3 stars · romance · series · young adult

Sever by Lauren DeStefano


The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Book 1: Wither
Book 2: Fever

author : lauren destefano

pages : [hardcover] 371

memorable quote We figure out what death means when we’re born, practically, and we live our whole lives in some kind of weird denial about it.

favorite characters : cecily & reed

summary :

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

review :

This series had a really rocky start for me. The first book was okay, enough to get me to read the sequel, which I really liked. I feel like this conclusion was another step down, more along the lines of the first book, and it really has me re-evaluating any lasting feeling I have about the trilogy. I think I’m going to have to call this one I won’t be recommending to my friends.

There were elements of this that I really liked obviously, and that kept me reading through all of the books. The writing was okay. To be honest, especially in book three, all of the unimportant scenes and general ideas were drawn out and overdone while all of the major things that I wanted to learn more about seemed like mere afterthoughts or were thrown in so quickly that it was surprising that information was given so fast it could be nearly missed. There were revelations in this book that I think would have been better done if they’d been discovered way back in book one! I know that would have taken the series in a different direction but, for me, it would have been an infinitely more interesting direction. This book was just too little too late.

Rhine seems to have lost most of her fire in this book. She isn’t pushing for anything, even now when she’s looking for her brother. It almost seems like she’s procrastinating just so that she can allow other people to take care of her or for miraculous things to occur that just so happen to work in her favor.

I do have to say that I just adored Reed, a character introduced in this book, and loved every scene he was in. Even if he was gruff he seemed to really care about all of the kids. Cecily, who I really didn’t like in the first book, has made so many great changes that I actually liked her here and could laugh at her attitude rather than be put off by it.

I think that my main problem with this book was knowing that major things were happening that should have been heart-wrenching to me, maybe even a tear-jerker, but I just wasn’t connecting to the plot or the characters enough for that. A dissociation that bad makes me question whether I’ll look into DeStefano’s writing in the future, whether or not the premise is as catching as I thought that this would be.

I’d recommend this trilogy to people who like dystopian books but have to admit that there are better series out there that others may like more.

2.5/5 stars

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