Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Fever 1973 (Vlog)

Happy Tuesday booklings!

Now that the Bout of Books 6.0 Read-a-Thon is over, I'll be able to get to all of those reviews for the books that I've read.

So far this month I've read through 9 books, which is much better than last year already. I believe that by March of last year I'd only read 12, and I'm confident that I'll have at least that many read by February this year. Very excited about that.


So just to preface, you guys are going to start seeing more vlog posts around. I made it a new years resolution that I would make use of my youtube account and vlog more. I'm very happy to see so many book vloggers out there, so I'm excited to join the fun.

Not to say that anything will really change here. I'll still post written reviews with the vlog. I'm still not sure yet if I'll do a vlog with every review so I want to maintain some review stability.

  Fever 1793
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Title: Fever 1793
Author:  Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication:  September 1, 2000
Pages:  256


It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.

Fever 1973 Vlog  Review

Fever 1793 Review:

Historical Fiction centered around the Yellow Fever epidemic that plagued Philadelphia in 1793.

The book is full of quotes from journals, letters, and newspapers written by people who actually suffered the epidemic during this time. This story was very haunting, and bits of it were very tragic as well when looked at as a fictional representation of an ACTUAL plague of disease where thousands lost their lives in just a short few months.

Our main character, Mattie Cook, is just 14 years old when the sickness breaks and kills her childhood friend Polly. She lost her father when she was just a young girl so it's pretty much been her mother, herself, their cook Eliza (a freed slave) and Polly. So this death is a real shock.

Yellow Fever is a devastating illness especially without proper care. During the the late 1700's bleeding was still a widely popular treatment method, and this killed many of the Yellow Fever patients who were already suffering from internal bleeding and hemorrhages.

For a young child, or anyone, actually, Yellow Fever is a traumatic thing to witness. Victims of the fever become delirious, jaundiced (yellow in the skin and eyes) and often have seizures or vomit up blood.

Laurie Anderson takes this horrible event and attempts to help us see through the eyes of a survivor what horrors might have been during this time... but also what hope. There were many groups who stayed to help the sick, even though they risked themselves. The Free African Society founded in 1787 by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, was a free aid society. They acted as messengers, nurses, surrogate parents, and at times last rite givers to the sick, dying, and abandoned during this time.

Ms. Anderson paints us a world where the battle against nature, neglect, and fear are in high gear.

This book is both heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. The little bit of romance adds a touch of sweet to the bitterness of loss and the hopes, dreams, and compassion of a young girl in the midst of devastation is a lesson in human perseverance.

I was greatly moved by this story. It brought me to tears, it had me laughing, and at the end of the book I felt like I'd really read something worthwhile.

One really fantastic thing is the Author takes time to point out in her book that Yellow Fever is still a problem in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. There are still people that suffer and die from this sickness every year, even though there is a Vaccine for it.

I feel that this is a subtle call for assistance, an appeal to the conscience of readers to feel for others and choose the path of Mattie Cook, a young woman who seemed to have nothing but who offered everything.

A five out of five for this book. I highly recommend it for all ages.

Go. Read.

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

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