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January 28, 2021

The Fever by Megan Abbott ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


I've often mentioned that when I first started out reviewing that I had trouble saying no to review requests and have a number of books I never got around to. Another area that I struggled with early on was organizing my review copies, particularly on Netgalley. I have a number of e-galleys that archived before I downloaded them. The Fever by Megan Abbott is a book I requested way back in 2014 but didn't get to read. I saw that my digital library had a copy so I thought I would read it now.

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The Fever
June 2014; Little, Brown and Co; 978-0316231053
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); young adult
I'm sure it was the "mysterious illness" that drew me to this story originally and what better time to read about an illness than during a pandemic?

Unfortunately, this book didn't work for me. 

The synopsis promised an "impossible-to-put-down 'panic attack of a novel'." While the characters may have felt panic over the mysterious illness that was sickening teenage girls, I felt no rush of adrenaline and it definitely was possible to put down. 

I found the story to be pretty boring overall and several times thought about giving up. I was curious enough about what was sickening the girls that I trudged on. There was also a weird, but subtle, sexual vibe that bordered on creepy at times. The second half was marginally better. And the discovery of what the illness was wasn't satisfying but it did explain why the author wrote the sexual vibe into the story.

The Fever in some ways reminded me of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. I didn't really like that story either.

The book is meant for young adults, and probably when I was a teenager, I would have enjoyed it more.

Buy The Fever at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.


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