Published by Little, Brown on 6/17/2014
Buy from IndieBound
Despite her mother’s absence, Deenie lives a normal life in a small town with her father Tom and brother Eli. But that all changes when her friend Lise suddenly collapses in the middle of class. Before Deenie can page through her memory and sort out the rumors swirling around Lise’s illness, their friend Gabby suffers a similar episode. With every moment caught on cell phone cameras, news of the school’s “fever” quickly goes viral. As Tom tries to slow the rising swell of nervous parents while the number of inflicted girls continues to rise, Deenie attempts to piece together a cause for the strange changes taking place.
From the first page of The Fever, Abbott plants questions that beg to be answered. How real are Deenie’s friendships? Why is she being singled out? What is causing this to happen to the girls? As the book moves closer to revealing the answers, it also reveals how normal these questions are to any teenager. With a tense mix of pace and insight, The Fever showcases a solid understanding of the shifting currents that exist below the surface of adolescent life.
Having never read Megan Abbott, I was surprised by her ability to write a novel that feels so dark and engaging while also making such timely social commentary. Beyond that, the two features are layered in a way that doesn’t feel like an agenda; instead, The Fever reads like a dream you’ll want to pull apart and examine long after you’ve turned the last page.
Megan Abbott was kind enough to answer a question about The Fever (and Detroit!) to share with you.
Q: Who would you cast in a film version of the book? (Bonus question: How many hours have you spent lost in King Books? I also grew up in suburban Detroit!)
Oh boy, for Deenie, Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper on Mad Men). For Tom, Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). For Eli, how about Tye Sheridan, that great kid from Mud and Tree of Life? Would love to hear your casting thoughts!
(Oh, man, King Books—I often dreamt of staying inside overnight just to keep browsing. Where did you grow up?)
Are you in love with Megan Abbott yet? I know I am. It’s like she could see my Friday Night Lights/Mad Men love and knew my blog needed more Kyle Chandler and Kiernan Shipka. But really, they’re great picks AND they’re outside the Hollywood regulars.
(I grew up in New Baltimore, which is a tiny little town on Lake St. Clair. But I did notice all the little Michigan names in the book!)
As part of The Fever blog tour I have a copy of the book up for grabs. You can enter to win it below!
While we’re waiting for a movie deal (I can’t imagine it would be long!), who would you like to see cast in this or another Megan Abbott film adaptation?