Review – Sever by Lauren DeStefano

  • Title: Sever
  • Author: Lauren DeStefano
  • Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #3
  • Previous Book: Fever
  • Source: Library

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

Description from Goodreads:

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.


As you may remember, the whole reason I picked up the Chemical Garden trilogy when I did was because I kept seeing angry tweets about Sever and had to know what all the fuss was about, so I was very excited when I finally got my hands on Sever! It was a beautiful ending to the series. I’m amazed that almost two weeks after finishing it, I still find myself thinking about the events that took place in Sever and still having a hard time processing my feelings for it.

Sever has the same slower pace as its predecessors, but I felt that it was a good slowness, like Wither, as opposed to the frustration I experienced while reading Fever. At the beginning of Sever, Rhine is getting out of the hospital and going to stay with Linden’s uncle Reed. As she learns more about Reed and Vaughn’s past and tries to figure out how she’s going to find her brother, everything seems almost mundane on the surface, but knowing that Vaughn is still out there and able to manipulate almost every situation to his benefit, I found a constant undercurrent of tension. Even happy moments left me with unease, knowing that at any moment, Vaughn could pop in and ruin everything.

What I loved most about Sever is that old characters that you may have forgotten about come back, and several times, they are tied together in crazy ways that I never saw coming. I loved how Lauren DeStefano was able to make everything make sense, even things that seemed completely unrelated. Even the biggest villains seemed to be slightly humanized over the course of Sever. Don’t get me wrong, they were still villains, but there was a bit more understanding on my part for the reasons behind their actions.

I also really loved seeing the interactions between Rhine, Linden, and Cecily. I think this is what I missed most while reading Fever. Though Linden seemed to be the bad guy for a lot of Wither, we quickly find out that he’s just as trapped, albeit in a different way, as Rhine. It’s amazing to see their relationships and individual personalities grow.

I knew going into Sever that chapter 24 was going to be heart-wrenching, and I spent most of the book trying to figure out what could possibly be so heartbreaking. I won’t spoil it for you, but it absolutely was heartbreaking. I sobbed while reading this and subsequent chapters. I could not have predicted what would happen, and I’m still not over it. In all honesty, I’m a little mad at Lauren over it. However, I’m also far enough removed to realize that I don’t think any of the very important events that occurred after chapter 24 could have happened without it. It definitely set up the rest of the book. There’s a lot more I want to say about it, but unfortunately, I can’t do that without spoilers, so I guess I’ll just let you read and see for yourself!

Overall, I really loved Sever. I thought it was a beautiful conclusion to the series, and it was definitely full of emotions. Over the course of reading Sever, I was happy, sad, amused, confused, surprised, proud, and devastated. It was definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions, but I thought that it was so well written, and everything made sense. I was going to take away half a star for my heartbreak, but I realize in writing this review how necessary it was, and I’m giving Sever a full 5 stars!

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2 thoughts on “Review – Sever by Lauren DeStefano

  1. […] Sever by Lauren DeStefano (5 stars) […]

  2. […] cry very easily, both at happy endings and sad ones. But the ones that made me really sobbing were: Sever by Lauren DeStefano, Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I […]

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