The Fever by Megan Abbott

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a 18656036seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hocky 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.” –

After reading this book, I know one thing with certainty – I never want to go to high school again.  Some girls can just be mean and I don’t miss all the drama that hovers around them.

Having teenagers of my own, I felt that the author did an excellent job of portraying them realistically.  I especially enjoyed how Deenie’s father and brother regarded teenage girls as mysteries, not understanding their motivations or actions.  Tom was certainly believable as a single father and I could identify with his worries, fears, and protective instincts for his children.  I also liked the author’s writing style and varying POV’s in the story.

Something I think was mentioned too often was the HPV vaccine.  I began to feel like I was listening to a public service announcement and thought about putting the book down for good.  The girls’ nearly constant talk about sex was also somewhat tedious.  After all the hysteria from the girls, parents, and community, I really expected a more surprising ending.  One of the reasons I kept reading the novel was the hope of some interesting twist or shocking conclusion, but I was disappointed when all was said and done.

I’ve read numerous YA books that have also appealed to me as an adult, but I didn’t feel like The Fever was one of those books meant for crossover.  I see it as much more geared to teenage girls in regards to characterization and complexity of plot and think they would enjoy this novel.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

3 thoughts on “The Fever by Megan Abbott

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