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(please enjoy my new blanket, which is a recycled wool one from the National Trust)

There’s something bad happening in Dryden.

When Lise Daniels collapses to the floor during math class, a cloud of fear and speculation settles over the school. Parents and teachers scramble to protect the students, but how do you stop what you can’t contain?

Because Lise, beautiful Lise, is only the first: one by one the girls become victims, betrayed by their bodies, becoming strangers to themselves.

As hysteria swells, swecrets will spill, and the safe world we’ve been building for our children will start to come apart.

This is the first book I’ve finished in over a month. When I realised that, it surprised me, but when I thought about it, it made sense. The autumn term is a killer, every year: it’s long, it’s busy, and it ends in darkness and Christmas stress. I’ve been out a lot, too, which has been wonderful but exhausting, and I’ve had the ongoing drama of using Southern trains, which means I rarely get a seat and am instead usually crammed against a stranger. All this means I’ve mostly been using my commuting time trying not to fall over, and staring into space. So once term ended, and things let up a little bit, I picked up The Fever, which I brought home from work for the half term holiday, but didn’t start. I finished it in bed on Boxing Day morning, and very much enjoyed myself.

The Fever is captivating, a clever, terrifying novel about a sickness that sweeps through teenage girls but can’t be identified, can’t be stopped. Potential causes are suggested, ruled out, and still nothing is found. Everyone wonders if she’ll be next. It’s brilliant. I hugely enjoyed it, and didn’t guess the ending at all. I can see why Megan Abbott is one of my friend’s favourite authors, and I’m looking forward to reading some more of hers.

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