Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Fever: A Novel
By Megan Abbott
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: June 17, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

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 hocky 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 Abbott's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation." (Laura Lippman)

Book Links

My Thoughts:

When Lise is rushed to the hospital after to a seizure, rumours start flying around the school because no one can get any answers as to what caused the problem. Some wonder if it has something to do with the dead lake in the area that is supposed to be off limits for swimming, which the teens still swim in anyway. Other rumours are flying around about whether Lise is pregnant and who she’s been sleeping with.

As another student falls ill, attention turns to the possibility that it could be the vaccination to prevent HPV and that was why it was only girls that were being affected by the illness.

Hysteria and tensions within the small town continues to build and all kinds of secrets that members of Deenie Nash’s family and her friends start to make themselves known.

This novel was not what I had expected. I had thought it was about an unknown or new illness and finding the cure for it. The perspective of the novel turned out to be something different. I won’t go into details of what it was really about or it will be a spoiler. Suffice it to say that it was not.

The Fever was much more of an adult novel than what I had expected it to be even though it was about teenagers. There was a great deal of talk about sex that I felt really did not add to the story. There was also a fair bit of profanity.

There were some occultic elements in the book as well. I don’t think it was believable how totally caught up in it the girl who was introduced to the spells and such became so quickly.

There was an interesting twist at the end of the story that I quite liked. It fully explained how things happened earlier in the book but  was still unexpected. A nice (though sad) finish.

I thought The Fever was an okay read. I gave it a rating of 2 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Megan Abbott is the Edgar® award-winning author of the novels The End of Everything Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep and her latest, Dare Me (July 2012).

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noir, Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year, Storyglossia, Queens Noir and The Speed Chronicles. 

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University.

Author Links
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