Title: The Fever
Author: Megan Abbott
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher in exchange for honest review
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.
Let me just come right out and say it…this book is incredible. I’m astonished that there isn’t more buzz surrounding it. After getting a copy signed by the author at BEA, I was excited to jump into it as my first post-expo ARC, and ended up being way-more-than-pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Right from the first few pages, I couldn’t put it down — I knew that I’d found something very, very special.
I really enjoyed the fact that this book is a Young Adult thriller. There just don’t seem to be too many of those out there, and definitely not very many great ones. The Fever is probably the best example of one that I’ve found so far.
But the best part of this book is Abbott’s spot-on recognition of the subtle creepiness of average teenage girls. The novel follows several young girls as they navigate the difficulties of living as teenagers in a small town as its slowly surrounded by a scandal. Abbott’s characterization of them reveals their not-so-nice cores that leaves you reeling with the sheer accurateness of how well she captures this glimpse into high school life. Teenagers are not always good people. And while many young adult books choose to involve themselves in the portrayal of teenage goodness, Abbott takes a sharp left and veers away from this, choosing instead to expose the dark underbelly of what high school is truly like.
At the same time, we’re also dealing with this medical emergency…girls keeling over left and right with horrible problems and needing to be brought to the hospital. What the heck is up with that?? I was desperate to know the answer to this question throughout the whole book, and the answer was so surprising and extremely satisfying. I had absolutely no idea where it was going, until suddenly all the pieces started to fall into place…slowly at first and then faster and faster and faster until finally the realization hit me, at exactly the same time it did Deenie, the main character.
The Fever was such a fantastic read. I wish that I could sit here and talk about it all day with you guys. But instead, I’m going to go to the library and check out every single book this author’s ever written and devour them as fast as I can! I cannot recommend this book enough if you’re a fan of weird, quirky reads with some suspense thrown in. Just read it…you won’t be sorry.