Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rate: 1/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

I was excited upon starting my new job to find that there was a reading group! So when the first book came up in January I couldn’t help adding it to my TBR list despite historical fiction occupying a very low rung of my prefered genres. That being said, Fever 1793 was everything I expected it to be, harkening back to my middle school reading preferences where I read anything and everything historical fiction I could find from the Revolutionary War to WWII. The story arcs were predictable with the ending being far too picture perfect despite the horrors that had been endured. There seems to be quite a few novels out relatively recently that attempt to ride on the coattails of Hamilton’s wild success. Throughout this novel I found myself wishing that I was reading a nonfiction account of this illness and the devastation it wrecked in Philadelphia instead of fictional family’s potential experiences. Overall, my middle school self would have loved everything about this book especially the ending, however 32 year old me was frustrated throughout most of this read due to the lack of world building, depth, and details.


  1. Oh, I’m sorry to see this. I do love historical fiction, though admittedly often not when it is also YA, which is how this book is marketed. I actually have it on reserve at the library and it is next on my TBR list. I’ll still read it, because it looks like a quick one, but now I am less excited.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sarah! I’m sorry if I discouraged you from this read. I wasn’t expecting it to be young adult, which caused me to judge it more harshly than it deserved. Fever 1793 will be exactly what you expect it to be and it sounds like you love historical fiction so it will be right in your wheelhouse! That’s the wonderful thing about literature that we all have such wide ranging preferences. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries at all! I only commented because you mentioned my biggest fear for the book, and the reason why it has remained on my TBR list for several years before I finally decided to read it. YA can be tedious and too neat. I’ll still read it, and will probably enjoy it, but I suspect I may also find that my middle school self would have liked it better.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read this book and enjoyed it even if I thought the plot was rather silly at times. I was focused more on the real aspects of this historical fiction and did some reading on the topic afterwards. Me review doesn’t really focus on the plot at all now that I went back and read it. Sorry to hear the story didn’t work for ye but yer reasons make sense. Arrr!
    x The Captain

    PS the link to me review is below. No pressure!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read the book, but I totally see where you’re coming from. I think I’ve read like one YA historical fiction, and that has been enough for me so far. I haven’t read much historical fiction but I do love Ken Follett’s ‘the pillars of earth’ and ‘world without end’ (even though they’re not perfect and it took me like 400 pages of the first book to get hooked).

    But if you’re interested in reading a non-fiction work, I really recommend reading ‘The Tigress of Forlì’ as it is very informative, interesting and easy to understand despite having no to little knowledge of Renaissance Italy :)! But beware — you’ll forever be bitter of the portrayal of Caterina Sforza in media.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was required to read this one for my YA literature class, paired with a non-fiction counterpart, “An American Plague” https://www.amazon.com/American-Plague-Terrifying-Epidemic-Newbery/dp/0395776082 . I wasn’t the biggest fan of Fever 1793, either, because of the too-happy-ending and lack of realism. But it seems to be a good introductory or supplementary piece for young readers studying the time period, as it’s often used in schools.

    Liked by 1 person

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