By: Lauren DeStefano
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: ARCycling (Thank you, ARCycling!)
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.
FEVER by Lauren DeStefano was one part unpredictable, one part lyrical, and gripping from the beginning to the end. FEVER, however, felt very different from WITHER. I loved both of them, but I can understand where people who really enjoyed WITHER and disliked FEVER are coming from. The writing style in WITHER was beautiful and flowed well. While FEVER retains that style, it also feels like a different approach of storytelling. There's a reason descriptions seem unfamiliar though, and that's because our setting is completely different.
Rhine isn't the bird locked in the cage anymore. Freedom is in her hands now. In FEVER she has to decide whether or not it's worth fighting for.
The one problem that clearly stands out to me is that this series is a bit unmemorable. I'll always know that I enjoyed Rhine's journey, but I doubt I'll really remember why. There are parts that have stayed with me, certain details that stand out, but I'm writing this review months after I've read this book, and honestly if you ask me to tell you about it, the best I can give you is an overview of the story.
The other far smaller issue I had with the series as a whole is that Rhine and Gabriel are kind of bland characters. It's like oh you're nice and all, but to me you just...exist. Rhine and Gabriel aren't lifeless and flat, but their personalities weren't exactly vibrant and I couldn't connect with them beyond surface level.
The main reason I wanted to read FEVER was to explore the world, and Rhine's narration got the job done. She might not have had the most exciting outlook on life and an abundance of happiness, I wonder if I could really fault the character design. The world she lives in is grim and messed up, and how many people are going to be laughing and jumping for joy after they were ripped from the life they've always known and taken from their brother. That's why I never had a problem with Rhine and Gabriel, I just didn't love them.
The time in the circus was interesting, and it was probably my favorite part even though I felt sorry for some of the characters we meet and I liked a lot of them.
So see I do really like characters in this book. Ha. Take that, people who think I'm heartless. Okay I'm probably still heartless sometimes. I also feel like Juliette when I use strikethrough. I AM ALL POWERFUL WITH MY LETHAL TOUCH. I've also developed fondness for circuses because of the Noah's Ark Circus Arc in Black Butler.
The ending was exciting because I was waiting for Rhine to find her brother through the whole book. I would've preferred Rhine to at least see her brother from afar by the end of FEVER. There are few things I love more than a good sibling relationship, and I hope there are some good bonding moments between Rhine and her brother in SEVER.
This series isn't something I think everyone will like. Some people might think FEVER was intriguing while others just find it slow and boring. It all goes back to whether or not you enjoyed WITHER. If you did, you'll probably like FEVER too. But if you didn't, I have a hard time telling if FEVER will be any better for you.
And if you've read FEVER, you'll know the cover does have meaning behind it, such as the tarot card, which plays a part.
4 coffee cups!
BUY THE BOOK:
Let's Discuss: In the comments, tell me what is more important to you in a good dystopian: world-building or characters. For me, I'm okay if the world isn't amazing and I have great characters, but if I hate the guts of all the characters in a story, I might not be able to stand hearing them talk long enough to explore the fantastic world-building. So while a solid world is important, I think it's great characters that is essential for me. What about you?