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Fever by Lauren DeStefano
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It is two o’clock in the morning and I can’t go to sleep yet because I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK.



WHY do you do this with the cliffhangers, DeStefano?!



At least you gave Rhine one small bright spot in her life there at the end, considering all we’ve seen of her is terrible circumstances and less than desirable choices. But still! That’s where you’re going to end the book?



When we last saw Rhine, she had escaped the mansion and creepy, sinister father-in-law Vaughn with attendant Gabriel for company. You’d think maybe Rhine would catch some sort of a break and that something good would come out of this rediscovered “freedom.” But, as is the trend, she doesn’t catch any breaks and her life gets about a billion times worse.



Let’s talk about Gabriel. When she’s sick and practically dying, Gabriel’s there to try to take care of her. At other times in the book he was there to protect her and be there for her in her moments of weakness. But I’m still not convinced on these two together. And I understand that he was angry because his relatively untroubled life is in shambles now that he’s left the only life he knew after Rhine talked up the outside world and it didn’t deliver (in the least). I just don’t feel like they have a real love connection.



They’re ASTOUNDING friends! But more than that? I don’t see it.



You know how I said the last book was chilling and creepy? Multiply that by about 80 and you get the intensity and disturbing genius that is this installment. I could feel Rhine’s depression and despondency. I could feel her fear and panic at the thought of Vaughn and his experiments. My heart racing, breathing haggard.



FEELS.



There was more heartbreak and lost hope and terror and creepily unsettling aspects to this story than I know what to do with. There was little emphasis on romantic relationships, yet I was still held in a vise grip and inundated with feels. This is one series I am at a complete loss as to what I think is going to happen, because everything surpasses any conclusions I attempt to draw.


RATING: 4.5 ( )
  danitronmc | Jun 19, 2014 |
A little patchy in the beginning, but it gathers a lot of steam in the middle and keeps right on trucking to the end.

I was a little frustrated by how easily Rhine gave in to whatever obstacles she met in this book--I wanted her to fight harder. She got better at it (or DeStephano got better at explaining her motives) as the book went on, at least. The end of the book vaults you right into the next, though--strong finish. 3.5 stars.


More and other reviews on fefferbooks.com! ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
This series is pretty depressing, but for some reason I can't stop. Its intriging trying to figure out what is going to happen to the characters next. I am listening to the audio version of this series and the narrarator does a good job of showing emotion. This is the second book and I sort of wish I had stopped after the first. It feels like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for a teen crowd. But the author is very descriptive. I am going to finish this series and be done with it. If you like dystopian for the bleakness of it all this might be your series, but if you like happy books I wouldn't suggest this one. ( )
  LoftyIslanders | Apr 14, 2014 |
The America of The Chemical Garden is absolutely chilling. DeStefano has created a world that may be a dystopian future, but it is one that is entirely believable. The world has changed drastically from what it once was, from the world as we know it now. But, as much as it has changed, there are some things that remain, even if they have been warped by the new world and its new needs. It is a world of fear and sadness and the inevitability of a shortened lifespan. Yet throughout this book, and the others in the series, there is the never ending thread of hope and humanity.

This series is an engrossing one, with fabulous characters and story lines that make you, as a reader, think. The characters are all very different people, all with stories of their own. Some of them you love and some of them you just love to hate. But they are characters that often challenge you and your values, your thinking. There are moments throughout the books when various characters act in somewhat questionable ways and, at first, it is easy to judge them. But when you put it in the context of the chaotic world they live in, it makes you wonder what you yourself would do in the very same situation. It is a book with definite messages, but it is done in such a way that there is absolutely no feeling of being lectured. Instead, you have a book that is somehow beautiful, even set in a world of despair, darkness, and fear. One of the major questions I found myself asking was whether freedom was worth the things that Rowan and Gabriel had to go through?

Things to love about Fever...

--The mythology. DeStefano has taken elements of our own reality and used them as the foundation for the new post-apocalyptic reality of Rowan's world, creating a reality that is entirely possible.
--The characters. They challenge the reader to really think about themselves and their own beliefs and values.
--The story lines. There are some story lines in this book that are extremely powerful, many with some strong messages about freedom and humanity.

My recommendation: You definitely need to read Wither first, but this is an absolutely wonderful read! ( )
  Kiki870 | Jan 31, 2014 |
Last year’s Wither caught my attention; and I’ve been eager to read the sequel for ages now. Wither introduced the bleak future world where young adults are doomed to die much too soon, and our heroine Rhine is taken to be a sister wife for breeding purposes. Fever once again pushes boundaries and delves deeper into the abyss when we get to see the realities of the outside world. This atmospheric installment is gloomier than ever as two of the characters take on an emotional and physically grueling quest. The lavish writing and twists and turns kept my attention even though I sometimes felt drugged-out by Rhine’s headspace. And while I prefer the cover of Wither to Fever, the model’s pose and the accessories on the cover very much fit the mood of the book.

In the middle installment, Rhine and Gabriel go off in search of Rhine’s brother while trying to elude housemaster Vaughn. Rhine is left to ponder if she made the right choice, while she and Gabriel face challenge after challenge. Although I missed the sister wife dynamic and the characters in the mansion, the new setting freshens up the series with new drama, and allows us to get to know Gabriel a little better.

I found the book absorbing, although the situations and dark tone had me taking frequent reading breaks. Lauren DeStefano’s writing is descriptive and lovely and paints a vivid picture of the harsh world. Middle books can sometimes seem like a stalling tactic before the finale, but there were enough reveals and action in this sequel to keep me satisfied. Just when things would start to calm down for Rhine, a new threat would emerge. I left the book feeling that some of the pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together but yet still very much in the dark, if that makes sense. The last 50 or so pages had me riveted to the page.

Rhine becomes an even stronger character through all the trials and tribulations she faces. And even though I was not always a huge fan of Gabriel in Wither, I warmed up to him a little more this time around. Characters new and old appear in Fever, and I’m curious to see if they will intersect in the final installment.

It’s difficult to talk about this book without revealing any spoilers so I have to be vague, but I’ll venture to say if you enjoyed Wither you will like Fever as well. It’s one of my favorite dystopian romance series and I wasn’t disappointed with this sequel. It left me with an appetite to re-read Wither, which I’m likely to do before the last book of the series (title TBA) drops in April 2013. ( )
  readingdate | Jan 7, 2014 |
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In a future where genetic engineering has cured humanity of all diseases and defects but has also produced a virus that kills all females by age twenty and all males by the age twenty-five, teenaged Rhine escapes her forced marriage and journeys back to New York to find her twin brother.… (more)

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