Review: The Fever

July 11, 2014 Whitney Review 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The FeverThe Fever by Megan Abbott
on June 17th 2014
Genres: General Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher

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).

“The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts”
“It just kind of burns,” says another.  “You’re sore for a few days.”
“I heard the third time you don’t even feel it.”
~ Prologue
I will admit that I was a little nervous to continue reading The Fever due to the straight off sexual innuendos of young girl’s first times; was I walking into a teen Fifty Shades of Grey?  Although I would not have given the novel a fair chance if I gave up on page two so I read on.
Like an epileptic seizure, panic ensues.  This leads to a fast paced storyline and characters who acted as though they had just exited a haunted house.
Gabby and Skye were as mysterious as a bowl of “brains” in a juvenile Halloween Party only later finding out it is truly spaghetti, or in other words, for what they really are, slimy and in teenage speak eew.  Grapes are usually next down the line, and it is through Deenie’s eyes who we see most of the story.  Considering the chaos that surrounds her, she seemed like a normal high schooler, grasping the situation as best she can.  Lise and her ailment are the shiver one experiences.  It is always there, just out of reach and preparing to descend.  The gentlemen of The Fever should not be left either, Tom and Eli grounded the book and while I don’t have a suitable haunted house reference I think if it wasn’t for them The Fever could have gone “Gossip Girl” fast.
I read the novel as fast as the girls dropped like flies and with each convulsion and PTA meeting “I want to be one less one less” drummed louder in my mind.  While I was reading I soon realized that even with an effervescent lake and the debate of the HPV vaccine The Fever was a whodunit novel with the understanding that it wasn’t the Butler.
I have only two complaints, the first is that Lise woke up.  I’m not trying to sound morbid as I didn’t want Lise to die, just left in a perpetual coma.  I thought this would have left a more suitable finality to The Fever and perhaps a bigger affect, affirming the atrocity of the scenario.  Second was Tom and Mrs. Bishop hooking up.  I didn’t think it added anything to the story and like a one night stand ended as quickly as it had begun.
The Fever reminded me of The Children’s Hour, one misconstrued glance and malevolence can create havoc and unease.  Megan Abbott’s novel produced a spooky uneasiness that was hard to shake and stayed with me long after the last page had turned.


2 responses to “Review: The Fever

  1. This one has had rave reviews around the blogosphere and sounds SO DARN GOOD. It reminds me of Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen, in which the teenagers of a small lakeside town are suddenly swept by a wave of murderous violence, and the local doctor has to try to find the cause before her own son succumbs. I love books like this! 🙂

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