Author: Lauren DeStefan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (February 21, 2012)
Source: ATW ARC Tours
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.
Last year, Wither by Lauren DeStefano blew me away. So, you can imagine how excited I was to receive a copy of Fever early. I loved Wither so much, I just had to like Fever. Had to.
Well, I'm not sure that I did.
Let me explain, because there are some complex thoughts swirling around inside my head right now. I didn't dislike Fever, nor did I dislike reading Fever. There was a lot of interesting and unexpected things that happened in this book, which kept me going at a fast pace. Honestly, I probably would've read it in one sitting if I had the time.
However, Wither ends on such a hopeful note, I expected some happiness before the turmoil...and I didn't get it. By the end of chapter one, we're sucked right into a high action, high risk scenario. This is a good thing for the reader, because it pulls us in immediately. But, it also takes away the happiness and hopefulness from the end of Wither. And, we don't ever really get it back. Rhine's journey in Fever is hard. This makes sense considering the bleak world she lives in and the horrific experiences she has had to endure, but it makes it hard on the reader too. How much heartache and horror can we take before we want to give up too?
I'm not saying I ever wanted to give up reading Fever. Quite the opposite actually. I tore through the pages hoping something good would happen. There are moments here and there that help, but it's only mere moments of contentment. I think part of my problem with reading Fever is the state of mind Rhine is in for much of the book. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say Rhine is unable to think clearly for much of the book for various reasons, and I found this a little disorienting and disconnecting as a reader. This difficulty blocked some of the happiness that I think I usually would have experienced during happy moments.
In many ways, Fever seems like a set-up for book three. Wither established the world and key players. Fever took the reader on a journey to the rest of the world and to get a sense of the devastation. I think book three is going to be the time for some action. Rhine's experiences are going to motivate her even more to not just search for the life she seeks, but to do something truly special. With the help of a certain someone(s) that shall not be named. ;)
Overall, Fever wasn't the most enjoyable book for me to read, but I don't think it's meant to be. We need to experience Rhine's pain and suffering in order to truly grasp her situation. I am eagerly awaiting book three and hoping my prediction about the action is correct.
Final thoughts: Borrow.