Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Title : Fever
Author : Lauren DeStefano
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : February 21st 2012
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages : 341
Source : Bought
Rating : ✿✿✿✿✿

From Goodreads :
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.


With a promising and utterly amazing first book, The Chemical Garden series had totally made it from the book that I had overlooked to one of my seemingly potential book I really had to check out. Although the cover was not all that amazing, and in my opinion—honestly—was not really appealing, either, the amazing concept and the curiosity from reading the first book was enough to make me buy and read this book.

"Is your name even Rhine?"

Fever told us the continuation of Wither, with Rhine and Gabriel ran away from Vaughn's mansion, finally free and need to survive. But when life took a sudden turn, and they both found themselves trapped in a scarlet district full of secrets—Gabriel was drugged and Rhine was a step away from being sold—they must once again worked together found their way out. But when Vaughn came and Rhine realized that she was never truly free, what choice would she ultimately made? 

The story of this book was overall flat and didn't leave any strong impression on me.
Sure the beginning was great, and connected well with the first book. But throughout the story, one thing I couldn't helped but notice was that it was all felt way too plot-driven. The character's personality wasn't really played out, and didn't make any effect on the story line either. There were so many things going on, and it sometimes felt that the plot-point was being thrown in just for the sake of the stories, and it all felt way too coincidental and not in any way natural.
The ending however, was where I think the story really began. This book was ended in a cliffhanger, and I think it was perfect to pique our curiosity and make us wanted to read the next one.

The character, as I mentioned above, was a bit weak compared to the first book. What really made me fall in love with this series was its strong and unique characters, not ordinary and not freaky either, but at the same time felt really flesh and bone. This time, however, it was a bit let down.
Rhine Ellery—portrayed as a tough, smart, and really likable girl on the first book—unfortunately became a bit bland on this book. She was just too typical, with no interesting new traits or surprising act or whatever. It seemed like she just stayed on the safe borderline, and it was, truthfully, boring.
Gabriel, as our other main character, was even more boring than Rhine. He didn't have any specific traits that made it easy for readers to identify him, and he didn't have any background story either. All the readers knew was that he was an orphan and that's the end. I mean, you can throw me an orphan, a middle-age woman, or anything. But if you didn't describe his life behind the 'orphan' status, how could the readers sympathize and connect with him?
His personality was also far far away from unique and memorable, with him just being the nice guy who was always there for Rhine. Er, seriously?
And also, the chemistry between Rhine and Gabriel was nonexistent as well. It was quite okay for me that they didn't turn into a suddenly lovey-dovey couple, all kissing and hugging, and I love Lauren DeStefano for that. But still, I couldn't feel the romantic feeling—or any special feeling at all, like friendship, partnership, or whatever—between them.

The thing that I'm not really fond of this book was really its character. No, they're not annoying, or no, they're not irritating as well. And maybe, that was just exactly the problem. The characters were all too busy occupying the 'just nice and ordinary' borders it became boring to read. And honestly, I had no idea what should I write regarding the characters, simply because they were just all too flat and felt all the same, and overall didn't leave any special impression.
And still the same problem from the first book, Vaughn Ashby in this book was still black-and-white and way too irritating.

Overall, I think Fever was not really a great book to be read. The first book of the series, however, I found was brilliant. This whole series actually sounds promising, but this book just didn't hit with me.
If you love to read dystopian fiction with an elements of sci-fi, you could try out this series, although be warned that its second book was a bit disappointing, I personally think.

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