Fever by Lauren DeStefano [Review]

  • Title: Fever
  • Author: Lauren DeStefano
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN: 9781442409071


For 17-year-old Rhine Ellery, a daring escape from a suffocating polygamous marriage is only the beginning! 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 loved the stilted atmosphere of Wither, the first book in DeStefano’s Chemical Gardens Trilogy.

There’s a little more action in this one especially when, so soon after escaping the mansion, Rhine and Gabriel find themselves trapped in Madame Soleski’s twisted circus, which is turns out is little more than a brothel.

We get to spend sometime in the circus getting to know the people there, while Rhine and Gabriel try and plan for their escape. When Rhine’s father-in-law Vaughn, turns up, they find themselves on the run again, making their way to Manhattan and hopefully, Rowan, Rhine’s twin.

Can Rhine really totally escape Vaughn, and her life back at the mansion, and will Rowan, still even be there, if they make it?

I really love the mood, DeStefano’s writing manages to create, there’s an oppressiveness to it, which isn’t blatantly obvious. Which is partly why I’m a little (and really only a little) at odds with the ending.

Not so much with the events, which feel consistent with the storyline and certainly builds up the anticipation for the next book, (and then some!) without resorting to a shock cliff-hanger, but because that mood is different.

And so it should be I suppose, because of the event that precedes it, but it sort of threw me out of the story for a bit. Even though, thinking back it’s not even that dramatic a change, more of a gentle nudge that knocks you off your stride… But still…

Even so, a fantastic follow-up to the first book, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

Buy: Fever by Lauren DeStephano

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

One thought on “Fever by Lauren DeStefano [Review]

  • April 10 at 3:59 pm

    I bought this book yesterday for my sister. I really should have read Wither when I gave it to her last year, because then I could read this one before passing it on… 🙂

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