Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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Lauren DeStefano
Series: Chemical Garden, #2
Release date: February 21st, 2012
by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada for review purposes*
An improvement over Wither – Fever starts exactly where we left off in the midst of the excitement from having escaped. The issue I had with Wither lacking energy, where I had a feeling of restlessness being with those girls in their big mansion unmoving, is not the case anymore. In Fever, we’re out in the real world. Things are moving fast and the anxiety is heightened. As a lover of fast paced dystopians, I found myself much preferring this second installment.

We’re following Rhine and Gabriel on the run. Rhine is trying to find her brother, while Gabriel is seeing the outside of the Mansion for the first time in a decade. As in Wither, I didn’t feel a lot of chemistry between these two. They are clearly good for each other; always there to help one another, but there’s no rooted passion between them. Fortunately, the plot doesn’t center around the romance as much as their escape and, eventually, what’s happening to Rhine. She’s started getting sick with the same symptoms as the virus. No one knows why, or how to fix it.

Although it’s still not at the scale I was hoping, we do learn more about the outside world in Fever. Rhine and Gabriel travel enough to give us glimpses of society’s living situations. We also hear the president give an interesting speech of future plans. Furthermore, we get some good plot development as well as a lot of mystery throughout the novel. The twists we encounter definitely came to impress me. They are very well thought out from the beginning, put together in a way that makes them hard to predict. I, for one, had no idea what was happening and was caught smiling by the cleverness of it all by the end.

I noticed an improvement in the writing from Wither. It’s more vibrant, and the story flows really well with an easy to read, but sophisticated prose. It’s beautiful in a sense. There is also a sequence where Rhine is drugged, going in and out of consciousness, that I thought was brilliantly done. I felt as confused as Rhine was. Trying to figure out what was happening along with her. You get the sense of unease like in a dream where you know you must escape, but you’re trapped, controlled. It’s suspenseful and frightening.

A much more fast paced, captivating dystopian than the first in its series- Fever continues Rhine’s story while her years dwindle by. With only 3 of them left, Rhine has a lot of life left to live in a very short time. I’m looking forward to finding out how she spends these in the final book of the series!  

4 Hot Espressos
 The Chemical Garden series:

Want to know what I thought of Wither?

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano”

  1. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    As I am lame and still haven’t read Wither, I read over this review very quickly. Ice heard Wither is very slow-pace (maybe why I haven’t read it, though I’ve had a copy for 7 months). But I’m glad the pace picks up in Fever. I’m glad you liked this. Great review!

  2. Amy

    This sounds much faster paced than Wither. (well judging by your review since I haven’t read it yet) I am going to be starting Wither this weekend. Great review. At least I know that it will pick up in book 2 if I feel it’s slow for me.

  3. Lalaine

    There are two things that makes me want to read this book, is because of your amazing reviews and because I want to know whats going to happen next. I never enjoyed Wither so much it was depressing and dull and blah, but like Ive said, I would definitely read this book. Thanks for this great review Giselle<3


  4. Sarah

    Great review Giselle! I was really hoping that we would be out in the world and there would be more action and a faster pace, so I’m really happy to hear that’s the case. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    ♥ Sarah @ I’m Loving Books

  5. Jackie's Little World

    I must have missed your Wither review. The pace of that one didn’t bother me 🙂 But I really liked Fever and can’t wait to see how things turn out in the last one. Also, I’m never sure how I feel about Linden. Sometimes I want to like him and other times I want to slap him 🙂

  6. Giselle

    Thanks ladies I hope you like it too!

    @Jackie’s Little World: I posted the Wither review on Monday. I feel the same about Linden he’s the most complex character I find.

  7. Traci @ The Reading Geek

    Great review Giselle! I really enjoyed Wither and I can’t wait to read Fever. I am excited to hear that we learn more about the outside world. I am also happy to hear that DeStefano’s writing improves in Fever. I am definitely now even more excited to get Fever next week!

  8. Mimi Valentine

    What a gorgeous review!! <3 I'm so happy that you loved this second book so much more than the first — I think I liked Fever better too for the same reasons as you! The twists and the energy and the cleverness… you explained it all PERFECTLY! I was brown away by how clever it all was too! x)

    Amazingly beautiful review, Giselle! I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen in book 3 either — that only makes me more excited to get my hands on a copy! 🙂

  9. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!!

    @Mimi Valentine: Thanks Mimi! I’m glad you enjoyed it too and I would have never guessed why she was sick! And I rarely get surprised anymore.

    @Jaskirat: I didn’t love Wither either it was a 3-star for me. I still liked it but it could have been better. You should give this one a try though it’s much more fast pace.

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Oh, thank goodness things are moving in this one. I felt like you about Wither–like I was trapped in that stifling mansion and nothing was moving (though, I suppose that was the point). I wasn’t so sure about picking this one up but I’m thinking I might have to check this out.

  11. JJ iReads

    oh wow. I can’t wait to read this one. Your review makes it sound so enticing. I for one loved Wither, and if Fever is even better, then bring it on!

    Great review!

  12. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    Can you believe that I have still not read Wither? I have a pretty copy of it sitting on my shelf and everything! I really need to get on that and get reading! Great review. I can’t wait to start this trilogy!

  13. Cambria

    I haven’t read these yet! But hopefully I will get the chance to some time. I really like both of these covers and I enjoyed reading your thoughts in the review.

  14. carly

    Great review Giselle, I am so looking forward to this one. I enjoyed Wither, but I am glad this one seems a little more fast paced. -Carly 🙂

  15. Candace

    I guess I had a hard time with the part where she was drugged and when she was just sick and whatever at the end. I wanted to see it a little but it got tedious for me. It was faster paced as in more happened but I still found myself bored. However I still enjoyed the story okay and I’m curious to see where things go. My review goes up Monday. Glad you enjoyed this more then Wither!

  16. Kaity

    I’m so excited to read Fever! I’m glad you enjoyed it more than Wither. Having read a lot of ridiculously long classics, slowly paced books no longer bothers me and I ended up really enjoying Wither.
    I’m so glad you mentioned that Fever takes up where Wither left off. It drives me crazy when series leave a time chunk out, especially when the book mentions exciting events that happened during the missing time period that the reader doesn’t get to experience.
    Great review! I enjoyed reading it and am now even more anxious for next week.

  17. Book Sake

    I’m glad to hear that there was an improvement in the writing. I couldn’t get into the first one, so didn’t bother picking up the second one – but maybe now I will give it a try.
    – Jessica @ Book Sake

  18. Giselle

    @Candace: Yes I forgot to reply to your email about that! I actually enjoyed that part but it’s true it lasted a while.

    @Kaity: Ugh I hate when they skip forward too and you miss all the events between books. This one starts right after Wither with nothing in between missed 🙂

    @Everyone else: Thanks so much! <3 I hope those who didn't like Wither feels the same about this one and enjoys it more!

  19. Aylee

    I also enjoyed getting to see the outside of the mansion! I remember feeling a bit claustrophobic in Wither. I also would have liked to have seen and learned a bit more of the world too. Hopefully, she’ll get to that in the third book!

  20. Elodie

    I’m so glad you liked this one that much and I’m also happy to hear that it is more fast-paced than Wither as well !!
    Great review Giselle 🙂