THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE FEVER – MEGAN ABBOTT

The Fever

 

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire, The Fever affirms Megan Abbot’s reputation as “one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation” (Laura Lippman). – Goodreads

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This is going to be a short review. Not because I’m lazy or because my faculties have suddenly failed me, but because the less you know about this book going into it, the better.

When I started this book, I didn’t even really know what genre it fit into. Mystery? Horror? Paranormal? Conspiracy theory? All of the above? By the time I was three quarters of the way through, I still wasn’t sure.

The book starts with a girl having a seizure in class and ending up in a coma. Terrified, her classmates begin circulating information and rumours, trying to figure out what happened. Before anyone even has a chance to figure out what happened to her, another girl has had a seizure. Soon, three, then four girls are experiencing symptoms. The town is in a panic. Parents are demanding answers and placing blame, the CDC and law enforcement are conducting interviews, and every teenaged girl is wondering if she’s next.

As the book continues, theories get wilder and wilder, progressing from suspicions about an HPV vaccine to the supernatural. And as a reader, I came up with plenty of wild theories myself.

I liked that this book kept me guessing – that every time I thought the book had finally showed its hand, the narrative shifted. And though the characters made me uncomfortable, they were consistently developed and fit into this odd plot arc flawlessly.

I read this book with another blogger and good friend of mine, Julianne from Outlandish Lit. This was a great book for a buddy read. The chapters are a manageable length, and the plot moves along fast enough to provide talking points at every chapter break.

I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys twists and turns in their plot, and if you’re looking for a buddy or YA book club selection, give this some consideration.

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Book Title: The Fever
Author: Megan Abbott
Series: No
Edition: Hardback
Published By: Little Brown & Company
Released: June 17, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Suspense
Pages: 303

Date Read: February 27-March 17, 2015
Rating: 6/10

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