Genre: Mystery


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Posted by 13 Comments

Review: The Fever by Megan Abbott
The Fever
Megan Abbott
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publication date: June 17th 2014
by Little Brown and Company

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The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.
-A copy was provided by Little Brown and Company for review-

The Fever ended up being quite the interesting read, especially psychologically speaking. It’s both a puzzling mystery as well as a look into the rashness of teenage girls burning with jealousy.

What I noticed almost immediately was the writing style, to which I can’t say I’m exactly a fan. Megan tells this story with the help of three family members who are each given a perspective in the story. We switch back and forth from father, son, and daughter in a very spastic manner, each perspective lasting from a mere paragraph to no more than a couple of pages. While, in a way, I enjoyed the style in which it told the story with quick back-and-forth glimpses from several point-of-views, constantly being pulled in all directions made me feel very disjointed. As a result it kept me at arm’s length from the characters, not allowing me the chance to get to know them. I was barely given enough time to realize which POV I was reading before it switched again. It was dizzying to say the least.

The plot itself is a good mix of thriller and mystery, with a hint at some maybe supernatural elements which were great to keep it unpredictable. I was, however, disappointed at how irrelevant a lot of it ended up being. It’s nice to get creeped out by a freaky stories and abnormal happenings, but if it’s used solely to increase suspense and ends up having nothing to do with the story, then it comes off as cheap gimmick. I mean, maybe my expectations for this were skewed, I went into it knowing nothing more than it being about a “mysterious contagion”, so maybe I shouldn’t have thought twice about their creepy small town stories, but alas. Still, it kept me on my toes, trying to guess and guess at what the heck was happening to these girls in this town that felt strangely isolated. I did eventually figure it out but it was a mere few pages before the big reveal, so kudos for that. I can’t say the pacing was perfect, I did feel like it was dragging when we kept adding to the mystery without any actual progress, but the upside is that it’s a fairly quick read especially with the frequent POV switches that makes it easy to fly through in a sitting or two.

The story introduces many angles from wild small town stories, to mass hysteria where parents are blaming vaccines or plain out panicking, to harsh teenage dramatics. It’s dark, it’s vicious, and it’s full of complex and unfortunate truths of the teenage mind. In the end, this was definitely my favorite part of the story even if I only realized the truth of what I was reading after I’d turned the last page. It ended up being completely different from what I expected, but I eventually recognized the brilliant workings that went into creating these characters and their malicious behaviors. It’s definitely one worth trying as it’s the kind of unique read that hits you after the fact more than during.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Posted by on 07/17/2014 • 13 Comments

From the get-go this was a very intriguing read. We’ve got a girl who’s experiencing regular black outs where she finds herself at a completely different place with no recollection of the hours she’s just lost. What’s even weirder is how no one around her seem to comment on these disappearances. This is absolutely my kind of read. I love books that play with your mind and baffles you with bizarre, inexplicable happenings. The one thing with books like these though, is that it all comes down to the ending. This is where the book lost its flair for me. I was hoping for a deeper meaning, or at least a point to it all.

I was instantly compelled by Molly’s voice and character. Not only is she mysterious…

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Posted by on 07/03/2014 • 14 Comments

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t even read the blurb for The Half Life of Molly Pierce, I was sold simply by the name and the cover. Even though the novel features a premise that I have read/watched many times before, it was an intriguing, fast-paced read that kept me entertained until the last page.

We meet Molly Pierce as she wakes up in her car with no recollection of how she got to where she is. Her last memory is from that morning when she was in school, where she was supposed to be all day. As she is driving back to school she notices a boy following her on his motorcycle and that he is driving quite recklessly. He gets hit in the middle of an…

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Posted by on 07/01/2014 • 20 Comments

This is the second time I have been let down by a book with nearly the same premise. Sure Megan Abbott’s, The Fever, goes in a different direction and has it’s own unique spin on a mystery illness taking over a school as it begins to afflict girls rapidly, but it’s easy to determine that the idea behind Abbott’s latest work and Conversion come from the same news story.

The main difference that I came away with from the two books was that while The Fever managed to have a dark tone and keep me interested in what the outcome would be, Conversion failed to do that and instead bored me for most of it. From the title and blurb it’s quite apparent that what the afflicted girls are dealing…

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

Posted by on 06/25/2014 • 23 Comments

WHAAAAAAA!

Holy mother of god this book is some kind of messed up! Like, whoa! But it’s the kind of disturbing that is really wonderfully brilliant when you turn the last page, sit back and really think about it. It’s a story that will make your skin crawl, an ending that made me want to pee myself, and a memorable quality that makes it all unforgettable.

Jamie comes off as someone who is mentally unstable from the very start. Understandably so after learning the tragedy that is his childhood. And like many unsettling narrators, he immediately had me under his spell. I quickly became fascinated by his life, his thoughts, his mysterious condition where his hands go numb anytime he gets too stressed or panicked. I wanted to know…

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Posted by on 06/20/2014 • 22 Comments

We Were Liars is an incredible, heartbreaking read that really messes with your mind until the very end. The writing, while not for everyone I’m sure, had me mesmerized. It’s so different and poetic and full of carefully crafted imagery. It’s a writing style that’s really out of the box, you’ll either love it or hate it. Me, I was thoroughly compelled.

The plot itself is one you can’t talk about or read about as you’re bound to find out spoilers. It’s the kind of story where the story itself is a spoiler from very early on. There are hints floating in every corner, pieces of this carefully constructed puzzle laid out for you to put together. My advice: go into this with zero expectations and you might find…

Review: The Body In The Woods by April Henry

Review: The Body In The Woods by April Henry

Posted by on 06/09/2014 • 21 Comments

The Body In The Woods is a fast paced thriller that is able to pass off as enjoyable if you suspend logic and just go along for the ride. But, when you sit down and really think about the details there is so much that is unbelievable that I can’t really recommend it to fellow readers.

In this novel we get the three main perspectives of Ruby, Alexis and Nick but we also get a few random chapters that are told from the ominous perspective of the killer himself. As far as the 3 kids go, I can’t say that I connected with any of them in any way. This is in part due to the fact that the story is told in the third person (which always leaves me…

Review & Giveaway: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Review & Giveaway: The Fever by Megan Abbott

Posted by on 06/05/2014 • 14 Comments

Upon finishing The Fever I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it and to be honest I still don’t really know.  Usually when I write a review I go into having a general idea of what I want to say and I already have a good idea of what my rating will be.  Going into writing this review I am hoping that it will provide me with some clarity when it comes to my thoughts on the novel.

At the heart of my… indifference for the novel is the way in which it is told.  It’s a split POV tale that is told in the third person.  I always struggle when it comes to stories told in the third person, let alone when we have three different…