My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this book because I wanted to read something “light” spooky for the month of October. This book did fit that description well.
The story is told from the perspective of three family members – Deenie, her brother Eli, and their father, Tom. Deenie’s friend Lise has a seizure in the middle of class, and she ends up in a coma in the hospital. Then, Deenie’s other close friend Gabby ends up in the hospital with peculiar symptoms as well. Soon, a lot of girls start exhibiting strange symptoms, and no one can figure out why.
A lot of the external, physical symptoms tend to be metaphors for internal struggles. There is also a theme of feeling powerless, and how people handle things when they feel powerless. It’s interesting how much the characters would blame themselves or blame others for things beyond their control.
Abbott uses the term “fever” to mean things like the hysteria of the parents when unexplained things start happening to their daughters, but also fever was used to describe sexual desire of adolescence. I like that play on words. I also liked the use of nature, especially the weather that seemed to be unnaturally warm during the events of the book, like it was in on the fever as well.
It was a simple read. There was a lot of misdirection. I didn’t catch on to the plot twists until they started to unfold. I didn’t think the book was too graphic, very little profanity. And while there was an overarching theme of teenage sexuality, I didn’t think that the entire book was about that one theme. It had a lot more to do with jealousy, and how scary it is to allow your emotions to dictate your actions. Overall, I would recommend it for a light read in October.