by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (February 21, 2012)
Buy the book: Amazon
The second book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy reveals a world as captivating—and as dangerous—as the one Rhine left behind in Wither.
Rhine and Gabriel may have escaped the beautiful prison of Wither’s mansion, but they are far from escaping danger. First they’re chased for stealing a getaway boat, and then the fleeing pair ends up in the eerie den of Madame, an old woman who collects girls and sells them to the highest bidders. Worst of all, Vaughn, Rhine’s sinister father-in-law, seems to be on her trail every step of the way. Rhine remains determined to get to her brother in Manhattan—but the road they are on is long and perilous.
Now that Rhine has finally regained her freedom, what lengths will she need to go to in order to keep it?
At a Glance:
Although I love Lauren's writing, and the world she's created in this series, Fever didn't hold my attention the way Wither did. I did enjoy the overall story, and can't wait to see where it goes, but found myself trudging through this one at times.
This is a hard one for me. I absolutely adored Wither. I love Lauren's writing style, and I think this entire concept is so fascinating. I was seriously on pins and needles waiting to get this book, and it was one of only TWO books that I carried home with me from ALA instead of shipping (the other being Bitterblue, of course). So, as you can imagine, I REALLY wanted to love this book, and there were parts of it that I did. Most of the book, however, I found myself just trying to get through.
The beginning of the book starts right where Wither leaves off. Rhine and Gabriel are on the run, and soon find themselves snatched up by a bizarre prostitution ring, operating out of an abandoned carnival fairground. This part of the book was seriously intense. With the introduction of Madame and her sinister, exploitative ways, my heart was racing, just wondering what would happen to Rhine and Gabriel. The creepy carnival atmosphere, the drug-induced fog, the young girls being used for sex, and the menacing presence of Madame and her lackeys, all come together to create a dream-like, hazy, anxious feeling. Although the subject was sickening, I really loved this part of the book. It was intense and compelling. I felt for those girls. It made me think of human trafficking today, and what life must be like for the girls who have their childhoods stolen. My mind was scrambling, trying to think of ways for Rhine to escape. I couldn't put the book down.
Then came the middle.
I feel like nothing happened. There were a whole lot of beautiful words about the nothing happening, but still. About half-way through the book, I actually put it down and listened to the entire audiobook of Article 5 (awesome!) before making myself pick Fever back up. All I could think was SERIES SYNDROME. After reading the entire book, I do understand why it was written this way, and what was going on, and maybe it just had to be this way, but it didn't make it any less boring to read. And can I take a moment to talk about Gabriel? Come on, boy! Where is your personality? Do you have one, or are you just Rhine's shadow? No wonder Rhine is still thinking about Linden. You know it's pretty bad when you're thinking about your captor instead of your boyfriend. Seriously. Gabriel had zero to offer to this book, and that makes me really sad because I loved him in Wither. I felt more of a connection between Rhine and Silas (a new character) than I did between she and Gabriel. There was just no spark.
Of course the ending picked back up.
It had to, right? We've got to be left with an exciting, enormous freaking cliffhanger so that we'll be dying to know what happens next. And I am! I'm dying to know what's going to happen. The ending was seriously sinister and suspenseful. Again, I loved it.
I guess I just feel like this series might ought to have been a two-book series. Not everything has to be a trilogy. So much of the middle just seemed like filler, and it ended up giving me a less positive view of the series. Of course I still love it as a whole, and I know that if you liked Wither, you're reading Fever no matter what (which you should), but maybe you should go into it expecting a slower read.
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, XVI by Julia Karr, Crossed by Ally Condie
When I first saw the cover, I have to say I was disappointed. My thoughts were, "She looks like she's on crack or something." Now, having read it, I have to say, I think the cover is just about perfect. It really does make total sense, and I love her dress and the playing cards and all the background stuff which will all make sense when you read it. YAY for making a cover based off the book!
Will I buy it?
UGH, yes. I probably will.....though I may wait and read the third book first.
- Sexual Content: Heavy (mostly vague or innuendo)
- Profanity: Mild
- Violence: Moderate
- Other Notables: Drug use (sometimes forced), forced prostitution, kidnappings, forced birth control