Hysteria by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Length: 336 pages
Subjects: Psychological Horror, Boarding School, Romance
How I obtained the book: Library, hardcover
Enticed from the very first moment I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew that I would have to read this book. A novel about a girl who murdered her boyfriend interested me a lot. Would the author be able to pull it off or will the book be one giant fail?
The answer is no, she wasn’t able to pull it off. While not a bad book per-say, Hysteria is an incredibly boring one. Neither the plot nor the characters interested me in the slightest. Hysteria was a horrible let down for me, especially since the concept was so promising.
Half the book is Mallory, the heroine, obsessing about her murdered boyfriend. I don’t mean to sound rude or inconsiderate. It’s understandable that Mallory would feel horrible and lost and would think about it often. It’s a natural human reaction, I suppose.
But, the way the author wrote these pages feels so off and unnatural. It’s fine to write about a character obsessing over something. It happens all the time and there’s no problem with it.
However, when you make every page for a long time about the same topic, it gets old. I have no problem with obsessed characters but I do have problems when the writing mirrors the characters thoughts because then, the obsession takes over everything like plot and character development.
So, for the majority of the book, nothing happens at all except for boy troubles and friend troubles. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with friend/boy troubles except when you’re reading a book about a girl who killed her boyfriend and thinks she’s going insane. Then, it’s not so cool because you don’t actually get to read any of the insanity. Instead we get boys, boys, mean girls, and more boys.
The author exaggerated everything about Mallory. If she was obsessing over it, the writing reflected it and there was nothing going on except for those thoughts. If Mallory was having boy problems, that little side plot was exaggerated so heavily that nothing happened except for that.
On the flip side, the beginning and end are almost worth the middle; hence my two star rating. The beginning and end is tense and awesome and full of rainbows and sparkles and brilliance. And then there’s the middle of the part of the book where it all becomes boring and lacking in excitement and pretty much anything interesting.
There were two other points of annoyance and frustration, namely the characters and the dreaded romance. These two aspects ruined any hope Hysteria had of getting a three star rating.
Mallory wasn’t a bad main character, more like an annoying one. I never really hated her but she did make me want to scream. To Mallory, nothing existed other than her and her self-loathing and her thoughts reflected that. If she only thought about anything other than how horrible she is and how much of a monster she is, she would have figured out a lot.
Aside from that though, Mallory was really empty. She had no personality outside of her issues and for much of the book; she was roughly as interesting as a bricks. The other characters were equally interesting. They had no real personality. Even important ones like the love interest or Mallory’s best friend were lifeless and forgettable.
As far as romances go, Hysteria’s wasn’t terrible. It was all but nonexistent. I can only really tell there was one because of the ending but other than that, it seemed like it mostly popped up out of nowhere.
The only thing I hate more than bad romances are needless romances. Bad romances are really annoying and frustrating because the two characters aren’t compatible. That’s bad enough, right? Well, let me you a thing.
Needless romances are ones that are out of place. Like romances that don’t actually add anything to the story but are thrown into the mix, mostly as a fan service. The fact that Mallory got a boyfriend did not add anything to the story. It did not help plot progression. It wasn’t even in there for squealy fangirly purposes because if it was, that would be fine.
But no, it was just there and that really pissed me off.
As you can see, Hysteria wasn’t really my thing. If people can handle 100+ pages of nothing, this might be your book because Hysteria would actually be really good if it weren’t for those middle pages. I definitely don’t recommend this book to people like me who can’t sit through filler to save their lives.