Tag Archives: Fever

Sever (The Chemical Gardens #3) – Lauren DeStefano

 

Sever (The Chemical Gardens #3) – Lauren DeStefanoTitle: Sever (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Publishing Info: February 12, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 1, 2013
Related Posts: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1), Fever (The Chemical Garden #2)

    With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.
    Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
    In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

bookreview1

I admit it. I was nervous to start reading SEVER. I absolutely fell in love with the beautiful writing and the insane story line of WITHER when I first picked it up in June of last year and then quickly followed it up with FEVER…. and felt disappointed. FEVER just didn’t do it for me. Where I loved the first book, I felt removed from the whole original plot in the second and I just felt lost and isolated (which I guess is what Rhine was feeling too, but even still… I don’t think the readers should feel so lost).

In SEVER, I found comfort of being back in Florida and — however creepy it may be — back in Vaughn’s territory. What I loved about this book was that it ends exactly like it should. The readers get answers that have been questions from book one, and some are answers to issues we didn’t even know existed. One of the best parts was having something shocking revealed that was hidden ever since book one, and then I thought back on it and it totally made sense – I just never knew that idea even existed! There are some amazing twists in this book that had me shouting, gasping, and crying. It was a pretty emotional journey… (see below)

I loved that we got to spend more time with some of the original characters that we were missing in book two like Cecily and Linden, and their stories are woven back in with Rhine’s. There are also some great new characters, especially Reed (Linden’s uncle — don’t worry, no spoilers!) and we finally get to learn more about Rowan, who I’ve been curious about the entire book!

The biggest question for me whenever I finish a series is “How did it wrap up?”‘ and I think Lauren DeStefano did a great job of tying up loose ends and giving us a clear picture about what lies ahead for the characters we’ve all grown to love. The only thing I was still left wanting was just a bit more information about The Chemical Gardens. I feel like we were given an explanation, but I was hoping for a little more depth and origin of the name, especially since it’s the name of the whole series. Also, Gabriel is pretty absent the whole book (for a reason, but still). I just really wanted more Rhine-Gabriel interaction to kind of solidify their relationship to make that a little more concrete. Other than that, I was very satisfied with the ending. It kind of fit perfectly and I don’t see any other way it could have wrapped up.

view_from_goodreads1

Screen Shot 2013-02-02 at 9.05.43 AM

character_breakdown1

Rhine: Rhine’s determination has always felt real to me. Ever since she was first brought to the mansion, she’s had a spirit of independence and the need to break free and find her brother so it never felt forced that she was always inching towards her main goal. She kept the plot moving and I really felt like Lauren DeStefano kept her actions true to her character.
Linden: Linden really started to grow on me! Obviously he’s kind of a conundrum in WITHER because Rhine is forced to marry him without zero choice in the matter, but getting to know Linden in the books shows what a kind and gentle person he really is.
Cecily: Cecily has always been one of my favorite characters. She always felt like such a real person to me with such a natural range of emotions. She did a lot of growing up in SEVER and it was so interesting to see that character development. I’d say she’s the character who changed the most throughout the whole series and I loved watching that progression.
Vaughn: Still creepy. Still love how perfect of a villain he is. Still love to hate him.
Reed: Reed is Linden’s uncle, Vaughn’s brother. He’s a great addition to this story and another lively character. I think readers will love him, so I can’t wait to hear people’s reactions to him.

addiction_factor1

Buy it!

I thought this was a really great finish to the series. I know some people had some mixed feelings but I really enjoyed it.

book_recommendations1

     Wither (The Chemical Gardens #1)      Fever (The Chemical Gardens #2)

Fever (Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefano

Fever (Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefanoTitle: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Publishing Info: February 21, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Library
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 8, 2012
Related Posts: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1), Sever (The Chemical Garden #1)

    Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.
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 mansion...by any means.

bookreview1

I must admit that I really enjoyed the second half much more than the first. For some reason, I’m seeing an extremely common trend (although logical, it still somewhat irritates me) for dystopia sequels to take place in a completely different setting/world than the one in which we originally got to know our main characters (PANDEMONIUM, CROSSED, now FEVER). The first sections of Fever are spent predominately in Madame’s run-down and somewhat horrific prison of a carnival which Rhine and Gabriel cannot escape. I understand that since they’re on the run, they obviously will not have the same kind of setting as the mansion, but I think I was just frustrated how long that whole scenario took before we started moving on the journey again. I expected a lot more movement and running and I think it took a while for me to get really into it.

That being said, I still really enjoyed it! Once we got a little bit more involved in the story and we brought back some more ties between Rhine and the mansion, it really started to pick up for me! One thing I really liked about WITHER so much was the mystery behind Vaughn and what his “experiments” really did entail, why he was so interested in Rhine, etc — So once we started getting back to those questions, I got a lot more intrigued than just “we’re in a tight spot and we need to get out of here before we get trapped”. I think the intrigue is definitely what made me like WITHER so much so I was glad to see that come back towards the middle/end.

As for the romance, I loved seeing the budding relationship start between Rhine and Gabriel in the first book, but in Fever, they had so many obstacles to face and they really needed to be strong and brave more often than not, so we didn’t really get to see a lot of the romance develop. That being said, I actually wasn’t really disappointed by it… I was caught up in the action and the fight that was going on and I was okay with the romance being put on the back burner.

I’m not sure how I feel about the story of Lilac and Maddie being woven in with Rhine’s. Unless there’s more to it than that in the third book, I felt like it was maybe a little unnecessary. It was a nice story and all, but I didn’t feel like it had much relevance to pushing the story forward. I feel like I could have taken those characters out, and we could have focused more on Rhine and Gabriel and I would have been okay with that.

I just loved the end! Once again, Lauren DeStefano figured out how to hook me back in and violently flip through the pages so I can see how it ends! No surprise that we cliffhangered again, but now we’re all so impatiently waiting for SEVER that I can’t wait to read it too.

addiction_factor1

4/5 stars
I definitely enjoyed WITHER more. I think it had a lot more character development and I loved the relationships between Rhine and her “sister wives” a lot in that book, as well as the sort of rivalry between Linden and Gabriel. FEVER was a lot more action, a lot more running, a lot more on the move, and I think that took precedence over a lot of the relationship developments that I loved so much in the first book. Still a really fun read, but WITHER is my chosen favorite so far!

book_recommendations1

Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver — Another great Lauren writing some awesome dystopia. If you haven’t read DELIRIUM yet and you like the Chemical Garden series, I highly recommend picking it up! Definitely one of my favorite books, and it’s so lyrical and moving. 
…OR…
Matched by Ally Condie — I feel like this is another great match as far as similar series goes. So many of the same situations, love stories, and fighting for your life.