I received this book by Megan Abbott as an e-galley from Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review. Honestly? I LOVED it. The only other book by Abbott that I have read was Dare Me, a terribly raw look at teenage girls, but I am definitely a fan!
The Fever is no less honest and raw and such a great read. At the center of the book is Deenie, and her closest friends at high school. Deenie goes to school one morning, and avoids her best friend, Lise, because of an event that occurred the night before. Unfortunately, before Deenie can talk to Lise, Lise has a “fit” in class, and falls out on the floor. She is rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, things go downhill from there. The next day, Deenie’s other best friend, Gabby, also has a fit and falls out in front of the entire school. Several other girls appear to be stricken within a few short days, and accusations, as well as secrets, begin erupting. Deenie’s brother, Eli, and her father, Tom, are concerned about Deenie, for different reasons. The action moves along rather quickly to a very shocking ending.
The book is wonderfully entertaining and fast-paced. I am not sure how Abbott gets inside the heads of teenagers, but she does, and does it well. She reveals teenaged girls for what they are: masses of confusion and guilt, self-centered, and still wishing they were little girls, when life was simpler. The book is so real and frightening, and reminder to all parents of young girls and women that we cannot protect them from everything, no matter how hard we try.