Monday, February 4, 2013

Hysteria, by Megan Miranda (fiction) - murder, memory, missing pieces

book cover of Hysteria by Megan Miranda published by Bloomsbury Walker Books
Thudding heartbeats in the night,
bruises appearing each morning,
the rumors, the gossip, the lies...

Welcome to the tradition-filled halls of Monroe Prep, Dad's alma mater, where Mallory's reputation precedes her - the knife, Brian's blood on her kitchen floor, the self-defense verdict.

Are her nightmares just reaction to the trauma or something more sinister? Surely Reid believes that Brian's mom's car was parked outside the school gates, that someone keeps entering her room, that she's not seeing things - they've known each other since they were kids because their dads were high school roommates up here.

The crazy things happening now at Monroe cannot just be Mallory's imagination... can they?

Read chapter one of Hysteria free here, then rush to your local library or independent bookstore to get it tomorrow on its publication day.

Megan Miranda crafts another chilling story teetering between paranormal and murderous; her debut novel Fracture  (my review) just came out in paperback - don't miss either mysterious book!
**kmm

Book info: Hysteria / Megan Miranda. Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers, 2013. [author's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Recommendation:  The blood, the knife, the holes in her memory – Mallory knows she should be glad for the “self-defense” ruling, but the pulsating hum in her brain won’t stop. Neither will the nightmares or Brian’s mom stalking her, asking where her dead son is.

Maybe boarding school in the New Hampshire woods will be far enough from her seaside house where Brian died in a pool of his own bright-red blood. Dad pulled strings to get her admitted to his alma mater at the last minute; he couldn’t stop the rumors about Mallory from getting there first.

Being a new student at Monroe Prep is worse than being at a regular high school since the snooty rich kids have known each other forever. Well, Reid is nice to her, probably because their dads were roommates here and their families got together often over the years. Last time she saw him was his dad’s funeral, not a good memory on lots of levels.

Despite her sleeping pills, Mallory still has nightmares, hears the booming echoes of Brian’s heart, wakes up with a handprint-shaped bruise on her shoulder that she couldn’t have done to herself, window unlocked when she knows she locked it. No cellphone service in these mountains, so she can never get through to her best friend Colleen at home, the only person who understands what she’s enduring.

A green car glimpsed through the fog - is Brian's mother stalking her again?
A red handprint on her door, vandalism in her dorm room, menacing whispers – is her presence threatening someone at Monroe?
A hidden ruin in the woods, tribute to a lost student – is she supposed to be next?

Once again Megan Miranda crafts a chilling story of the hazy boundary between death and life in this psychological thriller with traces of the paranormal. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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