Fever by Lauren DeStefano
publisher: Simon & Schuster
release date: February 21st, 2012
hardcover, 341 pages
intended audience: Young adult (recommend 15+)
series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, book 2 (review of Wither)
source: from publisher for honest review
Warning! Description and review may contain spoilers for Wither, book 1! If you haven't started this series yet, STOP HERE!
description: 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 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.
Review: This was...grueling. And while that might sound like such a negative way to start a review, I assure you, this book is just as fascinating as Wither. The story holds you, completely captivated by despair. It starts out so hopeful. Rhine and Gabriel have just escaped the mansion and her cruel father-in-law, Vaughn. They've been through so much, and when they reach the shore, you wonder what good things might happen for them with their newfound freedom. Then one wrong turn and they've landed in a situation as bad as, if not worse, than the one they ran from. From there, it feels like one tribulation to the next---you get little glimmers of hope, just long enough to think their luck might be changing, only to have it all come crashing down again.
Though there may have been moments where I felt my attention start to slip, Lauren Destefano's writing is just as mezmerizing and gritty as in Wither, the imagery so incredibly haunting and disturbing that you can feel the fear, the hopelessness, the sickness, the danger, the determination---her words take you for quite a turbulent emotional ride and it definitely can be hard to stomach at times. Once again, main character Rhine amazed me with her refusal to give in, never losing sight of what she needs to do, despite so many obstacles. I have no idea what could be in store for the finale of this trilogy, but I certainly can't wait to find out.
Lauren DeStefano's website: www.laurendestefano.com
Purchase Fever at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository • Indiebound