The Fever by Megan Abbott
Little, Brown and Company // June 17, 2014
hardcover, 320 pgs
source: egalley from publisher through Netgalley
About the book:
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.
A mysterious tale of a sudden contagious epidemic keeps this book moving fast. The Fever was a quick read and one I could have read in an evening (ya know, if life didn't get in the way of my reading time). Fast paced and mysterious, this novel is perfectly timed with the current mass hysteria over Ebola in the US. What exactly is causing the girls of Dryden to get sick with seizures, convulsions, vomiting, and hallucinations? Is it the HPV vaccine all the girls got? Maybe it's the polluted lake that's making them sick. Or is something more sinister at play?
The quest for answers kept me turning the pages of this novel. I wanted answers as badly as the parents of these afflicted girls. And why, exactly, is Deenie caught in the middle? I just wanted to know!!!
In addition to the fast moving plot, I liked the characters. The girls were all different, but shared commonalities enough to make us question what was happening- and why. They were different enough to be unique but similar enough to seem like any girl you'd meet in a local high school cafeteria. I think that helped make this novel relevant. The entire idea behind this book was impressive- the outbreak and what comes after. The hysteria was accurately depicted and twists and turns kept me guessing. Overall, I really liked this one and would definitely recommend it.... especially with all the current hysteria in the media right now.
About the author:
Megan Abbott is the Edgar award-winning author of six novels, including Dare Me, The End of Everything and Bury Me Deep. Her writing has appeared in Detroit Noir, Queens Noir, Phoenix Noir, New York Times and Los Angeles Times Magazine. She is the author of The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir and editor of A Hell of a Woman, a female crime fiction anthology. She has been nominated for awards including the Steel Dagger, the LA Times Book Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.
Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature and went on to receive her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She lives in Queens, New York City.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow
Cover image from Netgalley.com
Book and author information from Amazon.com