Friday, March 30, 2012

Review for Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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 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.


**Spoilers have been hidden in white. No need to fret. (just scroll over the white area to see spoiler text)** 

Giving this novel a rating was hard. Fever by Lauren DeStefano has definitely made my top novels of 2012. In the end, I had to go with my gult feelings, which screams 4.5/5 stars. (I can't round up this time) 

Negative (let’s get it out of the way): 

So why give Fever 4.5/5 stars if the novel is on my top of 2012? ThoughFever was action packed and filled with a million unexpected moments, I felt the novel drag on in some parts. About 3/4 into Fever , the story takes a drastic turn that left me confused and bored at some parts. There were passages where I had no idea what was going on. Therefore, I found myself skipping things in the hopes that something would be cleared up to help my understanding. 


Now that the negative is out of the way, time for the positive. Fever was really an awesome book. Even though I divided this book into two days of reading, I still feel completely emotionally spent. Rhine is by far the strongest character I have read in a while. There were times in this novel that her strength truly inspired even me. No matter what hardships Rhine endured, she was able to pick herself back up and continue (something that I probably couldn’t due in her predicament). 

In Wither , I found myself being agitated that the entire novel took place in the mansion. I’m the kind of reader that needs change: new scenery, more side storylines, and some new characters to mix things up. Having said this,Fever , by no means, had the same problem as its predecessor. Since Rhine is now out in the real world searching for her brother, she visits many places and meets a few interesting characters: some people prove to her that there is still good in the world, whereas other people are just plain terrible and should die. (spoiler) I honestly thought Vaughn was the worst thing to ever come out of this crazy world until I met Madame Soleski and her Carnival freak show. (spoiler)



Let's just say Gabriel played Robbin Hood to Rhine's Batman in this one. 

(spoiler) I felt Gabriel’s didn’t have nearly enough ‘book time’ in in Fever . He felt like more of a sidelines character. Gabriel is shown as a recovering addict (not his fault), caretaker, and always the sense of reason for Rhine (I really felt that he helped Rhine stay grounded. Without him I question how much Rhine could endure without his ever reassuring presence). Gabriel is such a wonderful character that I kept hoping he took a much bigger role. I have high hopes for the next installment of this series. I'm hoping for 'Gabriel's Batman' to really show up and rescue our dear Rhine. (spoiler)


Not enough. 

(spoiler) There wasn't enough Linden in this book. Period. Linden was in the book for exactly 18 pages out of 341 (I counted). I really liked Linden in Wither . I felt that because of his father and the situation that led up to her imprisonment at the mansion, Rhine had ruled out Linden as a potential love interest immediately without giving him a chance. I never blamed Linden for his actions in Wither . To me, he is just an innocent character who can’t be held responsible for his father’s actions. I believe this even more after readingFever . Linden would never intentional hurt anyone. When he finds out about his father, he immediately comes to Rhine’s defense (despite her betrayal). I really hope now that Rhine gives herself a chance to get to know him. (spoiler)


I will revisit my review of Wither on this topic. 

“Rhine mentions her brother so many times throughout this book, I feel like I’m also dealing with the separation. Yet, after reading 358 pages, I still haven’t met him. This leaves me with no closure what-so- ever. Oh Rowan, don’t you know I’m awaiting our reunion too?” - Taken from my WitherReview (see link above) 

(spoiler) ROWAN! I have now heard about you for the past 699 pages (counting bothWither and Fever ) and I have yet to be graced with your presence. Your arrival has been so hyped up that I will be very disappointed if you’re anything but amazing. However, from the last page in the book, I know I will finally meet you next year. (spoiler)

Recommend it?: 

I think this series is amazing and Fever only adds to the awesomeness. I would totally recommend this series to anyone. Please read it. 

I originally posted this review February 23, 2012 on

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