(53)The Fever by Megan Abbott

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Fever

Pages: 320

Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: June 17, 2014

Deenie Nash is about as typical as a teenager can get.  Her parents are divorced and she lives with her father, a teacher,  and older brother in a typical suburban town. Their perfectly ordinary world is shattered one day when Deenie's best friend, Lise, has a horrible seizure in class.  That is not the end of it, one by one Deenie's friends are afflicted by the same mysterious ailment.  Soon there are government officials involved and Deenie is told not to go to work and even though Deenie  hasn't gotten sick she feels as if her world is crashing in around her.    Soon accusations are being thrown around and conspiracy theories are abound. Will they be able to figure out what is causing the girls to get sick before it is too late and one of them ends up dead?

The Fever was a fairly fast read that was part mystery, part YA, and part Sci-Fi.  One may even say that the book is a bit political because there was a huge chunk of the book where people were saying the HPV vaccine was behind the mysterious illness and they never should have forced their daughters to have it.  It even went so far as for Lise's mom hiring lawyers because she was so convinced that the vaccine was what caused her daughter's illness.   I think one of the things that kept me so interested in the book was that most of the characters seemed to be one or two steps removed from being completely unhinged.  From the teen girls, to some of their mothers and even Deenie's father were all a degree of "hot mess." Obviously as the book progresses the truth is revealed and it is a bit of a shocker.  Totally not what I was expecting, but really it pulled the book all together and gave it a nice solid conclusion. 

Bottom line, not exactly my favorite read of the summer, but definitely worth the read.  If you have teen girls in your life you might find it enlightening to read or even a bit terrifying. It might even make a good book club selection because of the HPV vaccine debate.  *Shrug*  Let me know what you think. 

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