From very early in the book, it is clear that Mallory killed her boyfriend. We aren't sure exactly why, but slowly we discover that he was domineering and since it was ruled self defense, we assume he got physical and attacked her.
Mallory is messed up (of course) and her parents are the absolute lamest parents I've read. Counseling anyone? Nope. They decide the best thing to do is send Mallory away to boarding school -- where she knows NO ONE. And, she's being harassed by the victim's mother -- enough that they've gotten a restraining order.
I read 50% of Hysteria, which is more than I usually give a book to draw me in. I didn't care at all about Mallory. I didn't understand her. Her delusions were confusing, and I was waiting and waiting for something to happen -- and it still hadn't by the half way point. We slowly get the story of the night of the killing, but the pieces are so small, and so confusing that mostly what I felt was frustration. I think the first half of the book should have been about one-fourth.
I have difficulty with books that I can't buy into the premise. The stupid parents almost turned me off Hysteria. But, I persevered. Then the slow pace and the confusing things Mallory was going through sealed the deal. I gave up. I know the author intended the reader to be confused, but I didn't have the patience to wait it out.
The book is written well. I enjoyed the dialog and the developing relationships with the boarding school students. I just had trouble with the plot and pacing.
Published by Walker Childrens, February 5, 2013
eARC obtained from NetGalley
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