Review – Fever by Lauren DeStefano

  • Title: Fever
  • Author: Lauren DeStefano
  • Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2
  • Previous Book: Wither
  • Next Book: Sever
  • Source: Library

The description and review have been hidden to avoid Wither spoilers. If you’ve read Wither or don’t mind spoilers, feel free to proceed!

Description from Goodreads:

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.


After the ending of Wither, I was very anxious to see what would happen to Rhine and Gabriel. I really liked the beginning. It picked up very soon after the ending of Wither, and they’re running from the boat they stole as people are trying to tow it to shore. They are in an unknown place, and they need to find somewhere to go. They see lights in the distance and head for them. From there, they are back in captivity; this time in a “carnival” that actually serves as a “red-light district” or brothel.

While the carnival was supposed to be disturbing and dangerous, I actually found that whole portion of the book underwhelming. It wasn’t completely boring, but I just wasn’t very interested in it. I was glad that the carnival section was much shorter than I thought it would be. Their escape had some suspense, but from there, the pace was slow again, as they were just on the run. Again, there was some suspense, but I felt like nothing much happened.

I found a lot of Fever frustrating. While I understand that Rhine really wanted her freedom, I was left wondering through most of Fever if she was regretting that decision. Being out in the real world was torturous for her and Gabriel, and dangerous as well. I think she conveniently forgot that part when she wanted to escape. Also, I found Gabriel and Rhine to be incredibly frustrating as well. They often seemed to get angry or irritated with each other, but they never addressed it. They just ignored their issues, and it just annoyed me.

Honestly, I was mostly disappointed in Fever. And I am not alone. Brittany at Book Addict’s Guide actually mentioned Fever in her Second in a Series Slump post. I was really nervous that Fever was going to leave me not even wanting to read Sever, the final installment, but the last 60ish pages redeemed it for me. I thought that they were great, even though there was a severe creepiness to them. It also ended on a very Insurgent-esque cliffhanger, which has me dying for the final installment! (Though published March 10th, this review was actually written on March 5th, and as of then, I’m still waiting on Sever from the library!)

Overall, I thought that Fever was so-so, but the last 60 or so pages, and the last page specifically, added an extra star for me. It’s not the greatest book ever, but I think it’s worth slogging through to get to Sever. (Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind if I’m disappointed in Sever.)

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3 thoughts on “Review – Fever by Lauren DeStefano

  1. Jeannius March 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm Reply

    Hiya, I’m following you from the David Estes Goodreads group 🙂 love the theme btw!

  2. […] Fever by Lauren DeStefano  (3 stars) […]

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