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Book Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever is one of the many sequels coming out this year! I loved Wither and I couldn’t wait to jump into it!

Book Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

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fever by lauren destefano

Title & Author: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Genre: YA – Fantasy (Dystopian)

Release Date: February 21, 2012

Series: 2nd book in a series- Chemical Garden #2

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

You Give Me Fever…

…when you kiss me – fever when you hold me tight – Fever – In the morning – Fever all through the night.

Sorry I had to do that. Every time I think about this book I want to sing this song. Moving on to serious business – my review.

I really liked Fever! There’s a lot that happens in the book – Rhine and Gabriel have quite the adventure. And when I say adventure, I mean horror-filled nightmare.

Where Wither was sort of dreamy and whimsical, Fever is gritty and harsh. Wither is about Rhine seeing the life she could have in the mansion with her sister-wives, carefully removed from the horror of the world where girls die in their 20s. In Fever, Rhine gets reacquainted with the life she left behind, which she has been away from for too long.

This book really lives up to its name – the plot, pacing and characters are feverish and sick. I was in suspense the entire novel, just waiting for the next terror to befall Rhine.

I really loved Rhine. She’s resilient and strong yet full of self-doubt and apprehension. I think she’s the type of person I would want to be in her dystopian world. (Although I sincerely hope I never live in a post-apocalyptic world).

Writing & Romance

I absolutely love DeStefano’s writing style. It’s just beautiful. The imagery she uses and the stories she tells are stunning:

“‘Things will get better before they get worse.'”

“This is a saying that first generations seem to have. My mother used to say it, her voice cooing and soft as she stroked my forehead when I was sick. Things will get worse before they get better. A little more agony before the fever will break. Of course they can say that. They live onto old age. The rest of us don’t have time to wait through the worse for the better.”

Although the steaminess level between Rhine and Gabriel is at a “light foam” in Fever, I definitely enjoyed seeing their relationship grow organically over time. Nothing rushed and instalove free.

The one negative thing I have to say about Fever is that through the first half of the book, I struggled. Things were stuck in place for Rhine – and it seemed a lot like being back in the mansion and it dragged a bunch. I think this is what kept me from loving the book instead of just liking it.


DeStefano has done it again! Fever is a great continuation of the Chemical Garden series. I think there’s so much yet to be revealed and I’m anxiously waiting to read more about Rhine and Gabriel and Cecily and Vaughn. Fever left me feeling achy and emotionally congested – job well done.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.