Title: The Fever
Author: Megan Abbott
I thought The Fever sounded like a thriller of a book. Something is making girls sick and no one really knows what it is. Panic ensues. I thought it would show how society could fall apart when fear takes hold. And that was there, but I still ended up feeling a little let down at the end.
Deenie lives with her brother, Eli, and father, Tom. She’s a good student, Eli is a star hockey player, and Tom is a popular teacher. Their lives aren’t perfect, but they’re happy for the most part. And then Deenie’s friend has a seizure in class, igniting frenzy. After that, more girls at the school are falling sick with an unexplainable illness. It’s only affecting the girls, and the first connection is made to the HPV shots they have all been getting. And then one girl falls sick that didn’t get the shot. Panic erupts.
The story is told from Deenie, Eli, and Tom’s points of view. Each has a different perspective of the story, from the girl just wondering when it will be her, to the brother wanting everything to be okay, and the father just wanting to keep his daughter safe. I never really felt connected to any of the characters, though, and that made it a little difficult to connect with the book. I felt bad for each of them, sure, but I never felt like I was in the novel.
The plot of the novel wasn’t what I thought it would be. First I was worried it was going to be a commentary on vaccines (and given my health issues, anti-vaccine agendas bother me), and then I thought it’d be a commentary on how poisoning nature ends up poisoning ourselves. So I was a little thrown when the actual cause was revealed. I didn’t feel like it fit the rest of the story. It seemed quick and easy to wrap things up the way they were. From the panic and build-up of the novel, I was expecting something more.
In the end, The Fever was a fine book. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but it certainly wasn’t a bad book. It is well written, and if I was looking for a book dealing with relationships, I think I would have enjoyed it more. I was just looking for a thriller that would leave me blown away, and this wasn’t it.
Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.