The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2
By Lauren DeStefano
hardcover, 341 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Categories: Dystopian, romance, action,
Other books in the series: Wither
Where you can buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
My Review Breakdown
Final Score: 18/25 = 4 Cupcakes
My Rating: Simply Delectable!!!
My initial thoughts (upon completing the book): I've been craving more Rhine & Gabriel (and Rhine & Linden!) since finishing Wither last year. When I finally had the book in my possession, I dove right in and devoured it. The writing that I loved in Wither was present in Fever, and the characters I fell in love with were still right where I wanted them to be; picking up the action right where Wither left off. When I finished the book, I wasn't sure if I was in love with it. I liked it, and enjoyed it, but I guess my expectations were too high, or I had something else pictured in my mind when I read the synopsis on Goodreads before the book was released. I guess I'm satisfied with the book as it is.
Story/Plot: I didn't hate the plot, but I wasn't as happy with it as I could've been. I liked that the book took place outside of the mansion because it gave a picture of what the world is like that Rhine has grown up in, and that Gabriel didn't know. It lets us see how others are living in the world that Rhine calls home. Seeing the world helps us see why Rhine is as she is; hard shelled and not easily giving her trust away.
Characters: It's always fun reading the second book in a series to see how our main character has grown after the events of the first book. In this case I didn't really find much of a change in Rhine. She is still strong-willed and determined, and very passionate. I do feel; however, that Rhine was confused and lost for the whole book. It's difficult as well because for most of the second half of the book, Rhine is in and out of consciousness so we only get snippets of her waking life, and a lot of nightmares and hallucinations she's experiencing.
As for Gabriel, I feel very disconnected from him. I think this has to do with the fact that he's just following Rhine like a helpless little puppy. I lost a lot of the connection between Gabriel and Rhine. There aren't many affectionate moments other than a kiss here or there.
Vaughn is as evil as always; Linden is battling the war that's been waging within himself since Wither; and Cecily seems to want to right her wrong against Rhine, but is still hiding something, or trying to keep Linden and Rhine apart.
Characters met in this book that I do not know if they will be seen or mentioned again in the 3rd book, such as Madame, Lilac, Claire Lottner, Maddie, and Silas played decent sized parts. I would say out of anyone, we are done with Madame and Lilac, but we could see more of Claire, Silas, Maddie and the others at the orphanage. Oh yeah, and Gabriel!!
Writing: I love DeStefano's writing. She has such a way with words that even if she wrote the worst book ever, I think I'd still enjoy it.
"He kissed back, all the pages spread out around us like riddles waiting to be solved. Let them wait. Let my genes unravel, my hinges come loose. If my fate rests in the hands of a madman, let death come and bring its worse. I'll take the ruined craters of laboratories, the dead trees, this city with its ashes in the oxygen, if it means freedom. I'd sooner die here than live a hundred years with wires in my veins."
"And then I wonder, does my brother think of me this way? We entered this world together, one after the other, beats in a pulse. But I will be first to leave it. That's what I've been promised. When we were children, did he dare to imagine an empty space beside him where I then stood giggling, blowing soap bubbles through my fingers?
When I die, will he be sorry that he loved me? Sorry that we were twins?
Maybe he already is."
Cover: There's no question that this cover is amazing. I prefer the model on the Wither cover; but the Fever cover shares the same symbolism that was found on Wither's cover. Here we have the carousel horse representing Madame's carnival; the crow symbolizing Vaughn, Rhine's wedding ring; and the random things and tarot card found in the fortune teller's home. It's gorgeous.