The fever

Once again Megan Abbott has written a dark, sensuous novel that captures perfectly the heart and soul of the teenage girl, complete with drama, love, pain, and subterfuge. Her prose is exquisite, putting words to simple things and making you see those things differently; such as the description of how the main character wishes she could be alone with her friend the way they used to be: “Ever since the first week of school freshman year, it had been hard to find Gabby alone–at least at school, where girls hung from her like tassels.”

Anguished and picture perfect girls populate an average high school where things become frantic after one student has a seizure in class. More and more girls follow suit, while rumors fly and friends stay up all night texting and eyeing everyone with suspicion.

Abbott is the master of teenage angst, deeper and much more twisty than many realize. No one in the town knows where this strange illness is coming from, and I was not able to see the end coming a mile away, as you can with some mysteries. Yes, the quality of the plot is as wonderful as the writing. I cannot imagine how it must be to grow up in a world where everything is recorded instantly on a cellphone and uploaded to the Internet before the event is even finished; yet this is the pull of the story. Who can be trusted? Are these videos helping or hurting? Is everything really what it seems to be?

I devoured this book in two days, wishing alternatively that I was a teenager again, and then being glad that I wasn’t. If you liked Abbott’s previous novel Dare Me, you will love this one as well. Let me know what you think! You can get a copy here.