The Fever

The Fever

by Megan Abbott


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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 Abbott's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation."*

*Laura Lippman

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316231053
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL800L (what's this?)

About the Author

Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University and has taught literature, writing, and film studies at New York University, the New School, and the State University of New York at Oswego. She lives in New York City.

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The Fever: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown and Company via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. DNF @ 23% I hated this book. I hated it more than I thought I could possibly hate a book. I am not someone that gives up on a book very often but this needed to be one of those times. I only read 23% of the book and I tried to push forward but it just was not to be. Why did I hate this book? I did not like way it was written at all. I felt very removed from the story. This third person stream of consciousness from several points of view may work for some readers but I loathed it. I did not like the characters. After reading 23% of the book, I could care less about any of the characters found within its pages. I did not like the use of sex for shock value. Seriously, the only goal for some of the things discussed in this book had to be shock value. I want to be clear that I have been a female my entire life and I have never assisted a friend with her tampon and I have never asked for help. I would be happy to go and buy one for a friend but she is on her own when it comes to the actual use of the product. This kind of helping just is not done and reading about it is just gross. These were not my only problems with this book. I seriously doubt that the whole school would be so concerned about this especially when only one girl was affected. I really hated how this book read like a Young Adult book but such a focus on sex. Everything from the description of the french teacher to a young man's thoughts regarding her sister. It was just unnecessary and forced. Did I like anything about the book? The cover is kind of nice. Really that is the only positive thing that I can say. After the cover, the whole thing goes downhill. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I told my teen daughter that if anyone tries to give her this book to run in the other This is the first that I have read anything by Megan Abbott and I am pretty sure that this is going to be my last.
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 5 3.5/5 Megan Abbott's latest book, The Fever, is the first title I've read from this author. Abbott starts off her book with a group of girls discussing "The first time, you can't believe how much it hurts." My initial thoughts were okay, teenage girls and sex - this isn't going to hold my attention. But the next chapter changed the way I though the story was going to go - and my interest was piqued. Deenie's friend Lise has what seems to be some sort of seizure at school. And then so does another girl - and another. The cause isn't clear - is the polluted lake the teens were swimming in? Is it the vaccination the girls have all had? Is it an STD? Is it...? The cause remains a mystery as the the town struggles to deal with more and more girls getting sick. Except Deenie. Beneath that layer, the teens have their own ideas, struggles and sly machinations going on. Secrets are everywhere. Abbott tells her tale from multiple viewpoints - that of Deenie, her father Tom (a teacher at the high school) and heartthrob brother Tom. Abbott draws her characters well - these are a pack of teens, not a group of girls. They are backbiting, manipulative and self absorbed, but could they be dangerous as well? Abbot's portrayal of teenagers is by turns frightening and troubling, yet probably very accurate. The addition of an adult perspective from Tom gave the book balance. Abbott manipulates the reader as well - snippets of information, connections and background are slowly revealed as every character reveals a little more every time its their chapter. Abbott's writing style is excellent and the premise had me eager to get the to end. I was so very curious - what could the cause be? I admit to being slightly deflated by the end result, but had enough warning in the final chapters as what the endgame would be. And I can see why all my young adult pages at the library love her books!
ColoradoBlonde More than 1 year ago
I picked this book because I just loved the cover art. It was also mention on the Today show as a good "beach" read. But, after struggling to read this I found no real reason to read this other than to find out what actually happens. Overall the writing was good, but not what I expected at all.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I know one thing with certainty - I never want to go to high school again. Some girls can just be mean and I don't miss all the drama that hovers around them. Having teenagers of my own, I felt that the author did an excellent job of portraying them realistically. I especially enjoyed how Deenie's father and brother regarded teenage girls as mysteries, not understanding their motivations or actions. Tom was certainly believable as a single father and I could identify with his worries, fears, and protective instincts for his children. I also liked the author's writing style and varying POV's in the story. Something I think was mentioned too often was the HPV vaccine. I began to feel like I was listening to a public service announcement and thought about putting the book down for good. The girls' nearly constant talk about sex was also somewhat tedious. After all the hysteria from the girls, parents, and community, I really expected a more surprising ending. One of the reasons I kept reading the novel was the hope of some interesting twist or shocking conclusion, but I was disappointed when all was said and done. I've read numerous YA books that have also appealed to me as an adult, but I didn't feel like The Fever was one of those books meant for crossover. I see it as much more geared to teenage girls in regards to characterization and complexity of plot and think they would enjoy this novel. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I didn't like this one as much as "Dare Me" it was still a really great read.
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ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite The Fever by Megan Abbott is an expose of the way teenage girls' emotions tend to rule their thinking. This tale focuses on Gabby, Deenie and Lise, girlfriends at Dryden High. Lise has a seizure and ends up in the hospital. At school, rumors circulate and emotions run high while everyone speculates on what is wrong with Lise and whether it is contagious. Of the three girls, Deenie is the most sensible. Deenie’s father is Tom, a teacher at the school, and her brother is Eli, a hockey star. Slowly other girls in the school come down with similar symptoms. The police and medical officials arrive at the school, trying to ascertain what is happening at the school and why. When Gabby also falls victim to the strange malady, Deenie falls victim to gossip.  Megan Abbott narrates her tale from various points of view: Tom, Eli, and Deenie’s. The Fever is a look at the vulnerability of teenage girls and the histrionic extremes that seem to plague them. It demonstrates the danger of gossip and the way girls use it. Could the HVP vaccine be responsible? Could it be toxin from the lake? I would not have named this book Fever because fever has nothing to do with the book. Mass hysteria would have been a more appropriate title. Deenie feels guilty because her two friends are sick but she isn’t. She fears she is in some way to blame. The Fever is a mixture of Young Adult drama and medical mystery. Unfortunately, we never have a clear picture of why Lise was ill.
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
The Fever is frightening in its realism, as paranoia and fear become panic at a high school in which several young girls suffer from expected post-immunisation seizures. The third-person narrator switches between revealing the events from Deenie's perspective, to her dad's and then her brother's, which I initially found unsettling. Megan Abbott also leaves the reader guessing why the whole family is so important, particularly as Deenie is not one of the girl's physically affected. Yet as the story builds, and each character expands on their insight, we realise that the events are far more sinister than a reaction to a HPV injection. Megan Abbott's realization of the different teenage girls in the novel is insightful and clever, forcing the reader to examine their thought-processes and psychology. Deenie is sensitive, caring and heart broken about the events involving her best friends, but she also feels a sense of responsibility. Deenie is a difficult character because whilst the reader empathises with her, we also learn of her culpability. Despite Deenie's belief in her friendship with Gabby I never felt she was trustworthy, instead she is influenced by Skye, who clearly enjoys control and manipulation. Megan Abbott is able to make everyone appear as suspects, through her intelligent and involved story-telling style which exposes all of the characters' weaknesses. Although I was not surprised by the outcome I did enjoy the journey there and I think The Fever would be appreciated by readers who like character-driven plots. I received this as a complimentary review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LibrarianK More than 1 year ago
This had to be Megan Abbots best book to date. She captures the teen experience while adding a layer of suspicion and doubt that cannot be forgotten or denied. Taking a current news item , she crafts a novel of depth that is amazing. Teen-age girls who fall into fits for no known reason-how does this happen? And how can they stop it from happening to all the kids? The ending will and will not surprise you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookwormVS More than 1 year ago
Twisted, and entertaining This is the third book I've read by Megan Abbott, (in addition to The End of Everything and Dare Me), and she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.  She and Gillian Flynn (another one of my favorites) are great at portraying the dark side of the female mind, although I am beginning to wonder if both of them were mean girls in high school, or at least victimized by mean girls. This is a fast read, and although some of the plot you can see coming, enough of it was surprising to me.  On a final note and public service announcement, I can say that the Gardasil vaccine is safe and effective!
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars I had high hopes for The Fever, having read Laura Lippman's recommendation. The publisher's description evoked the Salem witch trials, and I was interested in seeing how Abbott might address the possibility of teenage girl mass hysteria in a modern setting. While The Fever was well-written, its pace dropped off abruptly at about the two-thirds mark, ultimately ending with a thud. Abbott did not take full advantage of the various available explanations for the contagion spreading among the female students of Dryden High School. Instead, The Fever was, at bottom, a conventional thriller, perfect for a summer beach read but devoid of any true depth. I received a free copy of The Fever through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Dark, brutally blunt and slightly chilling, The Fever by Megan Abbott is a journey through family ties, small town paranoia, and the turmoil and viciousness of the high school popularity scale. A mysterious illness is claiming the vitality of a group of teen girls who have one thing in common, Deenie. At a time when angst and insecurities run rampant, at that time just before adulthood, when hormones run rampant and sexuality is new and exciting and out of control, blame is thrown around as to who or what is responsible for the illness that is terrifying the town. Will Deenie be their scapegoat? Can her loving father protect her from the pain of growing up? Will her babe magnet brother recognize the changes going on in Deenie or will she become one of the mysterious creatures he physically enjoys but cannot figure out? Is she becoming a stranger to them just by growing up and wanting to spread her wings? Even the dynamics of her friendships are changing and she struggles to accept these changes. High school has become a laboratory for sexual experimentation and some theorists suggest that it is the HPV vaccines that are causing these mysterious illnesses, some say it’s the environment, the polluted lake, government conspiracies, and the shroud of mystery feels heavy and ominous for all. Megan Abbott has gotten into the mind of a teen female and projected their inner thoughts and emotions with frightening clarity. Her ability to twist her plot into huge knots makes following each loop and twist feel like riding a freight train through a mountain tunnel, eerie, chaotic yet moving at a pace that invites savoring the depths of the story, and the darkness of fear. Each page feels like getting closer to the edge of a huge waterfall, the current pulls you along and the inevitable cannot be stopped, then, just as you are prepared to plunge, a new twist steers you to shore, a little shaky, a little unsettled. Ms. Abbott’s characters feel real and are intense in their own right, while the plot keeps you guessing and feeling as off balance as its characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
K i did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished so I could see how it ended .
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
There was a plethora of characters in this novel from teachers to parents to teens; everyone wanted a piece of the action. Did I just say plethora? Something is happening to the teenage girls in this novel and they’re landing the hospital with bizarre symptoms. It started with convulsions while others started to claw at their throats claiming of a lodged foreign object trapped inside as they dug with their fists in their mouths. Others started to seize, faint and get sick, such a collection of symptoms but why only females and why now? It began with Lise and now her close friend Gabby, while performing on stage is not able to control her cello as “her chair skidded loudly, her neck thrown back so far that, in the darkness, it looked like her head had disappeared. For one terrifying instant, gone.” They along with other females of Sea-of-the-Star are being admitted at the local hospital and have the medical team scrambling to find the cause. Is there a connection between these individuals and if so, what is that link? Healthy girls are starting to panic, along with their parents and the school community. There’s talk of an epidemic, there’s accusations of public abuse, everyone wants to point the finger and only a few have some type of a lead to go on. Samples are taken, interviews are conducted and some individuals are getting hysterical. Tempers fly but only a few really knows the answers and I myself, couldn’t believe the outcome. Oh, the life of being a high school student. Trying to mange school and the drama with all your friends and your family, it is a juggling affair. In The Fever, I was thrown right back into the mix, yet there is something odd going on with the females in this high school. How something can only effected them had me baffled and I was thinking along the lines of Criminal Minds as they threw out their assumptions to me. Was it the river, could it only effect the females? Could it be the vaccination? Could it be something totally different, yes I can pull a rabbit out of a hat and save the day? The author had me going, tugging me in many directions, as there were a few strings left dangling in front of me. This would have been a good case for Dr. Reid but Megan put everything together and “Maybe we don’t really know anybody, Deenie thought. And maybe nobody knows us.” I was provided a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book hard to believe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand three times then post this on three other books then check under your pillow