Fever (Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefano

Fever (Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefanoTitle: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Publishing Info: February 21, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Library
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 8, 2012
Related Posts: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1), Sever (The Chemical Garden #1)

    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.


I must admit that I really enjoyed the second half much more than the first. For some reason, I’m seeing an extremely common trend (although logical, it still somewhat irritates me) for dystopia sequels to take place in a completely different setting/world than the one in which we originally got to know our main characters (PANDEMONIUM, CROSSED, now FEVER). The first sections of Fever are spent predominately in Madame’s run-down and somewhat horrific prison of a carnival which Rhine and Gabriel cannot escape. I understand that since they’re on the run, they obviously will not have the same kind of setting as the mansion, but I think I was just frustrated how long that whole scenario took before we started moving on the journey again. I expected a lot more movement and running and I think it took a while for me to get really into it.

That being said, I still really enjoyed it! Once we got a little bit more involved in the story and we brought back some more ties between Rhine and the mansion, it really started to pick up for me! One thing I really liked about WITHER so much was the mystery behind Vaughn and what his “experiments” really did entail, why he was so interested in Rhine, etc — So once we started getting back to those questions, I got a lot more intrigued than just “we’re in a tight spot and we need to get out of here before we get trapped”. I think the intrigue is definitely what made me like WITHER so much so I was glad to see that come back towards the middle/end.

As for the romance, I loved seeing the budding relationship start between Rhine and Gabriel in the first book, but in Fever, they had so many obstacles to face and they really needed to be strong and brave more often than not, so we didn’t really get to see a lot of the romance develop. That being said, I actually wasn’t really disappointed by it… I was caught up in the action and the fight that was going on and I was okay with the romance being put on the back burner.

I’m not sure how I feel about the story of Lilac and Maddie being woven in with Rhine’s. Unless there’s more to it than that in the third book, I felt like it was maybe a little unnecessary. It was a nice story and all, but I didn’t feel like it had much relevance to pushing the story forward. I feel like I could have taken those characters out, and we could have focused more on Rhine and Gabriel and I would have been okay with that.

I just loved the end! Once again, Lauren DeStefano figured out how to hook me back in and violently flip through the pages so I can see how it ends! No surprise that we cliffhangered again, but now we’re all so impatiently waiting for SEVER that I can’t wait to read it too.


4/5 stars
I definitely enjoyed WITHER more. I think it had a lot more character development and I loved the relationships between Rhine and her “sister wives” a lot in that book, as well as the sort of rivalry between Linden and Gabriel. FEVER was a lot more action, a lot more running, a lot more on the move, and I think that took precedence over a lot of the relationship developments that I loved so much in the first book. Still a really fun read, but WITHER is my chosen favorite so far!


Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver — Another great Lauren writing some awesome dystopia. If you haven’t read DELIRIUM yet and you like the Chemical Garden series, I highly recommend picking it up! Definitely one of my favorite books, and it’s so lyrical and moving. 
Matched by Ally Condie — I feel like this is another great match as far as similar series goes. So many of the same situations, love stories, and fighting for your life.

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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4 thoughts on “Fever (Chemical Garden #2) – Lauren DeStefano

  1. Briana

    I read Wither awhile ago and I liked it, but not enough that I’ve gotten around to Fever yet. I like reading others’ reviews, though, to get a general sense of whether people think Fever is better or worse than Wither.

  2. Lucy

    I agree with a lot of your points about Fever. It did get more exciting when the action moved back to the mansion, and made me even more anxious to read Sever. That is interesting that so many of the middle books take place in a different location. I probably would have traded more time at the mansion for the Lilac and Maddie story, but maybe it will go somewhere interesting in the next book.
    Awesome review!

    1. Brittany

      Thanks so much! Always nice to see when someone agrees 🙂 Now I just have to wait for Sever… I love being caught up, but sometimes it’s so hard to wait! 🙂


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