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Five Books That Feel Like a Feverdream

There’s a specific kind of feeling I’m always looking for in what I read—that 2 AM, just woke up from a nap that you took at 9 PM which was probably ill advised but it’s too late now and you’re not sure what year it is or what planet you’re on and you can’t see out of your contacts feeling. Sometimes it emerges through a book’s prose style; sometimes through the construction of the main character; sometimes through setting and worldbuilding. But no matter what, when I find it, it usually means I’ve found a new favorite book.

If you too are looking for books to make you feel like you have a low-grade fever or maybe took too much NyQuil, here are five I recommend.


Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House is a famous—and infamous—college which requires its students to forego all outside contact during their three years of study. Ines Murillo has no problem with that. She’s trying to avoid her past, and can think of nothing better than exchanging her friends and family for a promising future. But Catherine House has mysteries, and there’s a bigger price that Ines might have to pay.

Just out this summer, Catherine House is the dreamy, hazy mix of The Secret History and Never Let Me Go that you’ve been looking for. The speculative elements are pitch-perfect, adding to the almost syrupy atmosphere, one that stretches and compresses and moves with you until the whole world feels distorted, and the 90s setting renders the book timeless, detaching it from contemporary markers that might keep us rooted.

Rating on the feverdream meter: 5/5 meals that you can picture in the background of a still life

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