Fever by Lauren DeStefano

I enjoyed the first installment in this series, Wither, but I really loved Fever. It isn’t very often that I like the second installment better than the first. I feel like Rhine was much more likeable in Fever. In Wither it felt like she was in a constant state of whining, and seemed to care mostly for herself. It seemed as though Rhine was able to evolve more because of what she had been through with being taken by the Gatherers and at the mansion, and now finally being on the outside.

Fever picks up exactly where Wither left off, with Rhine and Gabriel escaping from the mansion and Housemaster Vaughn. Their intent: to make it to Manhattan, and meet up with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. The first portion of the book I struggled to get into a little bit, but once Gabriel and Rhine arrive at Madame’s “brothel-esque” Carnival it definitely picked up for me. There was much more action going on within Fever than I expected. And I found myself definitely becoming more invested in the characters this time around. Rhine seemed to whine much, much less in Fever. And unlike in Wither there were moments where she would look back to her past, the loss of her parents, and my heart ached for her.

Could the world-building have used a bit more work? I think so, and that is one of the only reasons that this is not receiving a five stars. I also think that the love affair between Rhine and Gabriel could have used a little bit more spark- the only time that I really felt this was when they were “entertainment” in Madame’s Carnival. They have not been together for very long, are supposed to be this forbidden love, and yet they act with each other much like an old married couple would.

I also enjoyed the new characters that were introduced throughout this installment. Lilac, the intelligent prostitute that has been with the Carnival for several years. And my absolute favorite addition, Maddie, Lilac’s malformed and mute daughter. The further I read into the story, the more attached I became to her character. The more invested that I became. And, as with Wither the prose that Fever has written with were absolutely beautiful.

And the cliffhanger at the end? Not fair. But I will say this: after reading Wither I figured that if I had the extra time to read Fever that I might. The feeling after reading this? I must read the last book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. Adding that to by TBR list for 2013.

RECOMMENDED FOR: young adult readers, readers who like dystopian, those who enjoyed Wither

My rating: 4.0 Stars

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