Book Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Posted July 31, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Book Review: The Fever by Megan AbbottThe Fever by Megan Abbott
Published by Little Brown on June 17th, 2014
Genres: adult, contemporary
Pages: 303
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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 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" (Laura Lippman).

What the hell did I just read? The Fever was seriously one of the most disjointed books I read this year. I didn’t like it, and I am not sure if it was meant to be this way in a style I did not connect with, but there was seriously a ton wrong with this book and I don’t know where to start or if I can even articulate it.

First of all, you should know that it took me about a week for me to finish it. That’s pretty much unheard of around here in these parts. I mean, I can blame part of that on the Big Brother live feeds, but I also think that if I was really invested nothing would have kept me from finishing it. I just didn’t care. It was easy to put down, walk away, go to sleep. I didn’t find it intriguing.

Part of the problem, I think, was the writing style. Much of it is vague, I was never sure what as going on or what the author’s intent was, or even what the characters’ intent was. There was a lack of clarity in word choices, sentence fragments, and it kept the reader at a distance. I never got attached to any of the characters either because of how detached the writing was. I appreciated the unsettling tone of the book, and I do believe the author writes well, but hardly anything happened in this book and the building of tension was severely lackluster.

Girls are getting sick. It starts with a girl in a classroom who falls out of her desk and has a seizure. After that, many more follow, but no one knows why. Is it the polluted lake? A HPV vaccination that the school recommended? Everyone is paranoid and no one knows what is going on. The book feels repetitive and circular because it goes basically like this: A girl gets sick. People freak out. Fingers are pointed. And then the cycle starts over again. And then to top it all off, the ending is pretty underwhelming.

I liked her other book, Dare Me. I like Megan Abbott’s writing. But to put it simply, this book did not have a strong enough plot to carry the length, which was over 300 pages. Poor execution, and unfortunately, I cannot really recommend it.


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