The Chemical Garden #2
Book 1: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
pages [hardcover]: 341
Because even if the lie is beautiful, the truth is what you face in the end.
favorite characters: gabriel & rhine
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.
I read Wither not too long ago and enjoyed it but didn’t think that it was amazing. When I saw Fever in the library the other day, I knew that I had to get it, even though there was the chance that I would linger over it like I had its predecessor. I read it in two days. And I think this is possibly the first time, ever, that I’ve liked the second book in a series more than the original.
I really love Lauren DeStefano’s writing style. In the scenes filled with action, everything is to the point and yet wonderfully descriptive, and the more slower-paced points kept my attention with great comparisons, imagery, all of the good stuff. It’s not too flowery and not too blunt. Just right.
I actually liked Rhine more as a character in this book. In the first, I wasn’t entirely sure of what was happening with her. She flipped between despair and complete rebellion and she really seems to find herself in Fever. She lost part of who she was during the course of Wither, because she lost everything. But now she has a chance to be strong on her own and make her own decisions. She doesn’t have Rowan there to protect her, either. But there is Gabriel. Great as ever. He plays a greater role in this book, of course, and I liked getting to know him more.
There are so many unexpected plot twists! In the first I sort of expected a lot of conspiracy things to happen and in this I had no idea what was going to happen next. That was what kept me interested, wanting to read page after page to find out what was going to happen to these two. I love it when a book can surprise me again and again!
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. I really want to read the third one now. That’s a step up from me almost passing on the rest of this series entirely. I want to know what will happen, I’m hoping that everything gets even greater, and I want more plot twists!
MESMERIZING 5/5 stars