Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

21558989Title:  The Fever
Author: Meg Abbott
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publishing Date: June 17th 2014
Pages: 303
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


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.

There is so much to say about this book and so little I can actually say. This book is a mind trip. I have a few complaints but for the most part it was a very wild ride. I was kept guessing from the very beginning to the very end. It was creepy it was twisted, and I just couldn't put it down. 

Deenie, her brother Eli, and her father Tom, live in a pretty small town. Life is good for them. Eli is popular, Everyone loves him. Good looking, very social, girls just throw themselves at him. Deenie has a couple of best friends and has a pretty decent time at school. Tom is a teacher at the school. Watching his children grow up and become their own person, He is making it as well as he can as a a single father. Out of nowhere Deenie's best friend seizes and collapses at school and shortly after it happens to one girl after another. The story is about the girls, about secrets, about figuring everything out in between.

It's really hard to talk about this book. The enjoyment I found in this book, what kept me reading, was not knowing what the heck was going on. From the very beginning, nothing was clear. It wasn't unclear as in confusion or that I was lost. The story just emerged very slowly from three points of view. Through the narratives, little by little things are figured out, secrets are told, and lives are destroyed. 

The characters are interesting enough. I liked Deenie, I liked Eli, I was okay with Tom. I didn't find a real close connection with any of the characters but for once, that was okay. The read wasn't about connecting to the characters, it was about unraveling the truth. The truth was crazy. The read was about getting to know the characters but I felt it was never meant to know them on a personal level as much as the level everyone else knew them. I was watching lives go on as everyone else in the town saw the lives go on.  I really liked the story for the story. 

The pacing was slow but really never felt slow. It did a very few times in the book where I really wanted the story to reach some king of revelation, resolution. But, something small would happen or come to light and I was quickly satisfied. 

I loved the multiple povs. It was very interesting to see the story of what was happening, what has happened, and what really did happen in the eyes of the entire family. All points were covered it and it just made the story flow but also broke it up in parts to make the suspense just a bit more suspenseful. I really feel it was done very well. 

The really only complaint I have is a small one and it may not bother some. The entire book, everyone in the book, was obsessed with sex. Either the action, the thought, noticing how clothes looked sexy or sensual on a body, always thinking about sex. I mean yes I can see this in teens, some teens, not all teens, But even the adults. It was bordering on gross a few times for me. I think if it left the obsession out from the adults and left it a bit for the teens it would have been a better fit. 

I enjoyed it, it surpassed my expectations, I would recommend this to those who like twisted psychological thrillers.

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.
She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Awards, Hammett Prize, the Macavity, Anthony and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Pushcart Prize. 


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one a lot more than some others (I've read a few reviews when I was going to buy it) that said finding out what was going on was the only thing that kept them reading and it wasn't worth it So still not sure if it's for me now, especially because of your complaint. I mean, I don't mind that if I go into a book blindly but knowing about it...probably not. :(

    1. I think if i had know about the obsessions before hand, I would have skipped it. I did think it was worth the read becuase I was going for creepy and sadistic when I dove into it. So that part did work for me. I think this has to be a mood read for me though. I would want to be forewarned its twisted and be ready. I feel the best part was the writing style, the multiple povs worked well for this book and I think the narrator hit it spot on with the voices. Forgot to mention the narrator in my review again. :(

  2. This looks freaky - I've never heard of it!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. I love it when a book is confusing at first and I can't figure out what's going on. This sounds really interesting and I think I might really like it. I would he weirded out by the obsession with sex too. Great review!

  4. I love it when a book is confusing at first and I can't figure out what's going on. This sounds really interesting and I think I might really like it. I would he weirded out by the obsession with sex too. Great review!


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