By Megan Abbott
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316231053, June 17, 2014, 320pp.)
The Short of It:
Rumors and panic abound in Abbott’s latest novel, making it a taut, suspenseful read.
The Rest of It:
As you can imagine, a high school is the perfect place for rumors and panic to take shape and that is exactly what happens in The Fever. Deenie Nash and her brother Eli attend Dryden High School. Their father, Tom teaches there and because of his proximity to the students, he knows his daughter’s friends pretty well. When Deenie’s best friend Lise Daniels ends up on the floor in convulsions, no one knows what to think. As she is rushed to the hospital, her fellow classmates wonder if she took something or had an illness that no one knew about.
Deenie’s concern for her friend grows when she finds out that on top of the convulsions, she experienced a cardiac event. At such a young age? Before long, another classmate is on the floor convulsing and then the rumors begin to fly. What’s going on? Is there something wrong with these girls? Have they been exposed to something? Why isn’t it happening to the boys?
Abbott does an admirable job of giving the reader just enough info to keep it interesting, but not enough to ruin the payoff. It’s suspenseful and well-written and the pacing is good. My only complaint is that I feel that the author may have used it as a vehicle for sharing her opinions on a particular topic. I won’t say what that topic is for fear of lessening the suspense but that was my only issue with the book. I do not like hidden agendas.
Aside from that, it was a quick, entertaining read. I liked that the parents were prominent. You get their take on the situation which added another layer to the mystery. I’ve never read Abbott before but based on this one I’d read another book by her.
Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss.
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