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THE FEVER by Megan Abbott, Review and Giveaway
July 11th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

THE FEVER by Megan Abbott18656036

Review and Giveaway

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Pages: 320

Available here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Audible

 

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE FEVER:
“An unforgettable inquiry into the emotional lives of young people… It’s also a powerful portrait of community, with interesting echoes of The Crucible…Abbott may be on her way to becoming a major writer.”–Booklist, Starred Review

“Thrilling...a gripping story fueled by razor-sharp treachery, jealousy, hormones, and the insecurities of teenage girls.”–Publishers Weekly

“The book to beat… in the “Is it the next ‘Gone Girl’?” sweepstakes.”–Janet Maslin, New York Times 

“The lives of teenage girls are dangerous, beautiful things in Abbott’s stunning novel… Abbott expertly ratchet[s] up the suspense…nothing should be taken at fact value.” —Kirkus, Starred Review

“THE FEVER is deliciously, page-turningly ‘no, no, leave me alone, I’m almost done!’ Abbott nails both the reality of being a teenage girl and the hyper-reality of memory.” —BookRiot

“No one understands the social dynamics of teenage girls better than Megan Abbott…settling into THE FEVER, one realizes that Abbott is setting a rhythm, one that’s measured and paced with the brilliance of one of the best living mystery writers.” —Grantland

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

In the idyllic community of Dryden, Tom Nash is a popular high school teacher and the father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and Deenie, a diligent student with a close-knit group of friends-who are all horrified one day in class when Deenie’s best friend, Lise, is struck by a terrifying, brutal, and unexplained seizure. As Lise clings to life in the hospital, the seizures systematically infect more teenage girls, one by one, sending the entire town into terrified, questioning chaos. Is there a dangerous virus at work? Is it something in the school itself? Are the girls faking it? Who or what is to blame-and who will be next?

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.

Loosely inspired by the nationally reported story of the purported “mass hysteria” outbreak in Le Roy, NY in 2012, THE FEVER is a haunting, thought-provoking page-turner that examines the powers of desire, guilt, secrets, and fear. It’s at once entrancing and disturbing, and readers will not be able to put it down until the very last page.

Author Megan Abbott

Author Megan Abbott

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noir and Queens Noir among other places. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. She lives in New York and recently served as the John Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.

Find Megan here: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook

My Review:

THE FEVER is right out of the headlines, reminding me very much of what happened in Le Roy, NY when 18 young adult girls developed strange tics, which doctors eventually attributed to mass hysteria.

Readers will find THE FEVER to be an intense, bone-chilling thriller, one that will keep you guessing. The novel opens with a girl by the name of Lise seizing at school. Her best friend Deenie is completely freaked out. Soon, other girls have similar symptoms. Will Deenie get infected to? Is she a carrier of a mysterious illness? Or could the contaminated lake near by, be the cause? Perhaps it’s the vaccinations that some of the girls had to prevent cervical cancer? Or is it mass hysteria?

As the mystery unfolds, readers learn more about Deenie, her brother Eli, and her father Tom, a teacher at the school where almost all of the strange incidents take place. Readers see how a community copes and what types of investigations take place. It’s frighteningly realistic. We also learn more about the group of girls connected to Lise and Deenie, best friends who have lots of secrets.

Though this novel is marketed for adults, I can definitely see it appealing to mature YA.

THE FEVER was a fast read, one that kept me turning pages. With plenty of surprises, readers will be guessing until the very end to what caused the mysterious illness that began with one girl seizing on her classroom floor. If you like novels with medical mysteries, THE FEVER is for you. 

Thank you to Little Brown for the review copy.

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