The Fever by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actual rating: 2.75 stars
Ok, so this book was pretty cray. In its defense I've read a few reviews where people seemed really angry/annoyed that this book wasn't a horror story and rated it very low based on that. I don't remotely understand that. I mean maybe they saw some type of marketing material or a different blurb than I did but I never got the impression this novel was intended to be "scary." Maybe a little creepy and murky but I certainly never got The Ring/The Grudge vibe from the cover or the blurb I read. So I guess that's a heads up for me.
Onto my thoughts about what was going on in this book... maybe... This is my second try at reading one of Ms. Abbot's novels. I wasn't able to get through Dare Me when I tried reading it, but I got through enough to recognize a theme in the author's fondness for writing about teenage girls and all the varieties bonkers they might be. For that matter all the parents seem to be varying levels of unhinged too. Just in their own parental sort of ways. On a positive note I did find this novel to be far more readable than "Dare Me." The author's writing is good and entertaining enough to keep me interested until the end. Although, I got to the end I wasn't entirely sure what the hell I was supposed to have gotten from everything I'd just read.
The main points of this novel seem to be
*Teenage girls are crazy with jealousy over their friends
*Other teenage girls are envy and trying to be like their friends
*Teenage girls will be jealous of their friends friendships with other friends.
*Girls will sleep with their friends hook ups out of jealousy.
*Teenage girls are fucking crazy.
*Teenage girls are so fucking crazy they will have literally have mass psychosis to the point of having seizures and hallucinations.
*Teenage boys are all horny heartless assholes (unless one of narrators) but they are not crazy and thus their maleness saves them from psychosomatic illnesses.
*Teenage girls are secretly every Victorian Era physicians wet dream with their very real "hysteria"
*teenage girls are insanely dangerously obsessive
*Lastly teenage girls might take the form of a sociopathic Stevie Nicks with scoliosis.
Meanwhile the parents are...
*anxious helicopter parents with a dash of anti-vaxxer hising in them
*Or hysterical men with internet connection
*Cocaine users who take claw hammers to their wives faces
*Negligent aunts and uncles on probation, have tinnitus, raise rattlesnakes, and have hooch fermenting in the house and yet still have custodial rights.
*Have affairs and leave their children and then don't bother to come check on them while girls are dropping like flies.
***Everyone in this town seems to be connected to a current of horniness.
Not entire certain how all these factors are meant to tie together to make an understandable story I think maybe the author is trying express a sense of mystery but by the end it just comes across as illogical. The author's writing style was still decently entertaining and did a good job of creating a setting for the story and a mood to match it.
Lastly, the story's conclusion contained the line "my Dad called her Rasputin." Which literally made me spit out laughter it was so unexpected and yet such an accurate description on the absurd level of abuse the author threw at a specific character. I gave the story extra points for wit flying in from left field.
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