Title: Sever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Pages: 371
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Library
Rating: 3/5

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.


Why did I read this book? Just why. I felt so-so about Wither, and ended up wanting to throw Fever at the wall. Plus, this book is called Sever: you know it’s going to be bad. Okay, time to get down ‘n’ dirty with the final book in the Chemical Gardens Trilogy.

Things I liked:

1. The writing. Lauren DeStefano isn’t the greatest writer, in my opinion, but this was probably the best written book in the series. That is also why this book is a three instead of a two.

2. Linden. I’m sorry, but I’ll always root for Linden. I feel like I shouldn’t like him, but I just do. He got so much tougher in this book, which made me like him even more. Oh Rhine, why can’t you see what’s right in front of you?

3. Cecily. At first, she depressed me because of her age and situation, but she really grows as a person and as a character throughout the series. She’s probably my favorite character, actually.

4. Reed. Literally the only good thing that happens in this book that’s not tainted in some way. I’m so glad that one man in Linden’s family isn’t an asshole creepster.

Things I didn’t like:

1. Convenience of the plot. I felt that DeStefano really pushed believability in this book. Everything happened the way you expect it to, and a lot of it just seemed too easy and convenient to me. My skeptical face was on for a significant portion of the book.

2. The killing off of one of my favorite characters. No more to say on this without spoilers.

3. The “romance.” For some reason, I was just never convinced Rhine really had feelings for Gabriel. I got that she wanted to take care of him and stuff, but actual love-like feelings? I’m not so sure about that.

4. Rhine. Sorry, doll, you’re just not doing it for me. Rhine is so wishy-washy and manipulative in some ways, which I guess makes sense in the context of the story, but it certainly didn’t make me like her, especially since Linden was the one I was rooting for. I just never connected with her is all, even after three books.


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