Hysteria – Megan Miranda

This was a solid though not amazing YA novel about a girl who, having killed her boyfriend in self-defense, is shipped off to boarding school only to find herself accused of murder in a completely separate case. What I didn’t like about the book was the physical manifestation of the titular hysteria– in a world with no type of magic, repressed memories aren’t enough to give one bruises and blisters. What I absolutely loved was the friendship between the main character Mallory and her best friend Colleen. At first I was worried that Colleen was somehow behind Mallory’s troubles, because she was mentioned so often for an offscreen character, but instead we get a story of true rather than toxic friendship. I love seeing that kind of bond take center-stage, as it does towards the end of Hysteria.

Other than that, I also enjoyed the complexity of Mallory’s choice to kill in self-defense– many factors lead to that fatal moment, and the consequences are multilayered.