Bittersweet and Tragic – A Review of SEVER by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) 
Lauren DeStefano
384 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

   I feel old when I finish a series. Like a whole world has gone by and I still exist. It’s an odd feeling, knowing you won’t be seeing those friends again, except to relive their horrors.

   Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy ends with SEVER, a heartbreaking conclusion to a breathtaking debut series. The prose was just as beautiful as WITHER and FEVER and the stakes just as dangerous.

   Rhine is still searching for her twin, Rowan. And her heterogenous eyes could mean the salvation of a dying race. Vaughn is still as mad as always, but I saw a more human side to him in SEVER.

   The plot moves slower in SEVER, most likely due to the fact that the trilogy is ending. There was a new character introduced, who I loved and even hated at one point. Old faces dressed new parts and Rhine, well Rhine was the same as always.

   In one word, SEVER could be described as tragic. It’s a tragic story in a tragic world with an ending that’s beautiful and bittersweet and full of hope. I can’t say I love who Rhine ended up with, but I loved the story nonetheless. From book one, The Chemical Garden trilogy has been full of sorrow and bittersweet hope. Lauren DeStefano’s prose is worthy of endless praise. If you haven’t read this series, you are most definitely missing out, but hey, now you don’t have to wait a year between books!

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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

    Soma Rostam

    February 22, 2013

    Well you are right, Hafsah
    The best thing coming out of this end of the series is that I can start it immediately. All three books. Which I might do soon enough
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

  2. Reply

    beth dean

    February 22, 2013

    I found it really interesting that you liked it so much, I've heard so many negative reviews by this point it may have warped my view. I stopped reading the series after Wither simply because I forgot about it but I might pick it up again after this review :)

    Here's my review of Wither if you want to check it out

  3. Reply

    Jenea Whittington

    February 22, 2013

    I want to read this, but I am sad at the same time. I know it all ends. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. Reply

    Jessica Brooks (coffeelvnmom)

    February 23, 2013

    Ugh! I'm pretty sure I have this coming in the mail (so why isn't it here already?)… and am so torn at what to expect! Trying to stay away from spoilers, but veryyyyy curious. YOU DID NOT HELP WITH MY CURIOSITY! (Ha. Just kidding. Kinda.) I'm glad it took a while for me to get around to reading FEVER because the end made me want to go crazy and hold the internet hostage and demand to know what happened next like, IMMEDIATELY.

    Now I'm off to check my book order status…


  5. Reply

    Bellas Bookshelf

    February 25, 2013

    I am starting this tonight. I am nervous for Sever. I enjoyed Fever a lot, but it had a weird feel to it. I felt it took awhile to get to the meat and bones of the story. I enjoyed the foreplay, but wanted to get to it. A lot could of been expanded on and should of been.
    I am anxious to learn more about the virus, Rhines role in it, Linden, Gabriel is a big old let down for me, Cecily is..IDK..Naive, so I give her a bit of a pass, but not much of one.
    I cant wait to finish Sever!

  6. Reply


    March 6, 2013

    OMG, ok I didn't read your review because I haven't read this yet. But I will SOON. I have SUCH high hopes.