Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Fever by Megan Abbott

{Review} The Fever
Title: The Fever
Author: Megan Abbott
Published: June 17th, 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 320
{Thank you Little, Brown and Company and Netgalley for providing this in return for an honest review}

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.

Wow, this book was full of mystery and suspense!  I have never been on the edge of my seat when it came to reading a mystery book, but Abbott really knew how to create great suspense and anticipation of what was coming next.  I really don’t usually venture into reading adult books that often, but I have wanted to read Dare Me by Megan Abbott for awhile now, so when I had the ability to read this book, I was ecstatic.  It was exactly what I was expecting from this book and so much more.  I did not finish this book feeling disappointed, that’s for sure!

I really felt like the writing style was the biggest factor in creating such great suspense.  The book was written in alternating perspectives between Deenie, Tom (Deenie’s father), and Eli (Deenie’s brother).  The book would switch between character’s voices many times throughout each chapter, which some people may not like, but surprisingly I loved.  I usually hate books that switch between so many different characters because I find myself favoring one point of view over the others, but I was interested in every perspective in this book.  I felt that it kept the book confusing enough that it was hard to guess what was going to happen in the end, but it was not so confusing that it made the story hard to follow or unenjoyable.  Perspectives would also switch right when something big was about to be reveled and I found myself on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was coming next.

I feel like this book has a lot of likable and unlikable characters.  I felt that Abbott was really able to capture a realistic view of how catty and disturbed relationships can be between young girls.   I think that most females reading this book can relate to some aspects of the relationships between the main group of girls.  I really liked Deenie as a character and felt like she brought a lot to the book.  I felt like her character experienced a lot of aspects that young girls could relate to: sexual confusion, divorcing parents, and navigating the confusing relationships with her friends.  I also really liked that is showed Tom struggling with being a single dad and finding a relationship after divorce and Eli struggling with his sexual urges.  I also thought that this book had great, detailed side characters who were struggling with their own pasts and relationships themselves.  I thought the portrayal of mass hysteria was also very correct, with news reporters trying to get the latest scoop and parents coming up with their own theories of what was happening.

I did really like the ending of this book as well.  I was constantly guessing about what could be causing these girls to be hospitalized and I was not disappointed by the answer.  I did guess one aspect of the ending, but that was because of a bad synopsis (not the one listed above), which compared this book to another that really gave away that one aspect, but the rest, I did not see coming.  

Overall, I would defiantly recommend this book if you are looking for a good mystery book that will keep you intrigued until the end.  This book is intended for adults, so I would suggest being 17 years old or over to read it, although I did think it was on the tamer side compared to other books in this genre that I have recently read.  I absolutely loved this book and plan on getting my hands on Dare Me as soon as possible!



Check out Abbott's other book, Dare Me, which also focuses on a mystery surrounding teenage cheerleaders and an unexpected suicide. 

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