Monday, February 6, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

FEVER - The Chemical Garden #2 by Lauren DeStefano is published by Simon & Schuster and is due out on February 21, 2012. It is 341 pages in hardcover print. You can pre-order FEVER at Amazon or many other fine book retailers.

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 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.


Fever by Lauren DeStefano starts off exactly where Wither left off. Rhine and Gabriel escape outside the fence of the mansion of her husband, Linden. Rhine leaves because she is in desperate fear for her life, is in search of freedom but mainly she is going to find her twin, Rowan, whom she knows has been worried sick about her and probably thinks she is dead. Despite that, she is determined to escape and make her way to Manhattan to find Rowan.

Gabriel and Rhine’s journey is fraught with danger from the underbelly of society to her father in laws quest to find her-at any cost. As they fight their way to Manhattan, they are caught by an insane woman, Madame, who cares for girls and provides them safety in exchange for their bodies to be sold. It is a strange world staged like a harem of girls who dress exotically in flowing garb, bangles and other jewelry. They don’t go by ‘names’ other than the ones that Madame gives them that are based on color and flowers and they dress accordingly. Rhine and Gabriel become enmeshed in their world for a little while and I’ll leave that part of the story for you to discover when you read it!

Gabriel and Rhine must always be on watch for the Gatherers, a group of what was once part of the governments ‘police’ now they capture girls to sell into polygamy. There are dangers everywhere and Rhine and Gabriel meet both the good and the bad in what’s left of society.

Now, on to the characters! There was a big part of me that fell in love with Linden despite the whole polygamy thing, he actually loves Rhine and Cecily and they have all they could possibly want but he doesn’t have a clue what an insane sadistic madman his father really is. This is where my problem came with Rhine (yes, this is going back to Wither) why, oh why, didn’t she tell him about what was in the basement? It could have saved a lot of heartache. Rhine is a wonderfully strong character who is loyal to those she cares about-leaving Linden left her carrying guilt but she also left a piece of her heart with him at the mansion. Her love and loyalty for Rowan is what drives her to make the dangerous journey from Florida to Manhattan, her guilt can be overwhelming for involving Gabriel and for those few times she secretly wishes she was back at the mansion with Linden and Cecily when things get really tough. Gabriel, although a fantastic character isn’t the one for Rhine in my opinion, he doesn’t have the strength that Rhine possesses and wouldn’t have made it without her. This could be because he’s been a servant in the mansion for 9 years and has had no contact with the outside world or it could just be his character. Either way, as much as I like Gabriel I don’t feel that whole ‘love connection’ between them.

Fever was really one of those books where I felt almost every emotion; at times I felt despair and depression, anger and rage, terrified and frightened and safe and loved. This is because of the beauty of Laurens writing, it draws you into feeling everything the characters are feeling. It’s this skillful narrative that makes this novel so fantastic because I became so invested in all of the characters, the secondary as well as main. When Lauren describes the world that Rhine and the others live in, whether it be the mansion, Madame’s or the streets, I could visualize myself there with them and envision the world through their eyes, again because of Lauren’s adept and beauty at descriptive writing.

I cannot wait for the third and final installment to come out as there was a bit of a cliffie and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.



  1. Hey! So glad to see you posted. That means good things. :) I was stopping by to see if you were around. Do hope you are doing better.

    And I'm not so sure about this series. I know you are loving it, but it hasn't hollared my name yet. ;) THank you for the great review.

    Take care! *hugs*

    1. Hey Melissa Chica!

      Things are better, we had a death in the family the week-end before last of an elderly aunt who was much loved and will be sorely missed. So, I was out of town for a while.

      It took me a while to get into Withered but once I did, I was unstoppable and Fever was even better. I'm really enjoying the series much more then I thought I would :o] My first try with Withered didn't go so well but then I picked it up again and found I couldn't put it down! :o]

      It's good to see you! I'll be by to visit-things are still a little crazed around here!

      What a weird winter it's been! I don't want a repeat next year, LOL!

      ~Hugs to you~

  2. I also liked Linden and hoped Rhine would trust him more. I haven't read Fever yet but based on your review, I think I'll like it. I really like Lauren's writing too.

    Great review, I love how well it's balanced and how honest it is.

  3. I have not read Wither yet, but I don't feel like you messed anything up with this review, I mean I am the one that read it. Just why does she look like a lifeless doll? And if that's how she feels how the hell is she going to get from Florida to Manhattan? I know I'll read but it gives me the heebie jeebies to see her like that!

    So sorry about the death in your family. That's why you haven't been answering the phone? Call me when you can please. I have gossip!!

  4. Oh, and glad to have you back!!


  5. I didn't really read your review because I haven't even read the first one yet. They are both sitting on my bookshelf and I need to read ASAP! Thanks for reminding me that I need to get on that.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

  6. Ohhhh I wanna read it! I did not pre-order though cos I got disappointed at destefano in one of the YA review debacles that were going on

  7. I wasn't loving Gabriel in the relationship either, but I did like his character. I so want to read this one to see how it turns out. Also, need the third as well. Not that I'm greedy or anything... LOL