Monday, August 11, 2014

Joint Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Author: Megan Abbott
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Date of publication: June 2014

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.

I think this book was supposed to be like a modern day Salem Witch Trial kinda thing.  I could see where the author was going with it and sort of liked the premise.  However, the prevailing theory throughout most of the book was that the HPV vaccine was the reason that the girls were going crazy.  I felt that was sort of irresponsible on the part of the author since the majority of the readers are probably girls of the age that would be getting the HPV shots.  They're already scared enough, why freak them out more?  Once the real reason came out, it was somewhat plausible, but it didn't really account for why all the rest of the girls were acting the way they were.  In the end, The Fever was just sort of eh for me.  I had really big expectations for this book and they fell far short.

The Fever ended up being a DNF for me.  I got about 10% in and just didn't like it.  I felt like the girls sounded like what the author thought teenage girls should sound like...dumb and boy crazed.   I also didn't like how the story perspective kept switching from Deenie, her brother and her father.  It looks like it was a hit or miss for most readers.  So, I guess you'll have to try it for yourself.

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