Fever Dream: A Waking Nightmare

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Fever Dream is a short novel in a unique question and answer format that takes place entirely over the course of one conversation. It was translated from its original Spanish last year and has been sitting on my shelf ever since. Because I was scared to read it.

I'm a fan of the creepy, kooky, spooky, and ooky, so I purchased it right after I read a review telling me how unsettled it would make me feel. Usually, I like being moved that far from my natural place of rest. It's a fun experience. But I couldn't face this one because I was legitimately terrified of it. I had built it up so much I always had an excuse not to read it: it was nighttime, I was home alone, etc.

Enter The Unread Shelf Project. In 2018, I'm making an effort to get back to those books that have been collecting dust on my shelf. So yesterday morning I walked straight to Fever Dream, picked it up, and read it straight through.

It was NOTHING like I thought it would be.

This review is going to be spoiler free because at 183 pages, there's basically only one spoiler and I'm not going to give it to you.

What I will tell you is this:

It's not that scary. Eerie for sure, but there's no reason to avoid it like I did!

The conversation this story centers around is between Amanda, who is lying on her deathbed unable to move, and David, the young son of her neighbor. We aren't sure how Amanda got here, but it's clear there's something she needs to figure out before she dies by recounting the events of the last day she can remember. David urges and guides her recollections.

He wants her to discover and recognize the exact moment it happened. What it is, we don't know until the end.

I found Fever Dream to be a fascinating picture of a different world. The form of the story suits it so well, it's like a waking nightmare. You feel like there's a safe place somewhere up ahead if you just keep moving, but it's always slightly out of reach. The story builds in a way that makes it impossible to put down, and it will definitely leave you with some questions like WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED.

I gave the book three stars on Goodreads (I hate that you can't give half stars because I would have gone three and a half), but I would recommend this to anyone wanting to have a different reading experience. This book is unlike anything I've ever read.

If you've read Fever Dream, please let me know what you thought in the comments, I'd love to talk about it!