by Megan Abbott
Why did you choose this book? The hysteria aspect
When did you read this book? January 2015
Who should read this book? readers of contemporary young adult fiction
Source: library ebook
Here is a synopsis of The Fever from Goodreads
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.
This one is a hard one for me to rate. I picked it up because they synopsis, with it’s hysteria aspect, made me think ‘Salem Witch Trials’. And truthfully, there was an aspect of ‘witch hunt’ to this book. But there was nothing paranormal about the book.
It really took me awhile to get into this story. The characters weren’t compelling, and I felt like there was a lot of ‘misdirection’ with sexual innuendo. Take this opening excerpt:
“The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts.”
Deenie’s legs are shaking but she tries to hide it, pushing her knees together, her hands hot on her thighs.
Six other girls are waiting. A few have done it before, but most are like Deenie.
“I heard you might even want to throw up,” one says. “I knew a girl who passed out. They had to stop in the middle.”
Given this is a bunch of high school girls, what do you think they are talking about? It’s not the first time you think it is! That said, both girls and boys in the story think and talk about sex A LOT; it just isn’t what this passage refers to. There is no monster and no paranormal activity here; there is only a pretty good mystery. And once the story got moving, which took way too long, it was hard to put down, until…..
If I had to sum my experience with this book up in one sentence it would be:
“First it was boring, then it was REALLY interesting, and then it wasn’t.”
Overall, the mystery aspect of me wanting to discover what was really going on, helped me push through the book, and I’m glad I did. The mystery made this book a bit better than average for me, but didn’t push it into the ‘recommend’ category.
My Rating: ★★★1/2 3-1/2 Stars