Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
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.
The Fever by Megan Abbott is a book I've had kicking around on my Kindle for a very long time. In fact I had completely forgotten about it until I went to update my reading app and boom there was the cover in all its glory. I can't really say why I never read this one but I guess better late than never as they say.
Unfortunately, The Fever turned out exactly opposite of what I was expecting based on the premise. Instead of Salem Witch trials meets Pretty Little Liars the story read like Fear Street meets Mean Girls. I know what you're thinking "That sounds awesome!" but it really didn't come across that way. Instead of all the horror and mystery I was anticipating it was a story mostly about drama centered around one in particular "hot boy" that every girl is obsessing over. Sure the competitive nature of teenage girls was highlighted nicely throughout the story but I can't say it was enough for the reasons all the events in this story take place.
Also, beyond the character Skye whose actually described pretty in depth, I had a really hard time telling the other girls apart. Their was the girl with the long legs and the other whose loss of baby weight was always highlighted for some reason. Then the brown noser who was a year younger than all of them and the other girl who was important but I only remember her as miss third wheel. Seriously, I cannot really remember anything of note about any of the girls except what I described above.
Now although The Fever was a bit lackluster for me, I did actually enjoy some things about the story. The first thing was the way the adult characters were written. Although not the central focus, when they were in the scenes they kept me entertained. It's really rare having adults not treated as incompetent imbeciles by the young protagonists. Having adults actually care about what is taking place while not overstepping their roles as background characters was actually endearing to me. I also liked the mass hysteria element. I won't get into much detail about it to avoid spoilers but the reasoning behind it all actually made a lot of sense.
All in all was The Fever worth reading? Yes & No. I enjoyed the writing and getting to see the various view points as the story unfolded and the world building was decent. On the other hand the generic female characters and the ending(A slap on the wrist. C'mon now!)kept me from being wholly satisfied with the story . So in short while I might not have fallen in love with this book as many others have, I didn't hate it so I guess that's positive.
With that being said, I'll be rating The Fever by Megan Abbot ★★★.
*Review copy provided by publisher via Netgalley . All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.
About the Author
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books.