Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21, 2012
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction, Dystopian
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. (From Goodreads)
*Warning: This is the second book in a series. While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*
Action, Imagery, and Villains, Oh My!…
One of the first things I noticed about Fever was that there was a lot more action than in Wither. Right from the beginning, actually. Gabriel and Rhine are on the run, and there are dangers all around them, pretty much every step of the journey. I love a lot of action, suspense, and twists and turns, so this automatically made me think I was going to enjoy Fever more than Wither.
Fever also seemed a lot more picturesque to me than Wither did. I mean, I could imagine the mansion in Wither, and see the grounds, but Fever is awash in smells and colors. And this really shows in the cover art as well. I liked the cover for Wither more, but the cover for Fever has those bright pinks and greens and it really fits the book for me.
There’s a pretty big reveal near the end of the book, and I thought it was pretty clever. And I was happy that the villains in this book were actually seen being evil, because in Wither that was one of my major complaints – we never really saw Vaughn being evil, we only just heard Rhine’s theories on what he was doing.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Fever:
“Living in a place like this, she must have learned how to see all the monsters that can hide in a person.”
“In what I can only describe as dumb luck and good timing, I vomit on his lapels before I lose consciousness.”
One of my other favorite quotes bears a little discussion. They meet a first generation woman who, several years prior, had lost her son to the virus, and she tells Rhine about him: “His words, she says, got trapped in the wallpaper, and they leap between the little blue flowers of it, echoing, playing with one another.” I lost my grandmother a year ago – she was the person in my family that I was closest to, besides my parents and my brother – and some days I can still hear her saying, “Well, hello Andrea!” the way she always would when I would call her. I can’t imagine losing a child – I think that has to be the worst thing in the world – and to still be in the same house where that child grew up? Of course his memories would haunt the halls and the wallpaper! You’d see him everywhere! I just can’t imagine having to go through that, and I think DeStefano has really captured that in this passage.
A Bit of a Warning…
I was all set to really, really LOVE this book. And then something happened at the end that I personally just can’t get past. Now, this is kind of spoilery, but I’ll try to be as vague as possible. But I really feel like I need to warn people about this one part.
I have a huge eye phobia. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember, and in school I was always teased about it, but it’s extremely serious, and it’s even hard to write about. Basically I can’t handle anything that has to do with eyes. I mean, I can handle looking at eyes and everything, but if I see or hear or read about anything strange happening to someone’s eyes, I get all clammy and start to freak out. I know, I know, I’m weird, but I am not the only one. It’s an actual phobia. I forget the name, but it’s real.
Anyway, there is a part in this book where some crazy shiz happens to someone’s eyes. And I couldn’t handle it. I tried to skip past that part, but I had seen enough to make me freak out. I pushed myself to finish the book, but to tell you the truth, I haven’t really wanted to touch the book since I finished it. And I definitely wasn’t looking forward to writing this review.
So I want to warn anyone who might be like me – if you get anxiety about things happening to people’s eyes – you have been warned. But I also have to say that it wasn’t a very long scene, and I personally still enjoyed the book even though I hated that part and I’m still a bit squeamish about it. And I still would like to read the final book in the trilogy, so I’m really hoping that there isn’t any crazy eye shiz in that one, too. Maybe I’ll get a friend to read it first and let me know if there’s a part I need to skip.
My rating for Fever by Lauren DeStefano:
4 stars. Even though I was really creeped out by that one part, I still really enjoyed the book – maybe even more than Wither. I’ll definitely be reading Book 3 of The Chemical Garden series.
Find it: Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster