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The Fever

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  22,640 ratings  ·  2,897 reviews
In this impossible-to-put-down "panic attack of a novel," a small-town high school becomes the breeding ground for a mysterious illness.

Deenie Nash is a diligent student with a close-knit family; her brother Eli is a hockey star, and her father is a popular teacher. But when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class, the Nashes' seeming s
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
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Winterborn Your mileage will vary, not ever kid is the same. I'd have no problem giving it to clever 14 year old. 16 would probably be about right for most.

Your mileage will vary, not ever kid is the same. I'd have no problem giving it to clever 14 year old. 16 would probably be about right for most.

While sex and sexual situations are present, they're all in the past tense and fairly vaguely described. Other than that it seems like about as YA friendly as you can get without being actually YA.(less)
Stella That's true! I have a copy (bought very recently, so I don't know if it was available earlier) from Barned & Noble that includes a short interview wit…moreThat's true! I have a copy (bought very recently, so I don't know if it was available earlier) from Barned & Noble that includes a short interview with Abbott at the end, and this was the very first question. She confirms that the 2012 epidemic in Le Roy had inspired her.(less)
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Average rating 3.11  · 
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 ·  22,640 ratings  ·  2,897 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
"The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts.”

“It just kind of burns,” says another. “You’re sore for a few days. I heard by the third time, you don’t even feel it.”
This is from the prologue, and no, these girls are not talking about losing the big V.

This is an extremely hard book for me to rate. On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing. On the other hand, there was nothing remotely scary about it, and overall, I felt like I was led on a merry trail filled with red herrings that looked
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
oh, megan abbott.

she does such a good job of writing bad girls.

i have loved her neo-noir books with their saucy femmes fatales, but her last three books have all been contemporary fiction spilling all the secrets of mean girls and their strategies or laying bare the dark side of the modern teenage girl's coming of age and entrée into sexuality. this one does both.

it's a crawly story of an epidemic that begins plaguing the girls, and only the girls, of one suburban high school, causing seizures
(I received an ARC of this from NetGalley for this review.)

The whole time I was reading this I had to fight the urge to walk around imitating Christopher Walken from that famous Saturday Night Live skit. “I got a FEVER and the only prescription is more Megan Abbott!”

Sorry. I had to get that out of my system….

Deenie Nash is a pretty typical American teenage girl. She lives with her school teacher father Tom and her brother Eli. After her best friend Lise has a seizure in class followed by more gi
Joe Valdez
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-general
My "Girls Girls Girls" jag concludes with The Fever, the 2014 thriller by Megan Abbott. This is my fourth venture into the fiction of the Edgar Award winner who alternates between 20th century noir and between mysteries set in the present day, where high school girls use cell phones to destroy their enemies instead of a .45. This novel proves again that Abbott can write psychologically nuanced and compelling teenaged characters without being slave to the brain dead conventions of the Young Adult ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading Megan Abbott's Dare Me, and recently learning she was coming out with another twisted "mean girl" tale- I knew I had to get my hands on it. As soon as it came in the mail...I dropped everything else I was reading, so I could focus on Abbott's newest, dark and sinister novel- THE FEVER.

 photo 5c3e0b52-c74e-4f76-9eec-9af7a39e2b33_zpscab1e9f7.jpg

Deenie's world is turned upside down when her best friend- Lise- starts convulsing on the floor in front of her entire class. After Lise is rushed to the hospital- rumors run rampant- kids texting and
Elle (ellexamines)
I don’t know what it is, but there is just something about Megan Abbott’s writing that is exactly my niche. She writes these brutal yet beautiful descriptions that feel as if they’re hitting me in the chest. She writes these characters I hate and want to hug at the same time, these horrible human beings somehow right on the page.

The Fever is a claustrophobic read, a book about the dynamic of small towns and the dynamic between parents and children. And it is a book about teenage girls, in all t
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Crap. This book.
I think most of it I was just damned scared. Teenage girls.
They think the whole world revolves around them.

I've had some pretty bad experiences in RL with teenage girls who decided that something wrong was done to them and the means they will go to make someone pay. So this book for me is classified as horror. Real life flipping horror.

I almost didn't read this book after I realized the way it was headed. I can't say that I won't recommend it because honestly it's one o
Dan Schwent
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula M
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, arc
I just wasted my time on a bunch of teenagers having problems about their virginities.


It's so weird guys.. so weird. I'm surprised I finished it. Kudos to Abbott's sophisticated writing. Too bad the multiple POV's has to ruin it.

So here's the gist. One by one, every girl in Deenie's town has been having seizures and hallucinations. No one seems to know the cause behind it. What's causing this contagious illness? Why girls only? But most importantly, WHY ISN'T DEENIE AFFECTED BY THIS CONTAGIOUS
Emily May
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, arc, contemporary
My first thought was to compare Abbott's depiction of teenage girl politics to Lord of the Flies. A manic, intense world that feels somehow completely set apart from the rest of reality. But I think that comparison would undermine the complexity of what the author does. This book (and Dare Me) is about more than mean girls - though her "YA" novels contain more than their fair share of savagery and malice too - but it is also about every beautiful, unfortunate, disgusting detail of female adolesc ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first 70% percent of the novel...

Reading the first 70% of this novel felt like a penance for a terrible crime. It was so dull and reminded me of English class in high school where everyone would say everything in the longest way possible to meet the word requirement. This novel felt twice as long as it needed to be.

The last 30% of the novel...

The novel improved exponentially. It was interesting and suspenseful. Unfortunately it was just too little too late. The last bit of the story did buff
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
The thing about red herrings is that they have to be believable. A red herring is plainly not a red herring if it doesn't inspire you to believe something false while distracting you from the truth.

The Fever is one giant trail of failed red herrings. Teenage girls are falling sick in a small town and the entire book hums along trying to find out why. We are presented with two main options: either the HPV vaccine has led to unanticipated side effects (an awful red herring because um, it's a real-
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤


How the hell does an incredible sounding synopsis result in a craptastic book? Seriously, I just don't get it. If you read the blurb of this book, you expect horror, thrills, chills, maybe a little blood and gore. You expect to be shocked, scared out of your pants. Not even close.

I guess I should first explore the plot a little bit.





Oh, wait! There isn't one!! For the sake of this review, I shall
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is a "fever" sweeping through the local high school affecting only the female population causing seizures, fevers, delirium, even hallucinations. It hit three friends first, friends who were inseparable since childhood. Could it have been something they did together? Was it the new vaccination that the school urgently suggested the girls get the summer before? Or was it something more sinister like the lake that eerily glowed in the moonlight? As this story unfolds and the health departmen ...more
“I have another friend who gets what I’m really like, and I get her. She scares me. Did you ever see yourself times ten in another person and want to cover your eyes?”
― Megan Abbott, The Fever

After reading and not really liking, "You will know me" I am happy to report I am back on my love fest with Abbott's books.

The first book I ever read by her was "Dare me" and I was amazed. I also liked "Die a little". You will know me was a miss however. Then there is The Fever. This book was so good!

Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Char by: Randy
3.5 stars!

The Fever features more messed up girls from Megan Abbotts' dark, dark high school world.

I liked how it all worked out in the end, and I wondered if the "fever" ended up referencing the parents and other town officials, rather than the illness itself? When people's children are possibly in danger, there's no telling what parents will do to protect them.

As with most of Ms. Abbott's books that I've read so far though, it's the teenage girls that are the scariest of all-BY FAR. I coul
Sexual debut. Sometimes it seemed to Deenie that high school was like a long game of And Then There Were None. Every Monday, another girl's debut.
--The Fever, Megan Abbott
Nobody (and I mean nobody) writes the dark and secretive interiors of a teenage girl's psyche better than Megan Abbott. But make no mistake: while she is writing about teenagers, she is not writing Young Adult. Her books are so far removed from YA Lit it's not only a different country, but another planet. So if you haven't
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
The Fever ended up being quite the interesting read, especially psychologically speaking. It's both a puzzling mystery as well as a look into the rashness of teenage girls burning with jealousy.

What I noticed almost immediately was the writing style, to which I can't say I'm exactly a fan. Megan tells this story with the help of three family members who are each given a perspective in the story. We switch back and forth from father, son, and daughter in a very spastic manner, each perspective la
James Thane
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: megan-abbott
On the heels of her excellent last novel, Dare Me, Megan Abbott again plunges into the mysterious and often troubled world of teenage girls, where even the smallest of incidents can assume a monumental importance.

At the heart of the novel are three high school girls and best friends, Deenie, Lise and Gabby. As the novel opens, Deenie watches in horror as Lise suffers a mysterious seizure while in class one morning. Lise is immediately hospitalized and falls into a coma, but no one, including the
Rachel Hall
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After my sensational introduction to Megan Abbott courtesy of the excruciating thrill of Dare Me, centred around a high school cheerleading squad and their new coach, I was well prepared for another close encounter with the intense and rather murky world of adolescent teenage girls. Although The Fever didn’t have quite the disconcerting effect of Dare Me, it did prove fascinating; both horrifyingly captivating and remarkably insightful. Dismiss the sex, secrets and lies of pubescent girls at you ...more
Dannii Elle
I read Dare Me by Megan Abbott a few weeks ago and, since then, have been collecting everything she has even penned in the hopes of binge reading all of them over the coming months. Both Megan Abbott and the dark contemporary genre are quickly proving to be my new favourites.

Whilst completely loving this, the only reason I gave this a four star rating instead of a five, is that is doesn't quite live up to the absolute wonder that is Dare Me. In my humble opinion, that book is her crowning glory,
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it to be a girl?

This is a question Megan Abbott explores in the darkly hypnotic novel, The Fever, distilling the experience of being a teenage girl into potent, unsettling form. While the writing is languid, hazy, there’s an almost fever-dream intensity to this story, a palpable anxiety leaching from the scenes as Abbott examines the fervour and cruelty girls are capable of. As the fear of contagion blooms into hysteria, the novel addresses the parallel fear society often levels at
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
Deenie is a typical teen who lives with her older brother and their dad. Mom, apparently, took off some time ago for greener pastures. Life is filled with the usual teen angst; boy drama, girl drama, sex drama, friend drama, all that fun teen stuff that makes high school so miserable. But Deenie has two best friends and her life could be much worse.

Naturally, this being a book and all, her life does get worse. Her best friend Lise is struck down in the middle of class with something resembling
If it weren’t for Kemper and Dan, I might have never heard of Megan Abbott. And had I not heard of her and went through life aimlessly lacking direction and motivation and reading material, I might have had to kill myself. That would have resulted in a serious shit storm that would have blown the universe to smithereens, and thereby reducing the otherwise wonderful and happy-go-lucky world into the next apocalypse. Yeah, kind of like a Megan Abbott novel. Don’t let her small height and cherubic ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)

Find all of my reviews at:

ARC received from NetGalley. Thank you NetGalley!!!!

3.5 Stars

When a popular high school girl suffers a seizure in class, her friends worry about what could possibly be wrong. When she is taken to the hospital, put in isolation, and other girls start experiencing the same symptoms, the entire town starts to panic. What could possibly be striking down these girls in the prime of their lives? Why is it on
Jun 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
It hardly took me any time at all to lose real interest in this "mean girl" story and its cartoonish characters. Since it's been pitched as a thriller/mystery, though, I figured I would ride it out, at least until the author revealed the cause of this mysterious fever. Was it an alien virus? A particularly virulent strain of an otherwise ordinary disease? Something in the water? Mass hysteria? A hoax?

I eventually found out, of course, how it all began. I won't give it away, but I will say that
Initial Thoughts: The first third of this book was a snooze fest. I was tempted to DNF it because all it seemed to be was a bunch of teens worrying about losing their virginity, and the usual stuff kids worry about. It begins as the girls get their HPV vaccine and then one of the popular girls suffers from convulsions and lies in a coma. Other girls show symptoms as well and the vaccine is blamed, along with a whole host of other culprits: an algae filled lake, the water supply, sexual promiscui ...more
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

This book is difficult to rate. I think 2.5 stars says a lot about my feelings; that it was good, but not great. It was enjoyable to read, but not particularly memorable. The writing wasn't bad--I've read much worse--but not that amazing. There were moments of really nice prose, especially the end, but they were few and far between. And the plot and suspense could have been built up a lot more. It had the potential to be way more terrifying, even though it's by no means a horror novel.
Reviewed on my blog,

One and a half stars, rounded up for mercy.

This book is absolutely nothing like I expected. From the cover and blurb above (from Goodreads), I was expecting (or at the very least, hoping for) a fast-paced medical thriller. The Fever didn't quite make it... at all. Told from the perspective of three characters, Deenie, her brother Eli, and their father, Tom, all of whom have the same voice; the characterization is not very good at all. The book centers aroun
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-as-night
I got this really pretty first edition hardcover imported from America two months prior to Australian release because I just couldn't stand to wait, much like the content of the newest Megan Abbott modern teen girl centred noir it's the antithesis of the first editions of all those blockbuster thrillers without thrills and written by rote by ghostwriters for an author who is a trademark. And yes, one such author is currently indirectly paying Ms Abbott to write it seems.

Small towns and dark secr
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Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Queenpin, The Song Is You, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, The Fever, You Will Know Me and Give Me Your Hand.

Abbott is co-showrunner, writer and executive producer of DARE ME, the TV show adapated from her novel. She was also a staff writer on HBO's THE DEUCE. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, th

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