"With The Fever, Megan Abbott has created a mesmerizing, modern portrait of teenage life today: Brutal crushes, competing allegiances and first-bloom sensuality, all magnified by the rush and crush of technology. The Fever holds true to its title: It's dark, disturbing, strangely beautiful and utterly unshakeable."Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
"The Fever is a potboiler in the truest, best sense of that devalued word: Its ingredients are expertly combined, patiently agitated, and heated to an inexorable boil. But it's also a great novel, full stop, without any of the usual genre caveats, and I can think of no higher recommendation than that you'll want to read it twice: First insatiably, speeding through to find out just what's going to happen, and then again slowly, to savor the sharp, dare I say literary, insights about her characters that Abbott effortlessly scatters throughout."Adam Sternbergh, Slate
"The book to beat...in the 'Is it the next Gone Girl?' sweepstakes.... [Megan Abbot has] exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl.... It's the book's constant throb of horror that keeps it gripping."Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"If the phenomena that led to the Salem Witch trials were to revisit the world today, it might very well look like the scenario in Megan Abbott's engrossing, disturbing, panic attack of a novel, The Fever. In a time when suicide and pregnancy pacts can go viral, this story of mass hysteria in a high school is not only completely plausible it's impossible to put down."Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller
"No one understands the social dynamics of teenage girls better than Megan Abbott...settling into The Fever, one realizes that Abbott is setting a rhythm, one that's measured and paced with the brilliance of one of the best living mystery writers."Kevin Nguyen, Grantland
"This smart thriller about the dynamics of panic keeps you guessing till the last scene."Good Housekeeping
"[Megan Abbott is] a unique talent with a signature style that gets stronger with every book. With its confident plotting and lyrical prose, The Fever may be her best novel yet."Los Angeles Times
"Abbott is able to render the texture, ambivalence, and confusion of the inner life of a teen, coupling it with sparse, plain dialogue that highlights the disjunction between the way a teen experiences the world and how he or she can actually articulate that experience. And the plot! It's like a riptide! I was hooked by Page 4. Seriously, Page 4 - the end of the first, highly ambiguous, totally tantalizing mini-chapter that begins the book. I knew, four pages in, that I was ruined for the rest of the day . . . It was delicious."BuzzFeed
"a chilling new novel set in the emotional world of teenagers...In many ways, the message of THE FEVER is about how these thingsambivalence about sex, insecurities about their appearance and navigating the intensity of female friendshipsaffect the girls and their families, and how a traumatized community stumbles through a crisis."Elizabeth Blair, NPR
"Stunning....Nothing should be taken at face value in this jealousy-and hormone-soaked world except that Abbott is certainly our very best guide."Kirkus (Starred Review)
"The Fever sends chills. Megan Abbott's 'high school noir' is sensual and sinister...atmospheric and compelling...What sets Abbott apart from other mystery scribes is her evocative language. There is drama and a fast-moving narrative, but she skillfully weaves a mounting dread into the novel, as well as a claustrophobic sensuality. You feel as if you're in the heads of each of the teenagers in the fictional town of Dryden, but also privy to the inner life of the adults, as well."The Detroit News
"Dare Me hurtles past the glitter and angst of high-school cheerleading, right to the bruising inner struggles of adolescence."New York Magazine
"Make no mistake, this is no pulpy teenage tale: It's a very grown-up look at youth culture and how bad behavior can sometimes be redeemed by a couple of good decisions."Sara Nelson, O, the Oprah Magazine
"A heady tale of high-school drama with grown-up stakes...Abbott's rendering of the power-plays, rites of bonding and twisted loyalties of teenage girls is pitch-perfect. As much as Dare Me is page-turning murder mystery, it is also an ode to the dark side of girlhood friendship and all its twisted loyalties."Mythili Rao, The Daily Beast
"Megan Abbott has cornered the 'dark desires of teenage girls' territory too, with Dare Me."Sarah Weinman, Salon
"Megan Abbott has been called the Queen of Noir...Her new novel, Dare Me, is something of a switch for Abbott in that it's about a cheerleading squad, though - trust us - it's still quite hard-boiled...A contemporary novel about a cheerleading squad that somehow manages to be as dark and sinister as any of Abbott's fiction."Sherryl Connely, New York Daily News
Abbott’s (Dare Me) thrilling seventh novel takes a peek into the strange, inscrutable minds of teenage girls. Deenie, Lise, and Gabby are the “Trio Grande,” whispering together in the library and giggling late into the night during sleepovers. Their “teen-girl-ness” confounds Deenie’s father, a teacher at their school, and her older brother, Eli, a popular hockey player. When Lise has an unexplained a seizure during class, the girls’ triumvirate is thrown into disarray, and no one seems to have any answers. Everyone from doctors to school administrators are keeping quiet, sending a ripple of fear throughout the school. Almost immediately, other girls start getting sick and the suspicions and hysteria quickly rouse the small town into a fervor. Parents, teachers, and students alike speculate wildly, the rumored causes ranging from stress to mutant viruses, as Deenie tries to find out the truth. Abbott’s adolescents are close to pitch-perfect with their sudden switches between childlike vulnerability and calculating maturity. What the narrative lacks in depth it makes up for in momentum and dark mystery. This is a gripping story fueled by the razor-sharp treachery, jealousy, hormones, and insecurities of teenage girls. (June)
"The plot's myriad twists and turns, like the precarious pyramids the cheerleaders perfect, are intriguing and unexpected."
"If your image of high school cheerleaders is pretty, perky, healthy, wholesome young women, you may be shocked by the gritty, cutthroat, twisted world of cheer in Megan Abbott's sneaker-noir Dare Me...Abbott knows how to build suspense, drop clues like gum wrappers on a gym floor, and blindside the reader. The twists are the fun part...Abbott is best in the nasty, manipulative dialogue, as Beth controls the squad with her vicious tongue, and in Addy's confused inner monologues, where she relishes any attention from Coach French...Some will be riveted by the complex resolution."
"Megan Abbott has been called the Queen of Noir...Her new novel, Dare Me, is something of a switch for Abbott in that it's about a cheerleading squad, though - trust us - it's still quite hard-boiled...A contemporary novel about a cheerleading squad that somehow manages to be as dark and sinister as any of Abbott's fiction."
"Dark high school thriller...Having won an Edgar for her 1940s-era femme fatale novel Queenpin, Abbott knows how to write a hard-boiled classic in the vein of Raymond Chandler. But what's exciting about Dare Me is how it makes that traditionally masculine genre feel distinctly female. It feels groundbreaking when Abbott takes noir conventions - loss of innocence, paranoia, the manipulative sexuality of newly independent women - and suggests that they're rooted in high school, deep in the hearts of all-American girls. She understands the intensity of female relationships, and she knows that some 15-year-olds can't be best friends until they're willing to destroy the competition."
"A compelling, compulsive read."
"Moody thriller...If cheerleaders scared you in high school, you'll finish the haunting Dare Me convinced you were right."
"A heady tale of high-school drama with grown-up stakes...Abbott's rendering of the power-plays, rites of bonding and twisted loyalties of teenage girls is pitch-perfect. As much as Dare Me is page-turning murder mystery, it is also an ode to the dark side of girlhood friendship and all its twisted loyalties."
"Make no mistake, this is no pulpy teenage tale: It's a very grown-up look at youth culture and how bad behavior can sometimes be redeemed by a couple of good decisions."
"Megan Abbott has cornered the 'dark desires of teenage girls' territory too, with Dare Me."
"Megan Abbott, an Edgar-winning crime writer, drew inspiration from Lord of the Flies for her sexy and sinister new novel, Dare Me, which lays bare the cruel, confused longings of a group of high-school cheerleaders, and is the perfect way to forget yourself on a turbulent transatlantic flight."
"An increasingly addictive noir set in the world of high school cheerleading...Think Bring It On as reimagined by Christopher Nolan."
"Dare Me hurtles past the glitter and angst of high-school cheerleading, right to the bruising inner struggles of adolescence."
PRAISE FOR DARE ME:
"Lord of the Flies set in a high-school cheerleading squad...Tense, dark, and beautifully written."
The lives of teenage girls are dangerous, beautiful things in Abbott's (Dare Me, 2012, etc.) stunning seventh novel.At Dryden High School, 16-year-old Deenie Nash and her best friends Lise Daniels and Gabby Bishop are an inseparable trio. The daughter of Tom, a popular teacher, and younger sister of hockey star Eli, Deenie radiates the typical teenage mixture of confidence and vulnerability. When Lise suffers an unexplained and violent seizure in the middle of class, no one is quite sure how to react. Until another girl and then another exhibit the same symptoms. The rumors seem to spread as fast as the mysterious affliction, which is blamed on everything from a rotten batch of vaccine to female hysteria. Abbott expertly withholds just enough information to slowly ratchet up the suspense until the reader is as breathless as Deenie at the arrival of each new text message or cryptic phone call and the school vibrates with half-formed theories and speculations. Finding herself becoming slowly more isolated with each incident, Deenie must not only sort through the infinitely complex social and emotional issues ignited by the events—she's also dealing with her first clumsy sexual experience—but also the very real fear that something in the town is causing the fits, and it's only a matter of time before she's next. Nothing should be taken at face value in this jealousy- and hormone-soaked world except that Abbott is certainly our very best guide.