Sunday, December 11, 2011

ARC Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Goodreads summary:
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 any means necessary. 

I came across an ARC of this book on display at the Simon & Schuster booth at the NCTE conference a few weeks ago. When I asked one of the reps if they had any more ARCs available to give away, she looked under a table, inside a box, and magically produced a copy of this much coveted sequel to Wither. I was so happy that I gave her a hug.

So I was sad to discover that I didn't love it nearly as much as Wither, which was such an amazing, vivid work of storytelling. The characters of Rhine and the sister wives in the first book were so real to me. They felt like people instead of characters. But for some reason, the characters in this book felt more like they were moving in slow motion rather than real time. Rhine and Gabriel didn't jump off the page the way they did in the first book, and the new, young character of Maddie was just completely out of my realm of ability to imagine. She was in the background even though she was an important character for the first half of the novel.

Fever felt more like a transitional novel, in the sense that you were waiting for something major to happen, only to realize that something major won't be till the next book.Which is not to say that nothing happens in this book. There are plenty of nail-biting moments. And yet, even with those moments, you're still waiting for that "THING" to reveal itself, which, in this book's case, doesn't happen until the very last page. 

And yet, that very last page will sure make you want to read the third book. So kudos to Lauren DeStefano. I might not have loved this book as much as the first, but she succeeded in getting me to want to read (and covet) the third book.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Series: Chemical Garden #2
Expected Publication: February 21, 2012 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Dystopia
Audience: Young Adult


  1. I am in complete angst over this book! Covet is the perfect word, although I am sorry to hear it suffers from sophomore-itis. Great review!

  2. I agree with everything Miss Remmers said. I am dying to get my hands on a copy of this book, but the sophomore slump is unfortunate. Thanks for the review!