Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 341 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

Lauren DeStefano has done it again. She has written yet another book that is so completely hideous it's beautiful. And if that makes no sense to you, I suggest you pick up The Chemical Garden books. Lauren's writing is so completely compelling, it was practically impossible to put the book down to do the simplest things, like sleep.

One of the most wonderful things about Fever is its ability to stay in your mind. Even when I did manage to put this book down to do regular mundane things, my mind was churning with what could happen next, or the meaning of certain aspects of this book. Just like in Wither, I worried about reading this book because it contains such an ugly, cruel world that I'm never really sure I can stand to read about. And same as in Wither, Lauren DeStefano alleviated those concerns easily with her writing.

Still, though I did enjoy this book, I must say that I did like Wither better. I felt like there was more purpose in Wither than in Fever because the characters get sidetracked a bunch. In the first book, there was a direct prupose and it was aimed for from page one. In this second book, it seems a bit skewed and off-track. Nevertheless, this was a great book that I really enjoyed.

Character rundown: Rhine. I'm not a huge fan of Rhine. She's not a bad character, and she definitely cares about her brother, but other than that, she seems somewhat selfish to me. Not overly selfish, but enough that it gets on my nerves. She's not that hard to tolerate, though, when inserted into such a riveting story. Gabriel. We still know very little about him. I was hoping that we'd learn more about who he is and his past, but that just didn't happen. Linden. OH, LINDEN. He's not in this book all that much, but what we do see of him, I really like. He's definitely going through some character growth, and it's certainly in a direction I like. Who doesn't love a character who learns to stick up for themself?

The ending. I can't even put this ending into words. HUGE cliff-hanger. I have to say that it did emphasize one thing that I really like about this trilogy--how well these books connect. They're like one big story, and we just get it in pieces. I love seeing how each little part clicks together. Now we just need the third book--Sever--to be released!

Overall, this was a really great book. It just adds to the possibility of this being one of my favorite trilogies of all time. If you've read and enjoyed Wither, Fever may not be as wonderful as that, but it definitely meets expectation, and I urge you to pick up this second installment.


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