Title/Author: The Fever by Megan Abbott.My Thoughts: The Fever follows one family as they navigate their way through a community crisis. High School student Deenie witnesses one of her best friends, Lise, have a seizure in class. Another episode puts her in a coma. Then one by one, a few more students have "episodes." Deenie's other best friend Becca and another girl who makes conspiratorial videos from the hospital and posts them on social media. Gossip spreads and before you know it, parents are concerned, the press is intruding and the police are investigating.
Narrators: Cynthia Holloway, Jonathan McClain, Sarge Anton.
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks.
Synopsis: 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 and the father of two teens: Eli, a hocky 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. ~Goodreads.com
Is it the vaccines that the teen girls in town have been getting? Is it toxins in their environment? Is it poison in the forbidden lake? These are questions that are constantly being thrown around and it seems to become the center of the Nash family lives. At one point I even had a fleeting thought it had something to do with the tights the girls were described as wearing only because they were mentioned repeatedly.
Meanwhile, they are dealing with other issues. Deenie seems kind of lost and confused. Her mom cheated on her father and left the family. Now Deenie is on her own with two males in her household. I can't help but feel a mother could help her navigate what she is going through, but it is obvious it is not her own mother. Deenie doesn't seem to trust her anymore. Eli is the school's heartthrob and he seems to take it in stride. He's a nice guy but has had more than his share of girls. Tom, their father comes off as a nice man who is simply trying to be the best father he can. It is clear he adores his children and yet raising them also proves to be a riddle that he is constantly trying to solve. I think the character development is solid and I felt as if the Nash family could be my neighbors.
There are a lot of questions and few answers, at least until the end. I liked the constant questions. The Fever has a feeling of a cloak and dagger plot in the modern world. At times I felt like Deenie had the answer all along. Maybe it was because of the way she seemed haunted by the events, perplexed by not having the answers, the feeling that some of her friends had secrets from her. Maybe someone else will know what is happening right away, but I certainly didn't.
The only thing I really didn't like is the big red herring. This is going to sound cryptic but I'm trying not to give too much away. I thought it was a great plot device, but where it is placed in the book gave it more importance than it should have. However, I think putting a hint of what was really going on, may have given the truth away.
The book is told via first person through Tom, Deenie and Eli. I liked the way you got to know the characters through each other's eyes and how they themselves were dealing with events. It wasn't confusing to me and it also served to increase the tension. Just when you were about to discover something about Deenie, the book switched to Eli, and so on.
Narration: I thought the narration was good. The voices were all age appropriate and I enjoyed that they used three different people to portray each character, like in the book.
The Fever is a thriller that comes off as so much more. It leads you through the twists and turns of an event that effected a whole town and how one family in particular is at the center.