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The Fever    by Megan Abbott order for
by Megan Abbott
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

A medical thriller, The Fever explores the effects of a mysterious sickness that may be a 'mass psychogenic illness,' affecting teenage girls in a seemingly quiet town. As I read, fully immersed and hooked on the story, I couldn't help but compare the girls' affliction to that of the girls of the Salem witch trials, which has also been considered by some to be a case of psychogenic illness.

While witchcraft is not a consideration for the affliction affecting the high school aged girls, some unknown factor is causing a rash of strange symptoms. The mystery begins with Deenie Nash's best friend, Lise. One moment Lise is in class, going about her day as normal. The next she's reduced a quivering, frothing at the mouth mess, the result of an apparent seizure.

While Lise is fighting for her life in the hospital, more girls are hit with the same scary symptoms. What is going on? A common thread for the afflicted girls is their connection to Deenie as well as a dip in the local lake that has a nasty reputation.

Is it pollution from the lake making the girls sick? And what role does Deenie play? Something sinister is going on, but what, exactly? I really enjoyed finding out the answers. Those answers just may surprise you, too.

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