the suspense comes about as the reader tries to work out if the bruising that Mallory experiences and the memories of a midnight touch and voice comes from a real intruder into her room or whether it is conversion disorder. Mallory has the difficult task of living with the guilt of having stabbed Brian and worrying about whether she is really losing her mind. She is beset on all sides by fear about who she can trust and what she really can believe. Readers who enjoy a touch of romance in their books will find it in the developing relationship between Reid and Mallory and this also allows some break in the tension.
I really enjoyed this mystery and the tension and pace made me read it all very quickly. The use of flashbacks kept the mystery of Brian's stabbing in the forefront of my mind, while I also had to decide whether Mallory was going mad. The ending came a little too soon for me (or perhaps I read it too quickly) but it was a very satisfying read. People who enjoyed Miranda's first novel, Fracture will enjoy this one as well.
Pat Pledger

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