Raindropreflections: Review- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Review- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

SummaryFever 1793

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

What I Expected: Since this is a Laurie Halse Anderson book, obviously the expectations were sky-high. I mean, after reading ‘Speak’, I was haunted for days. I expected ‘Fever 1793’ to be something of that sort, possibly even with LHA’s unique writing style.

The Story

The plot is so deft and has so many twists that you can never see what’s coming. What’s really unique about this book is that it’s not overloaded with olden-day words and expressions to the point that it’s boring to read. Only a few historical fiction novels, including this one, manage to pull off talking about history that doesn’t make it seem like another droning lesson about this war and that war and those people who hated these people.

And I’m really, really glad that they found the cure for yellow fever way, way back in the day. I just wish so many people hadn’t died such horrific deaths because of yellow fever.


I loved Mattie! She was assertive, independent, and brave, just like I always like female protagonists to be. She had regular dreams and fantasies like other girls, but the way she put everything aside for others was one of her best qualities.

Nathaniel Benson, the male lead, was also awesome. He wasn’t in the book enough, but when he was, it just made me smile- his actions, the way he talked to Mattie, basically everything. Man, March seems to be the month for meeting all the best fictional guys, like I have in almost every book I’ve read this month 😉

I just loved Mattie’s grandfather, because I miss both my dear departed grandpas from both sides and Grandfather’s character is just like them. He was funny and boastful and made me miss my grandpas more.

Parting Thoughts: honestly, Laurie Halse Anderson is a genius. I thought she was legend-like in the way she conveyed the MC’s emotions in ‘Speak’, but showing the terror and emotions that came with an epidemic like yellow fever is something she excels at, too. Wow. I heart this author. You need to go out and read this book if you want historical fiction presented in an almost contemporary way.

Rating: 5/5. Obviously, a book by Laurie Halse Anderson is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Book Stats

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 243

Release Date: 2000

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