She's escaped. So what's her plan to find her brother/

Summary:

Rhine and Gabriel are on the run. Rhine, leaving her husband to find her twin brother Rowan; Gabriel, a servant leaving his master; both determined to find freedom after living in Housemaster Vaughan's beautiful but prison-like mansion. They have escaped, but with no money, no knowledge - or experience - of this new, virus-ravaged world, and no plan. There are horrors and dangers at every turn. Rhine and Gabriel stumble into the hands of distrustful organizations and dangerous predators, and Dr. Vaughn, Rhine's father-in-law, is a constant threat who is searching to retrieve his prized possessions. Rhine’s last hope is Rowan, but even she can’t help but fear that her brother may have questionable intentions of his own and is no longer the person she used to know. 


BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
Fever has a very different feel than Wither. The last book ended on a happy and hopeful note, feeling much more utopian. This book is a stark contrast, seeming to highlight the worst in humanity. Almost immediately, Rhine and Gabriel ran into serious trouble. The threat of danger was a lot more significant. Where Wither delved more into romance and ignored issues in the outside world, Fever is more in touch with these horrors.

The plot was hard to keep up with. Events were unpredictably random and irrelevant to what was going on. Being on the run has a randomness to it, but the plot lacked substance to drive the story forward.  Of the three books in the trilogy, Fever felt the most distressing. Each event was more tragic than the last, and I was exasperated as one mistake led to another. I finished the book feeling infuriated, exhausted, and defeated. Putting lots of conflicts in a story can make the plot more complex and exciting, but it felt a little overwhelming. Near the very end, the plot seemed to improve and take a clearer direction, as a foundation for the third book, Sever. Still, the events leading up to the end were just a little crazy and infuriating.

Something else I disliked was Rhine’s lack of organization and planning. All she wanted was to get to her brother, but without any resources or concrete plans about how to accomplish that. Rhine always wants to run away from her problems, instead of facing them. I almost hate her submissiveness, naivete, and lack of problem solving. She doesn't change much in the story. I was also hoping to get a deeper understanding of Gabriel. In Wither and Sever, he is a disregarded side character, but in this book he is part of the major action.  I had also hoped we could have more depth and development in Gabriel and Rhine’s relationship, but unfortunately, we didn’t get so much of that in this novel, either.

Despite my struggles with this book, there were some upsides. It was nice to see the darker side of reality compared with book 1. It sets an approachable tone for the final book, too. Fever was less about science fiction, but unlike Wither, it had less romance, and instead more of a dystopian, apocalyptic-style genre. Although it was a different take compared to the last book, readers might find it more genuine and thrilling by the danger of it all. Although I was less eager to continue than when I finished Wither, I was still eager to go on to the third book when I finished Fever.

Since this book has mature content (sexual situations, violence0 this is for readers 15 and older.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This one's for  dystopia fans who want a gritty "underground" like reality for their stories. Adventure, quest, and suspenseful thriller await you. 

Content Awareness Factors:

The plot contains sexual references and violence, including a brothel, instances of sexual assault, ableism, and misogyny. Also of note: The 5.1 reading level is NOT indicative of the reading audience. This is a book for readers high school aged or older.  

Readers who like "logic" to their stories may find this frustrating.


Type of Book:
This is the middle book in a dystopian trilogy. It picks up exactly where the last book left off, and reads like "the next chapter" more than a separate book.
Educational Themes:

Read this for fun. This book is more about the quest/adventure of finding Rowan. Our reviewer had strong opinions about Rhine. What do your readers think? Did she "learn" on this journey or just keep repeating herself?

Reading Level:
5.1
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
Recommended Age To Read Together:
15 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow if you've read book one. You'll want to keep going and get some answers. Otherwise, skip. There are stronger books out there.

Title Fever
About

Chemical Garden, Book 2 of 3

Author Lauren DeStefano
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2013 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781442409088
Material Paperback
Cost $12.99
Genres Adventure, Science, Mystery, Death and Loss, Science Fiction, Social Issues
be the star you are
Reminder: Cover images, amazon.com and indiebound.org links are affiliate links. The Reading Tub can earn income via purchases made via these links. 100% of any income goes directly to our literacy mission.

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