The Fever by Megan Abbott
Deenie is a typical teenager enjoying high school with her two best friends when her world is turned upside down. During class one afternoon Deenie’s best friend for years has what appears to be a seizure and is rushed to the hospital. Deenie tries to get answers, but no one knows what is wrong with Lise. Then days later her other best friend, Gabby, looks like she’s suffering from a similar attack during an orchestral concert. From there things dissolve into chaos as more and more girls fall victim to this strange ailment. Is it a horrible side effect from the HPV vaccine? Or is something else more insidious at work?
I recommend the audiobook because the story is told from the perspective of the three members of the Nash family: Deenie, the friend of the first two that show symptoms of illness; Eli, her older brother and handsome hockey star; and her father, also a school teacher where all the afflicted girls attend. All three storytellers are voiced by a different reader which really brings the story to life.
I read somewhere that the book was compared to the Salem Witch Trials and you can see the parallels, but not until you’re really into the book. If you keep that notion in the back of your mind you’ll get a glimpse of what’s really going on with the sicknesses. Mystery, horror and psychological study rolled into one this book captures the emotional turmoil at the core of being an adolescent girl. I’ve enjoyed Abbott’s past two books and am eagerly waiting for whatever she does next.