Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review: 'The Fever'

When I was a kid I used to love reading mysteries, anything from Nancy Drew to the Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley (my personal fave ;) to the Boxcar Children. I always love the suspense and trying to figure out what's going to happen before it happens. Even though I've been loving non-fiction and memoirs lately, I've getting back into the mystery genre with psychological thrillers.

My latest pick was The Fever by Megan Abbott, which earned high praise from Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. I figured it would be a good read, and I really did enjoy the writing in this book. Megan Abbott has clearly spent a lot of time perfecting her craft, and it shows in her clean use of detail and storytelling. Aside from that, I felt the psychological aspect of the book was completely lacking. There wasn't much suspense throughout the story, and I didn't feel that the sickness spreading around the school was a solid enough plot to hold the book together.

The first girl contracts the mystery illness in the first few chapters, and from there a string of girls in the school come down with similar symptoms. A few possible causes for the "disease" are thrown around by other students and parents, like the contaminated lake the small town is known for. Maybe it was just that I couldn't get behind the idea of a mysterious illness that's only contracted by teenage girls, but I just didn't follow this story with any interest at all. I didn't find Deenie, the main character, very fun to follow, though I will give Abbott credit for knowing how to dive into the minds of teenagers and all the drama that inevitably follows them.

All in all, I'd probably give this book 2.5-3 stars. It wasn't as compelling as other thrillers I've read, but the writing and character development was well done. If you're looking for something to shock you and get your heart rate up, this isn't it.

Have you read The Fever? What did you think? I'd love to know...

P.S. Better thrillers: The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive

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