The Fever: A Novel - Megan Abbott

This was a "wow" book - one that played on so many of my fears as a parent. I was totally engrossed in The Fever and finished it in a span of 12 hours. There is tired YA (see the Maze Runner), where the writer panders to audience by cinematizing plot to the extent that he forgets that a novel offers an opportunity to provide a bit of human insight along the way. Then there is fantastic YA, good enough to make an adult meal of, written with a sinuous, lyrical tension that demonstrates a master writer at work. The Fever is about a darkness that lurks in the hearts of adolescent girls - one so intense that parents and siblings would rather see any other cause than what it actually is. I appreciated the small allusion to The Crucible, which many readers get in their high school classrooms and acts as a thematic partner to The Fever. I loved the way Abbott wrote about the way social media heightened this community's paranoia! I'm not usually miffed by bad reviews of a novel because ultimately, what's the point? It's going to stir up emotions that have nowhere to go. Here, however, I just can't help feeling frustrated that so many readers saw nothing redeeming in The Fever. I'm going to say perhaps it was the fault of marketing? I really don't know. This is the sort of novel that gets me really excited, that shows me how much talent and art and courage still exists out there for readers wanting more than a perfunctory ride through dystopia.