Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: "Fever" by Lauren DeStefano

Via Goodreads:

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.

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(Bio from her website:)

Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children's menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom's purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world's worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn't writing, she's screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits.

“Because even if the lie is beautiful, the truth is what you face in the end”
“Momentum,' She repeats. 'You can't just stand there if you want something to fly. You have to run.”
“But there’s no such thing as free. There are only different and more horrible ways to be enslaved.”

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of this crazy cover. If you agree, trust me on this one and don't judge Fever by its strung-out-debutante-playing-with-seemingly-random-objects cover. I loved Wither (book one of this series) and I liked Fever almost as much.

So, when we last left her, Rhine was on the run with her hottie-crush, Gabriel with the world's worst father-in-law, Vaughn, presumably in hot pursuit. Well, gentle readers, you knew they weren't just going to spend the whole novel sitting in the beach holding hands and sipping champagne, right? So, after spending all of Wither trying to get out of that pesky (though large, opulent and comfy) frying pan, our heroes now find themselves smack dab in the middle of the proverbial fire.

Rhine and Gabe (can I call you Gabe?) hit a snag pretty early on at the post-apocalyptic world's creepiest circus. Complete with sideshow girls for sale and a witchy ringleader.

Maybe not this crazy, but still pretty creepy.

The majority of the tale consists of Rhine's journey to find her brother and reclaim her life while dodging bad guys in white vans and trying to forget that her date with the Grim Reaper is quickly approaching.

Ohhhh, Rhine...come out, come out, wherever you are...

Along the way many new characters were introduced and I can't wait to see where the next novel is going to take them. I'm still a fan of Rhine and she has certainly earned her place as a KAH (kick-ass heroine) in my book. For any of you looking for steamy romance in Fever, you will sorely disappointed. DeStefano does include an ambiguous love scene in a tent, with drugged participants and peeping Toms, but honestly I am still not entirely sure what took place there. For the remainder of the novel, one or the other of our lovers is deathly ill (not conducive to smooching) and the story takes more of an adventurous turn than a romantic one.

Not sexy.

The ending wraps things up well while still making me want more. Fever is a great second act and I can't wait to see how it all shapes up in the next installment.


  1. I love this book! Great review and wonderfully fun post.

  2. I loved it too. Can't wait to see what's next!



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