Google+ Reading Teen: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano



Fever
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.

Review:

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.

Book Doppelgangers:

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, XVI by Julia Karr, Crossed by Ally Condie

Cover Comment:

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.



Content:
  • Sexual Content:  Heavy (mostly vague or innuendo)
  • Profanity:  Mild
  • Violence:  Moderate
  • Other Notables:  Drug use (sometimes forced), forced prostitution, kidnappings, forced birth control
For more details, check out Fever on Parentalbookreviews.com

20 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. I felt like I was reading a novel about nothing... I was waiting for something significant to happen only to discover it happened on the very last page.

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    1. I know, it drives me crazy when second books are like this!!

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  2. I still haven't read Wither yet, I am actually about to start it. I have already pre-ordered Fever since there was so much hype about it. I am looking forward to reading both Wither and Fever. Great review!

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    1. I really loved Wither! I hope you like it too! The overall storyline is fascinating! Let me know what you think!

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  3. I felt the exact same way! The beginning was awesome, and then I was just like, what? You're going to make me read through this to get to the good stuff? And Gabriel... I LOVED him in Wither and in Fever I honestly was liking Linden. I kind of always did though. Maybe I'm just weird.
    Fantastic review!
    Willa

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    1. Thanks and yes, everything you said. I'm seriously liking Linden more and more.....

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  4. Completely agree with you. Gabriel didn't shine, felt more like Rhine's brother than a potential love interest. Like you, I also felt restless, waiting for something to happen. In Wither, it was all building to her escape. In Fever, I had no idea what it was building to, but instead of spurring me to keep reading, that made the book drag.

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    1. It just makes me so sad! I want to like Gabriel, but it's just not working for me. I hope something happens in the last one to change my mind!

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  5. This review really helps. I may hold off on reading this right away. I loved Wither, but it makes me sad that Fever is like this. I never really connected to Gabriel in Wither and now I'm afraid I still won't be convinced by him in Fever. I am Team Linden, so I may be biased. LOL. I love how you talked about the part where they get captured. That part does sounds intriguing. I wished you loved this more too. It had so much potential and I always fear reading book two in a trilogy/series because sometimes it just falls flat.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I enjoyed reading your review. Totally gave me insight on what will happen in Fever without spoiling it. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for this comment! I always wonder if what I'm saying makes any sense!

      I'm definitely leaning more toward Linden, but I know she won't end up with him. It never works out that way. So I hope Gabriel gets a personality in the next book!

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  6. I have read so many reviews that say exactly what you say, Gabriel has no personality, the book is slow in the middle and they weren't sure they would continue (though you didn't say that). I haven't read Wither, still sitting on the shelf. At the time, I had to have it. But like many other dystopians from last year, it's still sitting there. Maybe I'll just wait for the full series to come out. I think she looks drugged too. Like all the life and blood has been drained out of her. I thought maybe a vampire hit her up for some blood!

    Great review! I don't feel like you gave anything away. Hope the last book is worth it!

    Heather

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    1. Yeah, I'm definitely still going to read the third one. I hate that this one was so slow that it's ruining the series for some people. I'm trying to think of it as all one book, with a slow part in the middle. I still like the overall storyline, and really want to know what's going to happen. The ending was pretty intense, so I really hope the next book is a little more exciting.

      I'm glad I didn't give anything away!

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  7. nods head I was so disappointed with this series and I felt like nothing happened too. I wanted to love the characters more but nada , and I am on the fence with this series now .

    I loved the carnival part and the cards but there wasn't much happening with the FEVER and all :(

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    1. I know!! I just feel like this could have been told without the lagging middle. Maybe if it had just been two books?

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  8. I haven't had a chance to read Fever yet but had high hopes for it. From the reviews I've read it seems to lack in a variety of ways but I'll probably read it anyway. The girl on the cover does look like a crack addict and that's kind of a turn off. Great review.

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    1. Yeah, if you're a fan of the series, you should definitely still read it. Hopefully you'll have better luck with it! Let me know what you think!

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  9. If you don't want your ARC anymore, I'll take it ;D LOL!

    Awwwww, now I'm sad, because I liked Wither, and I hope I'll like Fever... and your review just put my hopes reallyyyyyy low!

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    1. Haha, I'd totally give it to you, but I already promised a few of my IRL friends they could pass it around.

      Well, at least if your hopes are low, and you like it, you'll be pleasantly surprised!!! :D

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  10. Totally absorbing. It has been some time since I read the first book and while the details are dim the images remain bright in my mind. I found it easy jumping into book two and talk of events in book one quickly brought the details back to mind. Rhine and Gabriel are the focus characters in this book, though several characters from book one return and a handful of strange and quirky new characters are introduced. This is what I refer to as the "escape" or "search" part of a trilogy. The entire book is devoted to the journey of their escape, heading back to Rhine's home, and her search for her brother. A page-turning plot with surprising events, I was immersed for the entire read. I especially found the latter half of the book with the experiments and hallucinations very creepy and well written.

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  11. I loved this series! This was a great twist and ending to a dystopian series!

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