Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 341 pages
February 16, 2012, Simon & Schuster

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.

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.

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

Wither was the terrifyingly beautiful introduction to the story world that Destefano created. Fever was the tragic, tension-filled phase wherein the characters that I loved were thrown into a haze of confusion, doubt and struggles. It was not as good as the first for me but it still had an intriguing and surprising quality that kept me reading on.

Rhine was still determined and strong, always moving forward, passing obstacles. She still wanted ‘freedom’ long after she escaped Linden’s mansion. She was able to escape but no matter where she went it seemed that her recent past with Linden, her sister wives and Vaughn still trailed after her, unwilling to let her go. Her relationship with Gabriel, the servant who escaped with her, was progressing. Now that they were free, they could express their feeling towards each other freely. But Rhine and Gabriel fell in love in a cage, constantly worrying about anyone seeing them. They gravitated towards each other, wanting what they couldn’t have. Now that they were in the outside world, they still feel the same. However, they faced several obstacles and struggled to keep their relationship going. In a world where there was no happily ever after for withering youths, is it possible to truly, deeply, wholeheartedly love and be happy?

Gabriel was still caring, loving, gentle and curious. I was glad to see what he would be like outside the mansion. For once, he wasn’t living by the rules of his master. He was living by his own rules. He was free and he was with the girl he loves, Rhine. He assumed a protective role, trying to keep Rhine from trouble. I got to see an edge of his rough, protective side come out. It made me smile to see Gabriel – who never lifted a finger against anyone in the mansion – fight.

When the two escaped, Rhine was simply returning to her ‘home’ but for Gabriel, it was like entering an entirely different realm. Having lived as a servant for half of his life, he was no longer accustomed to hard, rough days on the outside. He was curious about the outside world, was inspired and intrigued by the way Rhine saw it through her eyes but it was evident that he wasn’t impressed with it at all. Rhine’s world was not a paradise. It was a chaotic, faded world, a shadow of its former self, where the strongest, smartest and wisest survived. They left security and wealth behind for this not-so-great world. The question was: Was it worth it?

The lives of the new characters in Fever and the old characters in Wither blended together to bring a clearer and unbiased view of the society. I was touched with the drama, the tension and the fear that the characters felt in their short lives. Each scene was painted well by the gripping and gorgeous writing of Destefano. The overall impact was great. The unpredictability was maintained however I feel that there was a little something missing in Rhine and her journey to find her brother. I felt that it was a bit too long. The ending was good but not as strong as Wither’s ending.

Fever is the reflection of Rhine’s world, life and journey outside her cage. Filled with tragic, surprising and terrifying and somewhat sickening moments, this is fit for readers of dark, harsh dystopian tales. If you loved Wither like I did, you’ll enjoy this.



  1. I'm one of those who thought Fever was better than Wither - if only because it kept me on the edge of my seat, heartbroken, yet still filled with hope that things will get better.

    I'm really excited about reading the final chapter (whenever that may be).

  2. Fantastic review! Can't wait for this one considering I adored Wither!

  3. Wow, Precious. If this book is half as stunning as your review, I know I will love it!! Although a shame that it didn't match or surpass Wither, I am still so happy to hear it's an incredible installment to the series and with just as much emotion. I'm both excited and kind of terrified to see what awaits Rhine and Gabriel on the outside world!

    You have made me so much more eager to snatch up a copy of this! Love, love, love your review!