Fever by Lauren DeStefanoFever by Lauren DeStefano


byLauren DeStefano

Hardcover | February 21, 2012

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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 have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they left behind.
     Determined to get to Manhattan and find Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan, the two press forward, amid threats of being captured again…or worse.
     The road they are on is long and perilous—and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and men die at age twenty-five, time is precious. In this 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.
Lauren Destefano won The Thornton Wilder Award for a short story entitled Orange Blood while in high school. She received a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut in 2007. She is the author of the Chemical Garden Trilogy.
Title:FeverFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 inPublished:February 21, 2012Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:144240907X

ISBN - 13:9781442409071

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! I really liked the way the story continued but this one isn't as good as the first or third. I just didn't like the story away from the mansion, but it was still a good addition.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I really liked the way the story continued but this one isn't as good as the first or third. I just didn't like the story away from the mansion, but it was still a good addition.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun read There isn't much plot to add to the overall main storyline from Wither but I enjoyed this book for the sake of the adventures that Gabriel and Rhine have to go through. I really enjoyed their scenes together and the ending makes you hungry for the conclusion to the trilogy.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intriguing An outstanding series with totally complex and unique characters, DeStefano has created a twisted and falsely beautiful world readers won't be able to get enough of.
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intriguing An outstanding series with totally complex and unique characters, DeStefano has created a twisted and falsely beautiful world readers won't be able to get enough of.
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive Beautifully written in a unique world, every character is multi-dimension and circumstance challenges morals, love it!
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Major cliffhanger at the end I liked the new secondary characters introduced in this book but I did end up skimming the pages a little. But the cliffhanger at the end was too much, I had to read the next book as soon as possible #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!!!!!!!! Captivating and dark, the Chemical Garden Trilogy is an outstanding series that highlights the struggle to survive in a dystopian, virus-filled world, how true love can still survive, and how no one is who they appear to be.
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is one of my all time favorites! The storyline and characters are highly addictive and DeStefano's writing style hooks the reader into the complex, mysterious, and dangerous world of marriage and people who never have long to live because of the virus
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from awesome The second book in the chemical garden trilogy. This one took off in a very different direction than the first book. This book allows its readers to view this world at a different angle from what we are shown in the first and last book. This book is one of my all time favourites!
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well then I guess I can't say anything really without spoiling the book, but I will say if you like the first book you'll like the second
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing addition to the trilogy. This book continues to bring us everything we loved about the first book and then shocks us into NEEDING to Finnish the trilogy.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay ... It was okay. I feel like an issue with this series was no overarching plot or goal so I feel like they kind of flounder through most of it. The circus like place was creepy and uncomfortable but besides that nothing really stood out for me or made me care that much.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Does Rhine even like Gabriel in a romantic way? POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!! It's a great continuation from where the book left off, with Rhine and Gabriel escaping the Ashby household. Now on their search for Rowan, Rhine and Gabriel will have a blooming romance, or at least that's what I thought would happen. Throughout the book, I am getting a conflicted vibe from Rhine, as being with Gabriel was more like a friendship than an actual relationship. In fact, she thought about Linden the majority of the time. There are still some gaps to this novel that can be fixed.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Personal Favorite! The second book is just as amazing as the first! I love this series!
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Mesmerizing Sequel! In "Fever" the second novel in the "Chemical Garden" series Rhine's obsession with escaping her exquisite but demented prison to find her brother has her fleeing the mansion with Gabriel only to be entrapped in a twisted carnival where they are caged and forced to perform for warped customers who delight in watching their drugged passion. Yet as Rhine struggles with fear, guilt and despair, hoping to find a way out of this new torture she can't forget the husband she betrayed and left behind. In a dystopian world plagued by corruption, chaos and hopelessness where young females face death at twenty and men at twenty-five, the environment's terrifying especially for girls who are kidnapped by the Gatherers to be sold into marriage, or prostitution if rejected. Even malformed children are shown no mercy and either killed at birth or handed over for genetic research. The mood is dark and uncertain as Rhine fixated on gaining her freedom to return to her twin in Manhattan, escapes one prison only to be trapped in another where she's drugged and exhibited. With her father-in-law Housemaster Vaughn never far behind her life is predicted to get worse before it gets better. This plot is fast-paced and emotionally-charged as Rhine struggles to break free from Madame Soleski's clutches especially when Housemaster Vaughn shows up take her back to the mansion. The intensity and suspense continually escalates not only with Rhine and Gabriel's perilous journey across a hostile landscape, their discovery of the charred remains of her home in Manhattan, but with her deteriorating health. Throughout the story the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel seems more of a friendship sparked by her need to free him from Vaughn's abuse. There's very little romantic chemistry between the two even when drugged and swept up in a passionate embrace in Madame's cage. Rhine cannot forget her time with Linden, his kindness and love, and refuses to relinquish her wedding ring although she fears she'll never see him again. With a writing style that's lyrical and flowing, that sweeps you up in a plot that's mesmerizing, it's ironic that the romance between Gabriel and Rhine falls so flat. Yet Lauren DeStefano creates characters that have a complexity and depth that develops as they face each new challenge. Rhine (Goldenrod) Ashby haunted by nightmares is smart, empathetic but unpredictable. Knowing that her life span is limited she's aloof and guarded with both Gabriel and Linden although both love her. Madame Soleski is the mad, talkative and paranoid drugged - addicted owner of the prostitution den who cynical but noble and self-sacrificing Lilac protects her malformed, daughter Maddie from. In this story amiable and supportive Gabriel tends to be detached at times as he faces not only the pain of drug withdrawal, but the reminders of Rhine's attachment to Linden. I thoroughly enjoyed "Fever" with Rhine's continuing search for her twin and Housemaster Vaughn's relentless hunt to find and bring her back to the mansion
Date published: 2016-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really liked it! A copy was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada for review. Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, away from the confining clutches of her father-in-law Vaughn. Trying to find some shelter for the night they stumble across the carnival setting of Madam where she gathers girls from the street and sells them to her clients for money. To escape one prison and to get stuck in another really irked me! Poor Rhine and Gabriel, could they ever just be free from the evils that lurk in her world? I enjoyed Fever much more that Wither just because they were out in the real world, and I liked how Lauren set the desolate environment where kindness is scarce and people will do anything to survive. Rhine is such a strong character still and I love how determined she is to find her twin brother and to find freedom. There is very little romance which I like since Rhine?s driving force isn?t to fall in love or be rescued by Gabriel. It?s for her to finally be with the only family she has left whom she misses dearly. When Rhine was in her weakened and fevered state I loved how she cherished her memories before all the pain and suffering came. Beautiful and haunting, Lauren DeStefano is a wonderfully creative writer and I can?t wait to read the last installment in this wonderful trilogy!
Date published: 2014-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fever Wonderful ending loved it to pieces
Date published: 2013-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good That book was great, I loved the ending.
Date published: 2013-04-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Better than Wither, but still not great The Chemical Garden trilogy continues and without a doubt it is better than ever! Now if you remember my review of Wither, I wasn't overly sold on this trilogy. Primarily because the hype monster built this book up to such outlandish proportions there was almost no way it could live up to its reputation. Because of this I went into Fever with my expectations lowered. I was happy to find that I enjoyed the story of Fever significantly more than that of Wither and noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the narrative and characters. For starters, I loved the conflict and imagery in this story significantly more than the last. Wither was limited to the world of Linden's mansion and while it was an interesting setting there was only so much it could do. Fever opens up a whole new world for the reader - exposing the reader to the dysoptian setting Rhine grew up and helping us learn more about what the world has become. This did more than just create a more dazzling world to read about, it also helped explain many of the motivations of the characters, which is something I'm always obsessed with. I also felt like Rhine has significantly grown as a character. In Wither I found her kind of flaky and always in need of saving. In Fever she was stronger. She took action for herself. She become a force to reckoned with and I finally felt myself bonding with her. Unfortunately, however, my feelings towards Gabriel remain the same. I find him a complete blank slate and he spends much of Fever out of the way. Further proving to me that he really doesn't need to be there. I still gave so many questions - particualrly about this virus. How does a virus target by age/gender? Is it really a virus in the traditional sense? etc etc. But I'm hoping questions like that are addressed in book three (which I am now eagerly awaiting). Just like Rhine, Lauren DeStefano has really grown with this book. She's had a chance to stretch her creative muscle and the results are something to be admired.
Date published: 2012-10-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not a bad sequel! I was so excited to finally be able to read Fever, the second book in the Chemical Garden’s trilogy, by Lauren DeStefano. I had pre-ordered it from Amazon, but waited about a month or so after getting it before actually diving in. I was so worried that it would fall into the dreaded sequel book category — you know, those books that are part of a series and act like they’re part of a series, not really having anything going on? Yeah, you know those books. Luckily, Fever wasn’t one of those books. Fever starts off where Wither ended — Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the big house and the clutches of Housemaster Vaughn. Now, they’re in the real world, a world that Rhine waxed on about to Gabriel, but now a world that seems unlike what she expected them to enter. Determined to get to Manhattan to find Rhine’s brother, the two learn that freedom may not be all it’s cut out to be. I loved that this book started off with Rhine and Gabriel starting their escape. There wasn’t too much rehashing of what happened in Wither — I found that DeStefano incorporated parts of the first novel beautifully, not having long drawn-out passages describing what happened, but just little spurts now and then. I mean, if you’re going to read Fever, it’s assumed that you’ve read Wither, right? The writing was just how I expected it to be — perfect. The world that DeStefano describes is messy and terrifying. If you thought you were uncomfortable reading Wither, then you’re still going to be uncomfortable reading Fever. It’s amazing how the people have changed from what the world once was to this now-dystopian, chaotic, fend-for-yourself world. As a reader, you know it’s not real, but DeStefano writes in such a way that it feels real and you can’t help but really feel what Rhine and Gabriel are going through as they encounter each situation on their way to Manhattan. I did expect more romance in this book, but my gears have been turned slightly after finishing reading it — while I used to love Rhine and Gabriel, DeStefano’s ending made me turn away from that romance. Is the book supposed to be a romance book? No. I think Fever is more about trying to find that freedom within a world where freedom doesn’t exist anymore. And ultimately, even though I love romance, the series is about finding the cure to the disease that’s killing off people at such an early age. Sure, I hope there’s going to be some more romance in the next book, but DeStefano makes up for any lack of romance with a ton of crazy situations. Right when you think that Rhine and Gabriel are safe — they so aren’t. And the ending! I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the last quarter of the book did not turn out how I thought it was going to, which was great since I was thinking the novel would end a little too predictably. Of course, that’s not to say that the novel has no faults. I found it very dark and depressing. I mean, not a lot of good happens … at all. Like I said, when something good happens, something bad happens. I would say this novel is definitely darker than the first — at least in Wither, there was the relationship between Rhine and the other wives, which–at times–was positive, but in Fever, there’s just so much bad going on. I admit that I wanted to put it down at times to read something a little more upbeat! That being said, I still am really loving this series. Darkness or not. Not every novel can be light and fluffy and it’s great that DeStefano is exploring these darker topics. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next book, but I will definitely be sticking around for the ride.
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everthing I Could Have Asked For! I must start of this review by saying: I love Lauren Destefano's Wither (Chemical Garden Trilogy) series! It's just overall spectacular, and while I'm reading her books I feel like she wrote this book series dedicated to me. It feels like I was belonged to read it. She is an incredible author, who writes with a great amount of detail, and she is able to write a book that is not only addictive and griping, but has the right balance of everything that a reader could ask for. I don't know what else really to say, the book was fantastic and I was definitely not disappointed with her follow up novel. (Rhine + Gabriel 4EVA!) Marvellous darling ;)
Date published: 2012-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brave Rhine & Gabriel The second book was incredible! The first one i couldnt put it down & yet the second one was suspenceful & i wasnt able to put it down. Its totally amazing how Rhine & Gabriel were able to get far. Vaughn is definitely a complete villian that you want to slap or torture. I want the third one soon.
Date published: 2012-04-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Vaughn is deliciously evil! I loved to hate him!! I received this Advance Reader's Copy for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. I started reading Fever immediately after finishing Wither. I literally put down Wither, pondered for a few moments about how it ended, and dove into Fever. I was expecting the adrenaline rush to be carried into this book. I have to say that I am a little disappointed that I wasn't as caught up in the momentum of the story as I was with Wither. Fever picks up right where Wither leaves off, with Rhine and Gabriel trying to find their way to Manhattan to find Rowan. They both are abducted by Madame Soleski, a lady who runs a carnival that includes a brothel. She is intelligent and realizes the financial potential of a beauty like Rhine with her heterochromic eyes. She keeps both Rhine and Gabriel drugged up so that they cannot escape. Rather than pimping her out as she does with her other girls, she sets up a sort of "peep show" where paying customers can watch Rhine and Gabriel together. I thought the whole carnival/brothel scene was just very bizarre, and I actually did not care much for this part of the story. I kept wondering when we were going to get on with the story! The story picked up a little bit of excitement when Vaughn tracked them down at the carnival, and then Rhine and Gabriel managed to escape from both Madame's and Vaughn's clutches but not without taking Maddie who is the daughter of one of Madame's girls. With child in tow, they are on the run again to get to Manhattan. The pace of the book did not pick for me until the last quarter of the book, when Vaughn tracks Rhine down for the second time. I found that the parts of the story that lagged were the ones without Vaughn! He is so deliciously evil that I just love to hate him! DeStefano did a bang-up job keeping me on the edge of my seat for the thrilling ride to the end of the book, but I was a little disappointed with how this second story in the series progressed. I was so excited for Rhine and Gabriel to begin their new lives and to see their relationship blossom, but that did not happen. I did not enjoy Fever as much as I did Wither, but I think that DeStefano got her groove back by the end of Fever. I hope that Vaughn figures prominently in the final installment of the trilogy, which is due to be released in April 2013. MY RATING: 4 stars!! It was really good! You should put it on your "To Be Read" list. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the opportunity to review this book!
Date published: 2012-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Freedom Never Felt This Good I was anticipating this novel's release as there were so mnay loose threads in the first novel, Wither. Some of those loose threads are addressed in Fever, but in short dosages. What I really wanted came at the end, and it didn't flow like I thought it would. The beginning of the novel starts off immediately after Rhine and Gabriel escaped the mansion in Florida. They've washed up somewhere in South Carolina. They have just realized they ran away without a real plan, but it doesn't matter to Rhine as she is finally free from Housemaster Vaughn and his nasty ways. You would think that not the main characters have escaped it would be all good, well it doesn't work like that. Rhine and Gabriel are captured, but not to be sold again, something much worse. Remember how in the first book it was either become a wife or a prostitute? Well, it's the latter option for now. The book went by really fast as there is much resistance and escaping throughout the entire novel. Rhine and Garbriel escape the prostitute camp and finally head up to Manhattan to find Rowan's brother, but Rhine's fears finally surface. If you thought you would finally get to meet Rowan, well you're dead wrong as he is nowhere to be found. But there are clues that are leading to his whereabouts. There really isn't much love in this book. Well, there wasn't much romance in the first book either as the love was bought or forced. But if you were rooting for Gabriel or Linden, there is enough of both of them for everyone to be happy. For me though, I wish there was more to do back at the mansion if Florida as I felt that there wasn't enough closure at the house. But the house's reappearance is not what I expected. I was really captivated by this book as I didn't even notice how fast I was reading and how the pages kept on disappearing. I didn't realize I was done when there wasn't anymore pages to flip. If you loved Wither, you will be sated with Fever.
Date published: 2012-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read!! Once again Lauren DeStefano has pulled me into this world with Rhine and her goal of getting back to New York to find her brother, Rowan. Fever was really good! I loved the writing of how the plot really developed right away. The journey of leaving Linden's mansion and then traveling with Gabriel to a new part of the world where he has not been as well it was heart-lawbreaking. It was way better than Wither because of the plot and how intense it was, and left me wanting more!! It starts off right after Rhine and Gabriel left the mansion, where we meet a whole new bunch of characters! This lady is in my opinion crazy (the leader of the "circus") and she holds Rhine and Gabriel hostage. She uses Rhine as entertainment and also to show off all her girls. In these scenes I saw the relationship grow between Rhine and Gabriel which I loved because I love him! We get to see things about these characters that we never saw in Wither. The adventure and the new developments were great! It was a steady paced story that I was turning the pages like crazy to know what will happen next!! The ending was like OMG another cliffhanger!! Lauren DeStefano is good with cliffhangers but this one was beyond good because the anticipation and the plot is growing, it has just begun and I am looking forward to book 3. Her writing was very well done and her style is beautiful! The characters were amazing as always and the story still sucked me in. Rhine is a brave heroine! If you loved Wither, be sure to pick this one up right away!
Date published: 2012-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark and Cruel But Highly Engaging! Fever by Lauren DeStefano is probably the darkest and most pessimistic book I have read in the last few years. Yet, DeStefano's captivating writing style is like a drug. It is impossible to stop reading and you always want more, even though the events of Fever don't offer the nicest of the reading experiences. Fever is absolutely a great read and I was hooked from the first to the last page. I praise DeStefano's writing and her masterful skill to make readers feel what her character's are going through.Yet, I do believe that readers have to be willing to put themselves through this emotionally and psychologically exhausting reading experience. Fever is a dark and depressing read that smashes to the ground Wither's glittery ending. So be prepared. Rhine and Gabriel's experience outside the walls of Linden's mansion is an Odyssey to reach Rhine's brother. Yet, the world outside is definitely not a safe place and I suffered with the series of events that the characters have to go through in in order to get what they want. Fever is certainly a very difficult book to review. This dark and cruel read is not easy to understand when we still don't have a sequel to justify the tragic events we read in Fever. So, here is a list with some of my feelings towards this "fever" that I certainly still need to be cured. Oh Hell Yeah! - Rhine and Gabriel are out of Linden's mansion. - Rhine is an excellent character and so strong to the point of stubborn. She is an idealist. She strongly believes in what she thinks. She doesn't give up. Her personality is so strong that makes her powerful. And best of all, she always take cares of the others. Rhine is selfless and does not show any weakness. - DeStefano's descriptions of drugs and fever symptoms can clearly be felt by the reader. - There is a lot more of Gabriel in Fever (though not in romantic terms) - New characters. Oh Hell No! - Psychologically exhausting and depressing. - Rhine's relationship with Gabriel deteriorates. This probably is due to all of the terrible events both characters have to go through. sniff! (Yet, this is like a double-edge sword. What now seems to take away the romance, could perfectly become a strong bond between the characters in the next book to come) - The plot is really dark. There wasn't even a moment I considered smiling. Sniff! Lauren DeStefano is definitely a brave writer. There are so many traumatizing experiences and I wonder how is she going to deal with all the psychological and emotional consequences that this book put our characters through. How is DeStefano going to heal Rhine and Gabriel from all of this? How is Rhine going to move forward from now on? What happens next? What about the cure? What about Gabriel? The ending just killed me!! This may sound like a negative review, but believe me it is not. The thing is that Fever is a negative book (and dark and cruel) Yet, Fever is, for me, a highly engaging read but is not an easy one to go through. Now, I feel free to consider myself a masochist (or an addict) because when I started this book, I wasn't able to stop! Fans of Wither should definitely be brave and dive into Fever as soon as it hits the shelves!
Date published: 2012-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent 2nd part to Trilogy The Good Stuff Fabulous character development of Rhine, she has become a far more three dimensional character in this installment of the trilogy DeStefano's writing is beautiful, one could actually say lyrical or poetic Very dark but truly compelling The mood and landscape of the story feel so real you feel like you are part of the story (hence the mention in the not so good stuff section) New characters bring a lot to the story. Especially enjoyed and want more of Lilac, Silas, Maddie and Claire) The story moves along at a good pace, keeps you interested throughout with lots of twist and turns Was actually some humor which was unexpected due to storyline Nice fleshed out background of Rhine's parents and what has happened to their world Even-though this installment is quite dark, I didn't want to put the book down and the ending has me waiting very impatiently for the finale of the trilogy (don't even want to think how long I am going to have to wait) reminiscent of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale - which is a compliment as I think it is a brilliant book Story starts with a bang too got me hooked right away The Not So Good Stuff Gabriel was very whiny and I was extremely irritated with him, without putting a spoiler in, it does makes sense in terms of the plot, but I still found him weak It was very bleak and depressing and sort of put me in a down mood while reading (But as mentioned in the book sometimes things have to get worse to get better) I think I am the only one, but I really didn't like the cover Favorite Quotes/Passages "I think of Deirdre's small, capable hands making it for me; they were etched with bright blue veins-her soft skin the only indication of her youth. Those hands could turn bathwater to magic, or thread diamonds into her knitting. Precision was in everything she created. I think of her wide hazel eyes, the soft melody of her voice. I think of how I will never see her again." "My brother says the presidency is a useless tradition that might have once served a purpose but has become nothing but formality - something to give us hope that order will be restored one day." "In my captivity the outside world became twice as bright in my memories, and wonderful, and so deliciously tempting that I wanted him to be a part of it. I wanted him to know what life was beyond Vaughn's mansion. I was so swept up in these things that I forgot how cruel the world can be. How chaotic and dangerous." Who Should/Shouldn't Read If you enjoyed Wither you are going to enjoy Fever I recommend this for more mature YA readers (14+) due to subject matter I think you must read Whither first as you would be quite lost if you started with this installment of the trilogy -- there is enough to be able to make sense of the storyline, but you would be missing so much, I think it would effect your enjoyment Definitely for fans of Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic (Really someone has to explain to me what the difference is between the two terms) 4.25 Dewey's I received at the Ontario Blog Squad Tweet Up
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing. Review first posted at http://unautrehistoire.blogspot.com/ When I read Wither early last year I was surprised with how much I liked the book. It was most definitely one of the best books I had read in 2011. I mentioned in my review that I wasn't a huge fan of dystopian novels, and I was leery of reading them because of the theme of hopelessness that seems to be an innate quality in dystopian novels. However, what Lauren DeStefano did with Wither and again with Fever was incredible. She made me love the genre. In case you're curious you can find my thoughts on Wither here. In saying that, I was very eager to read Fever when it came in the mail a few weeks ago. Wither ended on an ok note, but I knew that as soon as the sequel came out I was going to read it. I wanted to know what was to become of Rhine and Gabriel, also of Linden and the sister wives. If you've gone and read my review of Wither, you are aware that I am a huge fan of DeStefano's writing. I raved about how flawless her writing was and how easily I forgot that I was reading a novel that was intended for teenagers. That has not changed. Even with all the books I have read between Wither and Fever, DeStefano's writing is still as magnificent at it was in Wither and it continued to awe me in Fever. Fever picked up right where Wither ended. Gabriel and Rhine on the run from Housemaster Vaughn. However things don't go as they planned and they run into some interesting situations. What I really enjoyed about Fever was that the world building continued. Wither introduced us to a society where women die at 20 and men at 25. As a result of the low life expectancy, girls are not really safe, and Rhine is kidnapped and forced into a marriage with two other women. In Wither Rhine resides on one floor of a vast mansion. This is the world that we get to know in the first novel. Fever introduces us to the outside world, what society is like for the less privileged. For the people who are trying to live life as normally as possible. DeStefano does an amazing job in describing this new world, and finding a place for Rhine in it. As a reader we know that this is where Rhine came from, however this is the first time we get to see her in her natural habitat. I was impressed with how easily the story progressed from the mansion to the outside world. While I was reading Wither I wasn't all that convinced by the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel. I can't say that has changed for me much since finishing Fever. I still find Gabriel a weak character, and the chemistry between him and Rhine is non-existent for me. I felt more chemistry between Linden and Rhine and later Silas and Rhine. After reading Fever, I actually find Gabriel a little annoying.
Date published: 2012-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it more than Wither If you were a fan of Wither, I'm sure you're going to love the raised stakes in Fever. Rhine and Gabriel are outside the mansion and face more troubles than they had imagined. In trying to find her brother, Rhine puts herself in a particularly vulnerable position, and she makes a decision that could cost her her life. The writing is once again beautiful, and the secondary characters were great. How's it going to end for Rhine!? ~~~ Good news is I liked Fever more than I did Wither. But I still had little issues with it that kept me from giving it 5 stars. I will say that if you loved Wither, its sequel kicked it up a notch (for me at least!) Under the cover of night, Rhine and Gabriel managed to escape the mansion imprisoning them. Now out in the real world, their next goal is to find Rhine's twin brother. They quickly realize that it's not going to be as easy as they'd hoped and run into all sorts of roadblocks along the way. I liked Rhine a lot more in Fever. She seemed much more realistic to me. Outside of the mansion I was able to see aspects of her personality, not just what she chose to reveal. She's got such a strong will to find her brother, and the worry of not knowing where he is, if he's looking for her or has given up, lights a fire in her but it also puts a huge amount of pressure on her shoulders. While Gabriel certainly plays a bigger role in Fever, I still don't feel very much for him, unfortunately. He's definitely a sweet guy, and I got a better picture of that, but their relationship seemed almost too mature. This might come with the territory given that their lives are incredibly shortened, but I would've liked to see them act like actual teenagers. They're definitely a source of comforted for each other, but not much beyond that. They're young and have no fun! I got no warm fuzzy feelings :( I also liked the secondary characters introduced. They don't take center stage but they all have significant roles along Rhine and Gabriel's journey. Their actions, their words, what they believe in, all affect Rhine and Gabriel, raising doubts or solidifying what was already there. I also found Fever more interesting than Wither because it takes place outside in the real world! From a run down carnival, to a psychic's shack, to Rhine's home in New York City, we get to see a bit of how the world has changed. It seemed a lot more barren than I first thought, though. In NYC I expected there to be many people, it's a huge city! But I didn't get that impression as Rhine and Gabriel walked down its streets. The people were like ants in woodwork, coming out in groups before vanishing, and I wondered why there weren't more people around. It was such a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the luxurious mansion and the towns and parties Rhine and Linden went to in Wither. I hope to learn more about the mysterious virus in book 3 because I'm still not totally convinced of its creation or progression and that it would leave the world as desperate as it's become. The last quarter or so of the book frustrated me a bit. It seemed like all of Rhine's and Gabriel's work and efforts were thrown out the window in an instant. And while I didn't like how Rhine handled the situation she was in, I liked the familiar perspective and characters it brought me back to. I sense some serious plotting will take place in book 3. Also, *spoiler*June bean withdrawal, whaaat!? And a tracker? Why wasn't Vaughn on her the minute Rhine escaped?*spoiler* The last page leaves you with a Mara Dyer-esque cliffhanger, sure to leave you squirming for book 3 (and it doesn't even have a title yet!). Review from my blog: http://allofeverythingforyou.blogspot.com/2012/01/review-fever-by-lauren-destefano-arc.html
Date published: 2012-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book that will blow you off your feet! HOLY WOW. People say that it's hard to write reviews for books you don't like, but I honestly think it's harder to write them for books you absolutely LOVE! Wither was one of my favourite reads of all time and Fever is just as breathtaking, if not more! Lauren DeStefano has some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read! She hooks you in from the very beginning and traps you in a dark dystopian world unlike any other. And you wouldn't think so, but the GORGEOUS cover actually has a lot to do with the story — with its old carnivals, rusty merry-go-rounds, and dying girls covered in glitter. Rhine is such an amazing voice for this novel! Like a poet at heart, she's strong and hopeful and resilient and caring. We get to spend more time (and fall more in love) with Gabriel too ♥, and some old characters surprise us while some new ones cling to our hearts. I love the dystopian world that DeStefano creates because it's so dark and gritty and scarily realistic, where a disease claims the life of ever man at age 25 and every woman at age 20. With amazing characters, writing, and story, she makes every surprising corner come to life! Beautiful, lyrical, and dark in its enchantment, Fever is one of those books that makes me want to invent a new rating for it! Some may say that The Chemical Garden series isn't for everyone because it's so dark at times, but I would honestly recommend it to everyone! :) BUY or BORROW?: You need to buy this book when it comes out — I'm definitely buying my own finished copy! Lauren DeStefano is undoubtedly an author worth starting a collection for!
Date published: 2012-01-07

Read from the Book

Fever WE RUN, with water in our shoes and the smell of the ocean clinging to our frozen skin. I laugh, and Gabriel looks at me like I’m crazy, and we’re both out of breath, but I’m able to say, “We made it,” over the sound of distant sirens. Seagulls circle over us impassively. The sun is melting down into the horizon, setting it ablaze. I look back once, long enough to see men pulling our escape boat to shore. They’ll be expecting passengers, but all they’ll find are the empty wrappers from the packaged sweets we ate from the boat owner’s stash. We abandoned ship before we reached the shore, and we felt for each other in the water and held our breath and hurried away from the commotion. Our footprints emerge from the ocean, like ghosts are roaming the beach. I like that. We are the ghosts of sunken countries. We were once explorers when the world was full, in a past life, and now we’re back from the dead. We come to a mound of rocks that forms a natural barrier between the beach and the city, and we collapse in its shadows. From where we’re huddled we can hear men shouting commands to one another. “There must have been a sensor that tripped the alarm when we got close to shore,” I say. I should have known that stealing the boat had been too easy. I’ve set enough traps in my own home to know that people like to protect what’s theirs. “What happens if they catch us?” Gabriel says. “They don’t care about us,” I say. “Someone paid a lot of money to make sure that boat is returned to them, I bet.” My parents used to tell me stories about people who wore uniforms and kept order in the world. I barely believed those stories. How can a few uniforms possibly keep a whole world in order? Now there are only the private detectives who are employed by the wealthy to locate stolen property, and security guards who keep the wives trapped at luxurious parties. And the Gatherers, of course, who patrol the streets for girls to sell. I collapse against the sand, faceup. Gabriel takes my shivering hand in both of his. “You’re bleeding,” he says. “Look.” I cant my head skyward. “You can already see the stars coming through.” He looks; the setting sun lights up his face, making his eyes brighter than I’ve ever seen, but he still looks worried. Growing up in the mansion has left him permanently burdened. “It’s okay,” I tell him, and pull him down beside me. “Just lie with me and look at the sky for a while.” “You’re bleeding,” he insists. His bottom lip is trembling. “I’ll live.” He holds up my hand, enclosed in both of his. Blood is dripping down our wrists in bizarre little river lines. I must have sliced my palm on a rock as we crawled to shore. I roll up my sleeve so that the blood doesn’t ruin the white cabled sweater that Deirdre knitted for me. The yarn is inlaid with diamonds and pearls—the very last of my housewife riches. Well, those and my wedding ring. A breeze rolls up from the water, and I realize at once how numb the cold air and wet clothes have made me. We should find someplace to stay, but where? I sit up and take in our surroundings. There’s sand and rocks for several more yards, but beyond that I can see the shadows of buildings. A lone freight truck lumbers down a faraway road, and I think soon it’ll be dark enough for Gatherer vans to start patrolling the area with their lights off. This would be the perfect place for them to hunt; there don’t appear to be any streetlights, and the alleyways between those buildings could be full of scarlet district girls. Gabriel, of course, is more concerned about the blood. He’s trying to wrap my palm with a piece of seaweed, and the salt is burning the wound. I just need a minute to take this all in, and then I’ll worry about the cut. This time yesterday I was a House Governor’s bride. I had sister wives. At the end of my life, my body would have ended up with the wives who’d died before me, on a rolling cart in my father-in-law’s basement, for him to do only he knows what. But now there’s the smell of salt, sound of the ocean. There’s a hermit crab making its way up a sand dune. And something else, too. My brother, Rowan, is somewhere out here. And there’s nothing stopping me from getting home to him. I thought the freedom would excite me, and it does, but there’s terror, too. A steady march of what-ifs making their way through all of my deliciously attainable hopes. What if he’s not there? What if something goes wrong? What if Vaughn finds you? What if . . . “What are those lights?” Gabriel asks. I look where he’s pointing and see it too, a giant wheel of lights spinning lazily in the distance. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” I say. “Well, someone must be over there. Come on.” He pulls me to my feet and tugs my bleeding hand, but I stop him. “We can’t just go wandering off into lights. You don’t know what’s over there.” “What’s the plan, then?” he asks. The plan? The plan was only to escape. Accomplished. And now the plan is to reach my brother, a thought I romanticized over the sullen months of my marriage. He became almost a figment of my imagination, a fantasy, and the thought that I’ll be reunited with him soon makes me light-headed with joy. I had thought we could at least make it to land dry, and during the daylight, but we ran out of fuel. And we’re losing daylight by the second; it’s not any safer here than anywhere else, and at least there are lights over there, eerie as they may be, spinning like that. “Okay,” I say. “We’ll check it out.” The impromptu seaweed wrap seems to have staunched the bleeding. It’s so carefully tied that it’s amusing, and Gabriel asks what I’m smiling about as we walk. He is dripping wet and plastered with sand. His normally neat brown hair is in tangles. Yet he still seems to be searching for order, some logical course of action. “It’s going to be okay, you know,” I tell him. He squeezes my good hand. The January air is in a fury, kicking up sand and howling through my drenched hair. The streets are full of trash, something rustling in a mound of it, and a single flickering streetlight has come on. Gabriel wraps his arm around me, and I’m not sure which of us he means to comfort, but my stomach is churning with the early comings of fear. What if a gray van comes lumbering down that dark road? There are no houses nearby—just a brick building that was maybe once a fire department half a century ago, with broken and boarded windows. And a few other crumbling things that are too dark for me to make out. I could swear that things are moving in the alleys. “Everything looks so abandoned,” Gabriel says. “Funny, isn’t it?” I say. “Scientists were so determined to fix us, and when we all started dying, they just left us here to rot, and the world around us too.” Gabriel makes a face that could be perceived as disdain or pity. He has spent most of his life in a mansion, where he may have been a servant, but at least things were well-constructed, clean, and reasonably safe. If you avoided the basement, that is. This dilapidated world must be a shock. The circle of light in the distance is surrounded by bizarre music, something hollow and brassy masquerading as cheerful. “Maybe we should go back,” Gabriel says when we get to the chain-link fence surrounding it. Beyond the fence I can see tents illuminated by candlelight. “Go back to what?” I say. I’m shivering so hard, I can barely get the words out. Gabriel opens his mouth to speak, but the words are lost by my own scream, because someone is grabbing my arm and pulling me through an opening in the fence. All I can think is, Not again, not like this, and then my wound is bleeding again and my fist is hurting because I’ve just hit someone. I’m still hitting when Gabriel pulls me away, and we try to run, but we’re being overpowered. More figures are coming out of the tents and grabbing our arms, waists, legs, even my throat. I can feel the skin bunching under my nails, and someone’s skull crashing against mine, and then I’m dizzy, but some otherworldly thing keeps me violently moving in my own defense. Gabriel is yelling my name, telling me to fight, but it doesn’t do any good. We’re being dragged toward that spinning circle of light, where an old woman is laughing, and the music doesn’t stop.

Editorial Reviews

DeStefano’s rich use of language helps set this dystopian tale apart.