Review: FEVER by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2) 
Lauren DeStefano
341 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED
Review of Wither

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

    The sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s WITHER is the definition of heart-pounding. Not all sequels suffer from second-book-syndrome, and Fever is here to prove it. The opening pages waste no time in throwing you straight into the story. And through it all, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat, anticipating the next turn. Lauren DeStefano’s world is all too real, the trauma all too tangible.

   What stands out the most? DeStefano’s prose. The flow of the words that piece together this book can only be described as beautiful. Vaguely reminscent of Lauren Oliver, DeStefano’s prose is masterful and vivid.

   Once again, I was torn between Gabriel and Linden. And still, in the end, I wished it was Linden more than the other. In Fever, Gabriel fell flat – I can’t think of him as anything more than the attendant he was. But I’ll let that slide – I was too engrossed in the rest of the novel to care much. And then there’s Rhine. With the search for her twin, her mismatched eyes, and a life that seems so pointless – Rhine is a character you can’t forget. DeStefano sets the stakes higher than ever, and Rhine never fell short. For me, she goes up beside Katniss and Katsa in terms of unforgettability and being fleshed-out.

  Fever begins right where WITHER left off, though the intensity picks up right away. I don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t read Wither or Fever, but know this: there is a carnival, tarot cards, a horrible sickness, and of course, Vaughn. For Rhine, with barely a few years until the end of her short life, the clock is ticking faster than ever.

   All in all, Fever is a stunning sequel to WITHER, the first in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. The ending will leave you breathless. Yes, there is a cliffhanger ending. As much as I loved the peaceful ending to WITHER, I think I like the dangling end of Fever much more. I will no doubt be awaiting the final installment, expected to be released April 2013.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    February 18, 2012

    I am going to try to read Wither this week, and try to get to Fever right after. I have been meaning to get to it, but never did. Awesome review!

  2. Reply

    Addie R.

    February 18, 2012

    Nooo not a cliffhanger! Especially since the third book is so far away! D:

  3. Reply

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

    February 18, 2012

    I think Fever was definitely better than Wither and I really enjoyed hearing more about the outside world and such! Great review :)

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  4. Reply

    ashelynn hetland

    February 18, 2012

    I'm a Linden girl, too, even though I've only read Wither. Can't wait for Fever! <3

  5. Reply

    Maji Bookshelf

    February 19, 2012

    Im so GLAD that the books gets right into the story! I really cant wait to read this one! though i do hope Gabriel didn't feel boring to you :(
    Great review!
    Farah @Majibookshelf

  6. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    February 19, 2012

    I love that Rhine lives up to her promise in Fever–I didn't really care about the two guys, they just served a purpose but Rhine was so intriguing.

  7. Reply

    Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    February 19, 2012

    I enjoyed Fever, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment. Gabriel continued to disappoint me, I'm just not buying the passion between him and Rhine. Part of the reason I like Linden more is simply because I think that's a more complicated and intense relationship, not because Linden is so swoon worthy. He reminds me a lot of Ashley Wilkes from Gone with the Wind, but Gabriel isn't much of a Rhett Butler. Thankfully, there's so much going on in the book that the lack of romantic tension isn't missed much.

  8. Reply

    Maji Bookshelf

    February 20, 2012

    Ive only read wither but i agree with you on gabrielle feeling flat. I always like linden more than gabrielle. I can't wait to read this! so happy that linden is still in this book! :D

    – juhina

  9. Reply


    February 25, 2012

    I am so glad this book is living up to Wither. I have to go out and by a copy asap!

  10. Reply

    Bonnie Regan

    April 17, 2012

    I gotta admit that I wasn't a big fan of Fever. I'm not sure if it was just my current mood but I think I was too stunned by the subject matter (and that it was targeted to a YA audience) to be able to really appreciate it. I must say though, your review has definitely made me consider giving this another chance. :) Great review.

  11. Reply


    October 30, 2012

    I really liked this book!!! It went in the direction I wanted it too. Cannot wait for Sever!!!

  12. Reply


    November 1, 2012

    Sadly, I did not enjoy the first book very much. I thought that it sounded really cool, so I borrowed it from a library to test it out. It fell so short for me; I was pretty disappointed to say the least. However, this review of the sequel, though short, makes me want to reconsider. Perhaps I'll give Fever a chance during my next round of free time!

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    ~ Kristi

  13. Reply


    November 14, 2012

    This sounds intriguing. I haven't read WITHER, and it wasn't on my radar, but now I'm curious…

  14. Reply

    Alyssa Susanna

    January 27, 2013

    Hmmm, I do not believe that I have read this book yet! I read Wither, but I wasn't really impressed. That's probably why I haven't read this one. My ARC of Sever is on its way, but I haven't read Fever! You really liked it, so I will look for it in the library. Great review!