Julia's Reviews > Fever

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
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's review
Mar 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: appropriate-for-adults, appropriate-for-high-school, dystopia, sexuality, twisted, violence
Read in March, 2012

This book suffers from 2nd installment in a trilogy syndrome. By this I mean that the book takes off right after the first one (you really do need to read "Wither" first to follow this tale) & it doesn't really have a climactic or cathartic ending. The ending is more of a cliff-hanger, but in a forced kind of way. This is not a book I'm likely to pick up to read again, though I did enjoy much of it, but I expect I will read the 3rd volume when it comes out.

The overall premise in DeStefano's dystopian world here is that everyone (outside of a "first generation" who are now somewhat elderly) suffers from a virus that kills young women by the age of 20 & young men by 25. Rhine, our lead character, was forced to be a sister wife to a wealthy young man with a horrible father in the first book. Rhine's father-in-law is attempting - through cruel & unethical experiments - to find a cure for the virus. This involves the reproductive issues of his son and his son's wives. Rhine escaped at the very end with Gabriel, a servant from the household.

Fever - the 2nd book - focuses on Rhine's and Gabriel's journey back to Rhine's Manhattan home, where she hopes to find her twin brother Rowan. The book begins with what is effectively an imprisonment in a prostitution ring where both Rhine & Gabriel are exploited. (There is some subtlety in how this is told. It is not explicit in terms of descriptions, but it is pretty clear what is going on. However there are some other moments in the book that are fairly explicit.)

Once Rhine and Gabriel break free of there, they still have to journey up the eastern seaboard with unexpected companionship. The journey becomes somewhat tedious, as compared to the drama of the imprisonment at the beginning of the book and the story seems to lose focus from there. The character journey of Rhine goes from desperation to get to where she wants to be (without thinking through consequences) to someone who starts to see she has some responsibility to those around her. There is much to be resolved in book 3, as there was little resolution to anything in this book. Like I said, worth reading once to MATURE fans of dystopias.

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