Author: Megan Miranda
Published: February 14th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Pub. PLC
Paperback, 272 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such an interesting premise so thoroughly ruined. For the second time (the first being Fracture, of course), Megan Miranda had a fantastic idea and just didn’t follow through. When I requested this book, I was pretty sure I would be getting a psychological thriller of some sort, possibly with paranormal elements. But a thriller should be thrilling, right? Yeah, Hysteria… not so much.
So I let him whisper in my ear and put his hands on my hips. And I listened to him list all the ways in which I was slowly killing him. None of which turned out to be the actual way that I killed him.
Mallory is a murderer. When her boyfriend Brian broke into her house drunk, she stabbed him and left him to die. The court ruled it as self-defense, but Mallory doesn’t really remember much of it, and no one else was there to tell her exactly what happened. Ever since the funeral, which she didn’t attend, Brian’s mother keeps stalking her and her own parents lock their bedroom at night.
Mallory simply has no time to relax. When she’s with other people, she must deal with the looks and whispers. When she’s alone, something is always there, a shadow of some sort that keeps her awake and trembling at night. There are some authors who can create an eerie atmosphere with seeming ease, but Megan Miranda is not one of them. None of the things that were happening to Mallory got to me, nothing touched me at all.
To be quite honest, I don’t even know how to explain this mess. The first few chapters promised an unreliable narrator (my favorite), an eerie atmosphere and a mysterious, unpredictable plot. Sixty pages in, I had an unlikable heroine in a boarding school, completely surrounded by mean girls and with the full attention of a gorgeous boy. This book was a lot of things, but mysterious it wasn’t, and it certainly wasn’t unpredictable.
In the end, killing her boyfriend was the least of Mallory’s problems. She was allowed to attend school just months later, despite obvious psychological trauma. And it wasn't just any school, it was a boarding school, where teenagers sleep around each other. AND she managed to steal a knife. Am I the only one who thinks this isn’t likely AT ALL? Yeah, thought so.
Romance… *sigh*. Romance was my favorite thing about this book, and even that was slightly ridiculous. Mallory and Reid knew each other before she arrived at the boarding school. Their dads were friends, so when Reid’s dad died, Mallory was there at the funeral. She tried to kiss him then, and he stepped away. (Imagine that, he refused to make out on his father’s funeral, the nerve of him!) Two years later, Mallory still resents him for it and refuses to be nice to him. Reid is the most popular boy in school, he knows Mallory just stabbed her boyfriend to death, and still he insists on following her around like a lost puppy.
As a general rule, I try to find something nice to say about each and every book I bother to review, but Megan Miranda didn’t make that job easy at all. The best I can say is that I finished it, which I suppose isn’t much. I strongly recommend that you at least sample this one before buying it.