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In een wereld waarin vrouwen maar twintig jaar oud worden en mannen sterven op hun vijfentwintigste, is tijd kostbaar. In een poging om aan de boosaardige Vaughn te ontkomen, vlucht Rhine naar Reed, een excentrieke uitvinder. Ondertussen zit Rowan, Rhines tweelingbroer, diep in de problemen en Rhine moet hem stoppen voordat er dramatische dingen gebeuren. Daardoor komen lang bewaarde geheimen boven water en zal alles waarin Rhine ooit geloofde onherroepelijk verbroken worden.

356 pages, Paperback

First published February 12, 2013

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Lauren DeStefano

19 books6,726 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,585 reviews
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,344 followers
November 23, 2020
After LOVING the first book and being somewhat disappointed by the second one, I had no idea what to expect but I still wanted to know how it will end.
But several chapters in I have to say, I don't even care.
It's terrible, makes no sense. And seeing how the series deteriorated I'm forced to believe that the author wrote the first book but after publishing had no idea where to go with the series. Huge disappointment.
I'll just keep the first book as a standalone.

řeknu to takhle: silně mě to nebavilo. tak jsem se do spoileru koukala, co se stane dál. a zjistila jsem, ze.to nemá cenu číst dál.
první díl.byl.úžasný! druhý.me zklamal. a ten třetí raději ani dočítat nebudu.
Profile Image for Chrissy.
236 reviews
December 4, 2013
This is honestly the worst fucking book I've read in my life. I made it through the first half without much issue, but I was literally guzzling wine during the last half because I needed something to temper the rage, fury, and general disgust that was actually making my blood pressure increase.

Like, where do I even begin? This book is a lesson in how to not fucking write dystopian fiction. Or any fiction.


I'm too old for this shit. Thank the lord jesus that there are no more books in this series, and may this be a lesson to never start series I'm not going to have interest in finishing.
Profile Image for hayden.
1,056 reviews733 followers
November 4, 2017
Oh, boy... It's probably my least favorite of the three. I'm sorry, Lauren. You know that I still love you. But it's just not unique enough! The other covers were totally different and crazy and this one just didn't live up to its expectations.


The title of the third Wither book is . . .


You, right along with me, might be thinking "What the hell does the word sever have to do with anything?"

Are Gabriel's testicles going to be severed off?
Is Rhine going to sever her connection with someone?

All I know is I can't freaking wait to find out.
Profile Image for Lea.
112 reviews501 followers
July 11, 2014
Whyyyyyyyyyyy guys..... WHY did this happen??

So... yeah. I really don't even know where to begin with my review of this book because I'm just so danged confused. I mean, I LOVED Wither. Freakin' loved it, raved on and on about it, gave it 5 stars all the way which I hardly ever do. I also really enjoyed Fever- it wasn't quite as intriguing as the first book, but the plot was still there, the characters were still all likable for the most part, and Lauren's absolutely incredible and haunting way of describing scenes kept me totally hooked.

And then came Sever.

Also known as: "The Monotonous Train Wreck That Will Bore You to Tears Because This Series NEVER Should Have Been Made Into a Trilogy."

Clearly, I need to get a job making up ridiculously long titles for YA books...

Now I don't want to be mean here, especially since I do think that Lauren D. is an incredibly talented writer, but I just wasn't impressed with this last book. Like, at all. For me this series started out as a 5-star knock-out and ended up as a washed-out flop that I could barely bother to finish. I actually had to FORCE myself to get through this book, and it took me about three weeks, I kid you not. And here are my reasons why:

1.) Rhine. Honestly I don't have much to say about her because she just fell totally flat for me- as in, devoid of anything close to resembling a personality. Not to mention, she literally does NOTHING throughout the whole book. I really can't understand why Rhine was portrayed as being so utterly vapid and useless, because LD proves that she can master characterization with Cecily-- Cecily was an AMAZING character and honestly, she's the only one who managed to somewhat redeem the story for me. Full of life yet still flawed, she was lovable, annoying, and endearing all at the same time. I loved Cecily because she had depth and she was multi-dimensional. In fact, she's getting one out of the two stars I gave this book because without her it would've been a total disaster. However, Rhine- the MAIN PROTAG OF THE BOOK- was just one big wishy-washy smudge on the page. She was an empty shell who we observe things from, but never get to know in any particular way. None of her emotions seemed real, and she acted like an apathetic lump of oatmeal throughout the entire book. She had no intensity, no spark, no... nothing. She comes across as being weak and powerless to do anything, and her internal thought process was extremely dull and lacked any kind of passion. And because the whole freaking book is written through her boring perspective, I was snoozing before I even made it halfway through.

2.) Linden. It takes talent to conceive of a character as limp, washed-out and mind-numbingly boring as Linden. Talk about a wuss. Sorry, that's really the best word I can think of to describe him because he had no backbone whatsoever and just came across as being totally pathetic. I could not for the life of me take him seriously and forgot about him completely whenever he wasn't being specifically mentioned in the story. So there are our two main characters, who were so gosh-dang dull that I could barely keep my eyes open to find out what happens to them. The secondary characters stole the show- I just don't understand how Rhine and Linden ended up being so lifeless and boring!

3.) Rowen. We've been waiting in suspense for TWO books to see this long-lost brother of Rhine's. Well guess what? He turns out to be a total jerk-wad who doesn't give a crap about anything but himself and blowing shit up. FAIL.

4.) Gabriel. If you're a fan of Gabriel, you're about to be sorely disappointed- the guy is randomly tossed into the last 5 pages of the book and the ending with him is so convenient, it's laughable.

5.) That whole thing where Rhine never had sex. OK. So. This actually was a point made by awesome reviewer Christina from A Reader of Fictions (and by the way you should read her reviews for this series because they are effing BRILLIANT) but I had to make mention of it because it is just SO TRUE. And the question is: HOW is it that Lauren D. created this ENTIRE WORLD around the horrific concept of girls being sold into sex slavery and becoming breeding machines, but then NEVER gave any remotely believable explanation for how Rhine ends up still a virgin at the end of the book after placing her in situations where she OBVIOUSLY would have lost it?? Let's look at this: In Book 1 Rhine becomes a sister wife to Linden and is expected to give him a child. It was totally OK to mention in the book that a bunch of girls were SHOT TO DEATH in the back of a truck because they didn't meet the right qualifications to become wives, but somehow Rhine is chosen and is now supposed to become a baby-maker for Vaughn's son. But nope! Apparently mass murder is OK to put in a YA book, but **God forbid** our main character become tainted by having sex-- Linden says that he wants Rhine to fall in love with him before he makes any moves, so Rhine stays virgo intacta. Alrighty, I can *sort of* buy that, especially since we know he was already banging Cecily and Jenna anyways, and let's be serious here, Linden isn't exactly any Don Juan. But then in Book 2 things get super-duper ridiculous. Rhine is actually captured by a PROSTITUTION CIRCUS (Yeah, those exist) and is drugged out of her mind by the crazy "madame" who owns the joint to-- ZOMG-- make out with her boyfriend!! YEAH. RIGHT. Are you kidding me? You've got to be kidding me. This is supposedly a world where girls are treated like sex objects and baby makers, Rhine is in a whore house on drugs-- and all the customers want to pay for is to watch her make out with Gabriel? I DON'T THINK SO!! And of course by the end of Book 3, Rhine is still the model of pure virginity, after everything she want through. Sorry, I'm not buying it, this is completely unbelievable given the premise of this story. Look authors: Either write a YA book that's PG, or write an edgy dystopian with adult themes. YOU CAN'T DO BOTH. Not unless you want to leave out totally obvious plot points and have your story end up making ZERO sense. If you're writing a dystopian world like this one, you have to follow through with it and make it believable, even if that means having shitty things happen to your main character-- otherwise, it ends up failing completely. And it did because Lauren, or the editors, or whoever, didn't take it all the way to make it real for the reader. Fail, fail, fail- dystopian fail.

6.) Plot holes galore. And discontinuity in characterization. For example, Rhine has never been on a plane before and there are no airports left in her destroyed world for normal people to use- yet when she gets on Vaughn's plane at one point in the story, she very casually refers to the tarmac. How, pray tell, does she even know what a tarmac is? Yes, the author does, but Rhine would not. Then there are convenient plot points that make no sense even in fiction, and especially not in a dystopia, which is supposed to at least *somewhat* connect back to the real world as it is, and make a statement about actual society. Example: When Vaughn is explaining how things got to be the way they are in Rhine's world, he says that at one point the government deactivated everyone's cell phones and prohibited access to the internet-- he then breezes by the fact that there were some "hiccups of protest." Umm OK, I don't know what planet LD is trying to describe here, but if this actually happened in real life, do you really think there would only be some "hiccups" of protest? Eff no, there would be another American Revolution for crying out loud! I'm sorry, but you can't just conveniently brush aside major details like this and expect your story or world-building to come across as being even remotely believable to your reader. I would go on about some of the other ridiculously HUGE plot points that are revealed but make no sense and are never explained, but I don't want to give away any spoilers. I'll just say that these things made the overall plot seem sloppy, shoved together, and not well thought-out at all.

7.) The title of the series. I can count on one hand how many times the "Chemical Gardens" are actually mentioned- and they aren't even adequately explained. So... why the heck is the entire trilogy named after them?? Answer: it sounds cool.

8.) The Cover. Once again, I'm going to have to voice a very strong and resounding "meh." Wait, scratch that- the cover of Sever is just a total and complete mess. First, that shade of green is absolutely horrendous (Seriously whose decision was that?!) Second, the garish lighting on the model makes her look terrible. The model on the first cover looked gorgeous, and I'm not sure whether this is the same model or not, but she looks positively dreadful. And then the rest of the cover design looks like some cheesy still life that was thrown together by an intern or something at the last minute. Like the story, this cover is at best lackluster and uninspired, and at worst a contrived and sloppy disaster. It's almost like it's forcing itself to try and achieve the greatness of the first gorgeous cover, but fails pretty bad at even coming close.

So all in all, I just feel like LD lost steam with this last installment of the Chemical Garden series. And it really is a shame because she IS an extremely talented writer. But I think that some YA stories are being forced into becoming trilogies because they make more money that way, but not ALL stories were meant to be told in three books. I think one or two could have sufficed for this series, instead of aimlessly drawing the plot out for three books, because by the time I got to the third one, a lot of what I had loved about the first had unfortunately been lost. What started out as an amazing story with awesome characterization and incredible world-building ended on a tired and uninspired note. It's hard to say that about a series you originally fell in love with, but the sad truth is that marketing-- and failing to take your world-building to its logical conclusions-- killed an otherwise good story.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,652 followers
December 4, 2013
Just to be up front with everything, this will be more of a series review than a Sever review, because, honestly, not much actually fucking happens in Sever. It's a boring, largely plotless mess, and most of what's frusrating about the characters requires prior knowledge of the series as a whole. There will be swearing, gifs, and spoilers up in this bitch, so if you're not up for that, check out of this review with a swiftness.

Maybe, to start, we should talk about Sever just a little bit. Sever picks up with Rhine desperate to locate her twin, like she has been since they were separated at the very beginning of Wither. She's planning to leave immediately to find him, because he's apparently become a radical and is bombing shit. For OVER A HUNDRED PAGES, she plans to go find him, during which time she dicks around with Linden's uncle and thinks angsty thoughts about Linden. Seriously, nothing happens during all of this except that DeStefano pretends to kill off a character and doesn't.

Me, to everyone, so the book could end.

Then, Rhine, Linden, and Cecily go look for the brother, which involves stopping by the torture carnival (which I will address later), the sole point of which is learning that Rose, Linden's first wife was Madame's daughter. Whoop-di-do. They do find the brother, and he's working for Vaughn and really doesn't do much of anything except serve as a reason for Rhine to be in Vaughn's clutches again.

Seriously, the only plot arc to this series is Rhine trying to do something and getting captured by Vaughn. That's all three books. Even better, Rhine accomplishes nothing in either Fever or Sever. Congratulations, Rhine, I give you the award for most useless heroine; it comes with a nice shiny gilded cage and a cookie wand. Enjoy.

What makes me so fucking pissed off about this series is the purity myth that it's putting forward. Slut-shaming isn't something I regularly cite, because it doesn't often, in what I read, feel like the driving force of the book to me. However, in this case, I will make an exception, because, though I don't recall the word ever being used, this series runs off of horror movie logic: if you have sex, you will have a fucking horrible life and probably die.

Rhine, our boring, stupid Mary Sue of a heroine lives in a world where women are used as breeding chattel, because they die so young that babies are needed as early as possible. Her brother protected her at first, but she left (because she's dumb) and got sold to wealthy Linden as one of his four wives. Linden doesn't have sex with her, because he wants her to love him (more on this later); Jenna and Cecily have sex with Linden (one of them dies and one nearly dies - THIS IS WHAT YOU GET, RIGHT?). Rhine escapes from the house with one of Linden's servants. They wash up at a Carnival of prostitution run by Madame. A gorgeous virgin comes to this Madame and what does she do? Sell her virginity to the highest bidder because that's what would totally happen? Of course not. Instead, she dopes Gabriel and Rhine with aphrodisiacs so they can be sexually turned on enough to make out with one another. Apparently in this world, men will pay money to watch other people make out while scantily clad (not even naked, mind you). Now, I know voyeurism is a thing, but THAT is bullshit. She would at LEAST have to bang Gabriel. In Sever, Rhine remains eternally innocent, which, apparently, means she gets to be cured for some dumbshit reason which I really give no fucks about. She and Gabriel make out and she stops him and that's pretty much it for their reconciliation.

Listen, it's not so much that I want to see Rhine raped or having sex or anything. However, if you create this particular world, then you have to follow things through to their logical conclusions. The world building is minimal enough as it is, so to completely ignore what there is of it is monumentally frustrating. In Sever, when they see the ferris wheel of the carnival in the distance, Rhine moans about how awful it was there. Yes, you poor, poor girl. Forced to make out with your boyfriend like a brazen hussy. Please, tell me more about how traumatizing that was for you.

That's one thing that upsets me. Another thing is Rhine's relationship with Linden. She and two other girls, Cecily and Jenna, are picked out of a line up by Linden and his father, Vaughn. They're rich, so they can afford to purchase Linden some wives. Neither Rhine nor Jenna want any part of it, and Cecily's like 13, so doesn't know any better than to be excited. Rhine sort of develops feelings for him over time, but wants to get away more than anything. That's in Wither, and I sort of liked it, because it rang of Stockholm Syndrome in an interesting way.

By this point, though, the acknowledged Stockholm Syndrome-ishness of it is gone, and we're apparently supposed to think Linden is a prince among men. Rhine's obviously much more attracted to him than to Gabriel, and she alternates between jealousy of Cecily and being glad to be freed. All throughout this damn book, all Rhine can think about is what a stand-up guy Linden is, how she's mistreated him, or how she owes him for something or other. THIS attitude may almost be unhealthier than the purity myth thing, because it's subtly putting in this idea like Rhine is beholden to Linden. Rhine doesn't owe Linden SHIT.

Please share this power with Rhine. She needs it.

Linden may not have been the one to order the rest of his possible wives killed (that's his dad) and he didn't perform creepy ass experiments on them (still dad), but he's just as culpable. It's not like Vaughn was all that fucking sneaky. He's got his house full of locked doors like Bluebeard on steroids and Linden's not going to be like "Dad, what the fuck are you doing in the basement?" He's ignorant of what's happening, but he remains that way purposefully, so it really doesn't let him off the hook.

Even if you don't lay any of that on his head, he still FORCED three girls to marry him. Obviously, they did go through with the vows, but it's not like they had a whole lot of options, considering that they knew the other girls were killed and were just going to be raped or murdered by someone else if they said no. He's an attractive man with pockets well-grown, so there's no fucking reason he needs to pick up women from the slave trade. From the very beginning of Wither, he was a creepy bastard and I do not find it even one iota acceptable to have him romanticized. At the very end of Sever, Rhine says this of Linden: "'It's because he was better than me . . . He never wanted to hurt anyone. I didn't want to hurt him either.'"

Linden, who fooled people into thinking he was a nice guy.

This attitude straight up disgusts me and I cannot believe we're putting these thoughts in front of impressionable minds. Linden is NOT a good guy. In my opinion, Rhine should have found a weapon and taken Vaughn and Linden out, because they are both disgusting human beings. What could have been a thought-provoking look at Stockholm Syndrome turned into yet another instance of turning a creep into a viable love interest.

Don't even get me started on the fact that DeStefano concluded the Linden-Rhine-Gabriel love triangle by killing off Linden. Gabriel and Rhine obviously have absolutely no chemistry, so Rhine was totally going to go back to Linden someday. I guess I'm glad that somewhere along the way the author and/or editor realized her ending up with Linden would be unhealthy, but, rather than fixing the relationship dynamics between them somewhere along the way, Linden is killed off, which pretty much ensures she will always love him martyr-style.

On top of that, the ending is just as bad as one might expect. Rhine and Vaughn go for a pleasant stroll. She inquires about why he's a crazy bastard and he responds with villainous infodumps. Then Cecily shoots him. I come through ALL three of these books for this? Remind me why Rhine is the heroine again? She never does anything. The fourteen-year-old mother of one who just miscarried and only just got off of bed rest is the one who takes out the bad guy. Are we for real with this shit? I never liked Cecily but at least she's got balls. Rhine never did anything during this whole series but be speshul and get people to help her do things. Not a single useful thing did she ever do on her own.

There's probably more I could say about this dreadful series, but I don't want to waste any more of my time or energy on it. These books are boring, full of shoddy world building, written in a pseudo-poetic style that mostly falls flat, and perpetuate seriously unhealthy concepts of romance. You're welcome to read them if you want, but you could do so much better. Reading The Handmaid's Tale instead would be an excellent life choice. In conclusion, here's my recommendation for dealing with this series:

Profile Image for Kat (Lost in Neverland).
445 reviews702 followers
July 20, 2016
I really hated Fever but I MUST find out what happens to Linden and Cecily.

Thank you Goodreads First Reads and Simon & Schulster for my ARC of the book!

Wow. I was not expecting to like this book so much considering I was not a fan of the last two books.

Rhine has finally gotten away from Vaughn, but is she ever truly safe from his evil clutches? Linden brings Rhine and Cecily to Vaughn's brother, who differs from him in so many ways and allows them to take refuge in his home while they form a plan. Rhine is still hoping to find her brother Rowan and reunite with Gabriel, the servant who ran away with her from the start. But tragedies fall like swift rain in the Chemical Garden trilogy, and the last book is no exception.

Let me just take a bit of a discussion on the cover of this book real quick. Now I know everyone hates it; but it does have its significance once you read the book. The airplane, the apples, old books, jars, globe, old bedframe all come into play as you read. Right down to the little (I originally thought it was a piece of candy, like a June Bean, but now that I look closer, it might be a ring. Which would be even more fitting to the story) in the girl's hands. I really despise the colors of the cover, even though they also come into the story. But I will agree with everyone else on the fact that the colors are awful. This series calls for dark tones and dreary settings; not neon green and vomit orange.

I may not be a fan of her 'worldbuilding' or story concepts, but Lauren DeStefano's writing is a thing of beauty. It's achingly sad and sets such a dark and absorbing tone that sucks you in. It creates scenes of sadness and misery while making even the worst tragedies or landscape seem beautiful.


I have a very love/hate relationship with this series. I love the writing, the dreary yet beautiful atmosphere, etc. But I hate the shitty, unrealistic worldbuilding and Gabriel.

Profile Image for Blue Dawn.
79 reviews5 followers
July 4, 2013
Thirty-five likes!!! :D Aww, shucks! Thank you everyone!

No! No! NO! I really don't like how Rhine is holding her ring off her finger on the cover. And the bird is free and her face kind of looks happy. And I have a very, very bad feeling that sever might mean cutting herself off from Linden completely. Team Linden! C'mon!

Who wants the servant guy? Gabriel? He's so bland.

But if she decides to break it off with both guys and live the rest of her short life with her twin then I won't be that mad. I do hope Rowan plays a lead role in this one. :)


Okay, so the little blurb for the storyline is making me crazy! Linden has an uncle? She knows her twin is alive! Yay! Reunite please. Oh, and I really wanted Celily or whatever her name, out of the dang picture. But apprantly she knows how to get herself back into the main focus storyline....suck. At least Linden is mentioned, if Rhine ends up with ANY guy then I want it to be Linden. Or no one at all.


Note: There will be tons, and I mean TONS of spoilers for the story in my review below. Also I'm writing this also right after reading it straight through in one sitting. So I might come back and edit this out, or change it once I have more time to think on it. But I really just wanted to get off all my first reactions/emotions of it.

First off, I didn't like how many mixed signals we got as readers. Let me explain first with the relationship between Rhine and Linden. I'm not sure if it was romantic love or friendship? Linden seemed to be quite upset with her in the beginning, then towards the end it seemed like he was falling for her again. Though he did take the ring away from her, and never did accept her back again. He kind of chose Cecily over Rhine. When Rhine was almost on death's doorstep because of his father, he didn't turn his back on his father. Even when Rose told him about the father, he chose not to believe it. But with Cecily, he believed her when he had believed no one else. Her almost death caused him to finally turn his back on his father. Which leads me to believe that she was the girl he loved the most? Also on Rhine's side. I wasn't sure if she was in love with him or not. She made a point of telling him that she still had her virginity and hadn't been with Gabriel. She made a point at saying it wasn't love that made her run away with him, but that she didn't want him to spend his enitre life enslaved. Plus she mention that when he showed Cecily his houses that no one else would ever understand those houses on a level that he and her did? Also the frequent mentions of her jealously over Cecily when she was with Linden....so at the end I'm not sure what to make of it. Not to mention that she was so depressed over his death, and she didn't seem to be really upset when Gabe was in a coma. Sure, she cared for Gabe, but not in a romantic sense.

Cecily. I have a love/hate emotions with her. There were parts where I liked her fiery personality. Then the times when she was with Linden, I got annoyed on Rhine's behalf. I honestly(as cruel as this is) wanted her to die at the one scene, so that Linden and Rhine could be together with no one else in the way. Though when she killed Linden's father in the end, I had to admire her on that. It was interesting to see that she had that in her, when no one else really could.

There were LOTS of good twists. The part about Rose's mother being Madame(probably not how you spelled that) and all of the terrible secrets that Linden's father had. Rhine's parents. About how the rest of the world was completely fine. Only U.S. was the only place to have the "virus". We never really understood the specifics of the how the cure actually cured them, but I didn't really care that much about that.

In the end, I was torn. Linden's death affects Rhine and Cecily much too badly. It was like he was their everything. Even though the entire time Rhine was trying not to love him, and yet she was so depressed over his death? That didn't make sense. I did enjoy the mention of Silas maybe ending up with Cecily. :) However, I didn't understand Rhine's relationship with Gabriel...he has no personaily...she doesn't seem to really love him like she did Linden or does her brother or even her sister wife...I will never understand that whole thing. I would have loved the ending more if she didn't end up with Gabriel. I would had liked her to find someone new. Have a fresh, new start without any reminders of the past.
31 reviews16 followers
June 28, 2012
Wow. You know you've found an absolutely beautiful series when you want a book called "Untitled"


Alright, cover reveal.
The model looks gorgeous (WE.CAN.FINALLY.SEE.ALL.OF.HER.FACE.) but I don't like the color scheme. What is that? Green and Gold? Ick.

But, in my opinion, everything else looks incredible.
Profile Image for Monica.
Author 4 books268 followers
December 3, 2019
Esta trilogía tiene una trama muy interesante, además de que los personajes tienen atributos que los hacen un poco más complejos de lo que podrías esperar, las historias que narran lo que aconteció con algunos de los personajes que son cercanos a los protagonistas son intensas y con descripciones muy bien hechas.

Me gustó la explicación que al fin nos dieron, pero no fue en la dosis adecuada, al menos a lo que yo esperaba. En los libros anteriores la hicieron mucho de emoción para que al final en unas pocas palabras nos dijeran los motivos y detalles, así nada más, me dejó con una sensación agridulce.

Me esperaba más, o puede que la culpa fuera de las expectativas, o podría ser que esta resolución no funcionó para mi.
Profile Image for Deanna .
665 reviews12.4k followers
September 23, 2015
SEVER is the last book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy.

Rhine has finally gotten away from Vaughn, but now she's not only searching for her brother but for Gabriel as well.

After reading the first two books I really wanted to know what happens in the end. I enjoyed learning a little more about the world but still wished there was more detail. I was happy to find out what happened to some of my favorite characters, but I was a bit let down when I didn't hear more about some of the others. At times the writing felt a bit rushed and I was a bit confused as to what was going on.

For being a young adult trilogy, it seems to have a lot of mature themes, especially sexual themes. At times it just seemed excessive. Even though the sexual acts are mostly implied and not a lot of detail is given, I still found it a bit disturbing.

While I may not have been thrilled with the trilogy, it did have many good moments. Some of the characters were absolutely fascinating and there were times when I was captivated by Lauren DeStefano's writing. She can create scenes that are so vivid and memorable.

I felt the book ended on a decent note and was satisfied with how it all came together. I would definitely consider reading more from this author.
570 reviews2 followers
Shelved as 'not-out-yet'
March 11, 2012
*Sigh*. Why are all the books I want to read now come out in over a year? D: Please come sooner!
Profile Image for annelitterarum.
223 reviews1,423 followers
July 28, 2021
Pouvons nous dire que ce livre ou cette trilogie contient même une histoire?????? On aurait facilement pu faire une nouvelle plus développée avec la même histoire.

À vous de choisir : larmes de déception? larmes d’ennui? larmes de grincement de dents???

Une saga de dystopie à la conclusion aussi déroutante (et ce n’est pas positif) que les deux autres tomes. J’ai du sauter quelques passages quand ça devenait exténuant de ne pas avancer et de laisser Rhine se faire mener par les autres personnages pour apporter un « progrès ». Legit je pense être aussi spectatrice qu’elle à sa propre vie non significative
267 reviews1 follower
February 16, 2013
Well, I don't know about every one else,
I really want this book.


Wait..QUESTION! How are you people swooning over Linden??? I can understand Gabriel, but Linden? SERIOUSLY?
Profile Image for Fia-Sophia.
34 reviews
February 23, 2013
How come so many people like Linden? Gabriel is SO much better, he actually likes Rhine for who she is, not because she looks like his dead wife Rose, like another character in the books *cough, cough - Linden! - cough*. Also, Linden is SO oblivious and ignorant to how Rhine, Jenna, and Cecily became his wives. He thinks they went to some 'bride school' or something when they were actually KIDNAPPED and chosen to be his wives, and the 12 girls who WEREN'T picked were KILLED and some of them were JENNA'S SISTERS! That just makes me wonder, "Does he think that everything is the illusions at the mansion he lives in and the parties and expos he goes to? Does he think that everything is all a picnic for everyone who isn't rich? That they all have houses and an easy life? That they don't struggle to survive? Because it ISN'T, and they DON'T, and they DO struggle!" Yes, I know his father is partly to blame for his oblivion and ignorance, but there are some things that you have to find out for yourself, and this is one of them! Also, Gabriel is so sweet, and he loves her, and gets so worried about her when she's sick, and he's cute. :D

This book was as good as the first book, and better than fever.
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,137 followers
February 6, 2016
I feel like this book had so many endings but I was pleased with how this series ended. Every loose end was tied and, although it's not all happy rainbows and sunshine, the characters are in a good place. Well done, Lauren DeStefano. This trilogy was actually good.
Profile Image for Kirsten.
281 reviews10 followers
November 27, 2015
Well, this final book had all the twists. All of them. Constant plot twists and reveals, but Sever robs itself of much of it's shock value (imo) by foreshadowing way too strongly and making everything too obvious before the big reveals.

A few examples: Rose's origin story is revealed (which I could have sworn happened in the beginning of Fever, but all the characters were surprised so I guess I'm supposed to be too. That name, though: come on). More egregious, though, is the big BIG reveal: , which became painfully obvious the minute Linden's uncle Reed (who I loved, by the way) starts talking to Rhine about stuff and things, over 100 pages before it was actually revealed (during the infodumpiest of infodumps). I suppose I should be relieved that half of the most ridiculous parts of the premise has been waved away. And I would be, if it wasn't replaced with a story that was every bit as unrealistic and silly as the first, just in a different way.

Cecily continues to be as wonderful as ever, and Linden and Gabriel continue to both be terrible romantic options for Rhine.

I'm still not sure where the series comes down on the medicine vs. naturalism debate. Both options are portrayed as pretty awful- the first is characterized by Vaughn and his highly questionable medical ethics, and the latter by the hordes of hopeless orphans that go around blowing everything up. This would be fine if the book were trying to be bleak- trying to show that every option sucks, but instead it seems wishy-washy since Rhine is our super special protagonist because she's so filled with ~hope~. Hope for what, exactly? Dunno- the book keeps trying to convince me that every existing option is terrible.

Vaughn got a pretty weird development here. After two books of portraying him as pure, unstoppable evil, in Sever this just kind of... stops. He keeps thwarting Rhine wherever she goes, but somehow it's no longer ominous- it's like he's a fly that shows up to buzz around and get swatted off. And even though he's lied to Linden and tortured who knows how many people, now it's ok, because he's just trying to save the world (Why is this an acceptable excuse now when it wasn't in the previous books? His world-saving ambitions have always been very clear). Nothing about him changes: he doesn't get any extra character development, doesn't apologize, or change his ways, yet the audience is supposed to radically alter their perception of him?

Anyway. All my eye-rolling did not stop me from devouring this book. It was interesting, and I don't regret reading it or anything, I just don't think this series has much merit beyond mindless entertainment.
Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,237 followers
Shelved as 'not-gonna-do-it'
October 22, 2012
This book's title is Sever. So, there's that. You'll note it is an eye rhyme with Fever and an imperfect rhyme with Wither. I would like to not read it, but you know if shit goes down, I'll have to get a copy.
Profile Image for Sahil Javed.
258 reviews243 followers
August 19, 2020
Sever is the last book in the Chemical Gardens trilogy and picks up after the ending of Fever, where, after being taken by Vaughn, Rhine realises that her brother, Rowan, is alive and leading some kind of rebellion.
“Even things that aren’t broken can be fixed,” he says. The darkness smells like mold and metal. “Everything can become something it’s not.”

What the actual fuck was this book? Okay fair enough with there being not as much action in the first and second books but for a conclusion, this is what you’re giving readers? Absolutely nothing happens in this book. There’s no climax. There’s no resolution. It’s literally just Rhine running from place to place, then sitting in Vaughn’s brother, Reed’s house for about 100 chapters and doing nothing, and then Cecily and Linden visit and promise to help her find her brother. They find him, he’s an absolutely boring and useless character after being talked about for TWO books, who only wants to blow things up and doesn’t even know why. Cecily loses a baby, which is sad but why is this 14 year old girl having another child? Isn’t that still rape? Why does nobody talk about that? And then Linden dies, we’ll get to him later, and then Rhine and Gabriel have some sort of experiment done and they’re cured and then Vaughn is killed by Cecily and then that’s it. But like, where was the resolution? Is there a cure? Don’t know. What’s going to happen to the world? Don’t know. What was the point of this series? Because I have absolutely no clue.
“We can change so many times in our lives. We’re born into a family, and it’s the only life we can imagine, but it changes. Buildings collapse. Fires burn. And the next second we’re someplace else entirely, going through different motions and trying to keep up with this new person we’ve become. I was somebody’s daughter once, and then I was somebody’s wife. I’m neither of those things now.”

Rhine was beyond useless in this book. Cecily should have been the main character because she was so much more interesting. For god’s sake, Cecily is the one who kills Vaughn. Like, she had more guts than Rhine who did absolutely nothing. Throughout the whole series, Vaughn is painted as this villain and I still don’t even know what his actual intentions were and why he had to be so creepy. If you’re just looking for some kind of cure, do that. You don't need to be weird about it. But then at the end, Rhine just consents to being his patient, alongside her brother, and even though she knows Vaughn is evil, when she has an opportunity to tell her brother, who weirdly idolises the doctor, she doesn’t because she doesn’t want to ruin whatever image her brother has of Vaughn. Are you actually kidding me? How is that in any way important? Why is that important? Why do you even care, Rhine? Stupid girl. She needed to grow a backbone. Being inside her head in this last book was beyond insufferable.
“You have a way of looking at things. You make it seem as though everything’s going to be okay. I can’t imagine a more dangerous thing to have than hope like yours.”

Also why was the love triangle so central in this last book? Rhine doesn’t love Linden. But then in this book she’s making declarations about her feelings inside her head, talking about how she doesn’t even know if she loves Gabriel and that she only ran away with him because she wanted him to experience freedom and that is bullshit. Like, that wasn't the reason you ran away so why are you making that up? And Linden, pathetic, stupid Linden. He was like an actual child. I love that he’s one of the oldest characters from the teenage characters yet he’s the dumbest. Why are you blindly following your father when every single clue points to the fact that he’s doing some dodgy shit? Why did you have another child with a 14 year old girl and then later say that you realised you shouldn’t have? Are you stupid? And his feelings for Rhine, oh cry me a river. These girls were forced to marry you. Why are you expecting them to have a twisted sense of loyalty towards you? And then Gabriel, sweet Gabriel who I actually liked, was in a coma for the whole book and then appeared in the last few pages as a pathetic attempt at a conclusion to the romantic aspect of the plot. Fuck off.
“I think humans have always been desperate. I think it has always been about doing something awful if it might help, when the only other option is death. Maybe that’s what being a parent is supposed to feel like.”

Overall, Sever was a really bad conclusion to what is probably one of the worst series’ I’ve ever read in my life. What was the point of any of this? Because after the first book, I think the author had absolutely no idea what to do next and just took the story in random directions until there was some kind of a plot. I’m beyond drained. This series took away a part of my soul. Goodbye.
Profile Image for Karoline.
416 reviews32 followers
August 12, 2016

Okay, llego la hora de hablar de este final...

Esto puede contener spoilers de este y los libros anteriores, así que: Proceda con precaución.

Estoy tan decepcionada, esperaba que esto solucionara mis dudas, que llenara los vacíos de la historia y que fuera aunque sea un final decente. Pero me encuentro con esto...

Para hacer esto rápido voy a hacer una lista de cosas por las que este libro me molestó:

-El cuadrado triángulo amoroso inconcluso: Durante la primera mitad del libro esta situación estuvo dando señales contradictorias, pero al parecer Linden había escogido a Cecily. Y digo al parecer porque no me creía el amor de esos dos: Linden estaba con ella porque era la única que no lo había dejado. Pero resulta que antes de que todo se resuelva la autora tiene la brillante idea de matarlo.
La verdad es que, no quieto sonar cruel pero, su muerte fue lo mas interesante de todo el libro. Pero yo no esperaba que la predicción fuera tan literal porque si mal no recuerdo decía "hay alguien dispuesto a ahogarse por ti" NO "alguien se ahogara por ti" asi que aparte de la contradicción obvia esta el hecho de que la vieja que le hizo la predicción le dijo que él era su alma gemela pero:
1. El no la eligió a ella, eligió a Cecily y 2. Él estuvo ignorándola, siendo frio con ella y apartándola durante todo ese tiempo. Asi que el "amor" entre ellos no surgió, ni hubo tiempo para algo más porque la autora lo mató.

-Gabriel: Este hombre me tiene encantada desde el primer libro, por lo tanto me parece súper injusto que Rinhe haya tenido a Gabriel solo porque no quería quedarse sola, porque ya que ella "amaba" a Linden la opción clara es: Decirle que ella no lo ama a él. Y que hace nuestra inteligente protagonista? Exactamente: NADA. Lo deja ahí teniendo esperanza cuando no es justo. Él estuvo ahí para ella y con ella. Él la eligió pero nuestra brillante protagonista no hacia mas que pensar en Linden.

-El jardín químico: ALGUIEN PODRÍA POR FAVOR EXPLICARME QUE ES EL JARDIN QUÍMICO? la explicación no la vi por ningún lado. Si, hay mucha charla de experimentos y finalmente una cura, bla bla bla, pero Que es exactamente el jardín químico? Voy a suponer que es una metáfora de todos los experimentos para no terminar sintiéndome aun más molesta por los cabos sueltos.

-Rhine: no hizo nada en todo el libro Todo lo hicieron por ella. Lo único que ella hacia era caminar de un lugar a otro. Por mas que me moleste Cecily ella hizo mas en todo el libro que Rhine.

-Como es que cuando el argumento del libro gira entorno a la poligamia y a la conservación de la raza humana, incluso a través de las situaciones que pasa, nuestra protagonista sale con la virtud intacta? Tal vez es algo que nunca entenderé.

En conclusión, lo único bueno fue... Mmmmm la verdad nada tuvo sentido, pero aunque este libro me frustró hasta el cansancio, al menos no fue tan aburrido como el anterior.
Me siento generosa, así que por eso 1.5.
Profile Image for Deanne.
921 reviews3 followers
February 19, 2013
"I thought you could read your book out loud until I fall asleep," she says.
I don't think she could bear a tragic love story right now. "It isn't very good," I say. pg.345

That about sums up Sever for me. I think Lauren would have created a brilliant book if she kept it to one rather than three.

Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
April 12, 2016
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Finally a look into the outside world as Rhine sees it. She is constantly at battle with herself and the struggles and heartache she goes through just made me feel like I was in her head. You can see how much she has changed from Fever and to finally have an ending for this trilogy.. All I can say is I was pestered with all the FEELS! As for all the other characters, I felt each character come to terms with who they are and how they have developed from the first novel. I LOVE CHARACTER GROWTH!

Explanations of the world building are finally answered and it may not be the answer I was looking for, it did at least answer some of my questions. I felt the ending was rushed and the information was dumped in the end, but at least there were some answers.

Lauren has a way of writing that makes you stay in the character’s life and not think about anything or anyone else. She has this keen ability to write about the human mind and all its wonders. Her writing is on point and this one was a little longer than the others but it was still a fabulous read.

Looking forward to what else Lauren has in store for us!

So much character growth in this one!

Pacing is just right. Length was a little long, but I didn’t seem to mind in the end.

Gorgeous! This one isn’t Photoshopped as much since it looks like an actual cover model. Oh and I love the emerald green on this one.

Good enough to keep me wondering and the length is just right.

Overall, a satisfying conclusion to the Chemical Gardens Trilogy.
March 12, 2016
The final as usual was unbelievable. Review to come.

I promised a review a long time ago, but it looks like I'm only just getting around to it now.

I'll say, it was a beautiful end to a story, at first I had no expectations, nor desire to finish of the series. And of course, I was surprised. Like Reachedby Ally Condie, the ending was perfect. Happy or not, questions were answered and the story completed in the more than satisfactory sense that made me turn the pages faster than the fan that was blowing humid air in my face. I was absorbed. In the beginning I had no doubts about the writing, and certainly no doubts about the characters, but I was a little bored because it was so slow, and with the second, it was a continuation of something good waiting to be great. But Sever, Sever like its predecessors in the third and final instalment category (Reached and Mockingjay), it was great. Simple, how simple can I get? There are no other words for it than it was absolutely perfect. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good dystopia. I'd recommend too that this is a series best read all in one go, one after another, to truly experience it's exploding greatness.

Final word: One of those great endings.
2 reviews1 follower
March 26, 2012
They must, must, MUST make a sequel of movies to these books. I have a cast list of who would best play who, posted on my review of Fever. Check it out please! And please help me tell Lauren Destefano and her team of workers by emailing her that this must become a sequel of movies as well as it is books. Please leave feedback. Thanks guys!
Profile Image for GoldenGee15.
11 reviews
March 16, 2013
*sigh* After the train wreck that was Fever I was really hoping that this book would be able to save the series. But it didn't.

This book is filled with so many disappointments I don't know if I'll be able to list them all.


This isn't a plot summary but more of a list of complaints. (With BIG spoilers!!!)

Here we go.

1. First of all the series as a whole is called "The Chemical Garden Trilogy" but the Chemical Gardens are mentioned maybe 3 times and are never fully explained (although it's not hard to guess what they are.) I just think that if you're going to name the whole freaking trilogy after the Chemical Gardens then they need a bit more attention.

2. For about the first half of the book Rhine just sits around at Uncle Reed's place and talks about how she needs to be out looking for her brother but DOESN'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHIING. She just sits there talking about how she needs to do it. Same thing happened with poor Gabriel. Every so often Rhine would mention that she has absolutely no clue where he was and how she should probably be trying to find him. But she would never DO anything to try to find him. He finally shows up for the last 5 pages.

3. Speaking of her brother it's absolutely ridiculous that this guy is able to get away with bombing buildings. Seriously. Whatever building he was going to blow up next would be public knowledge and people would gather there to hear him give a speech and watch the building blow up. WHERE THE HECK ARE THE POLICE?!? I mean I get that this book is dystopian and blah blah blah but come on!! If the world is in a good enough state to have a government then it's got to have some sort of police force. Speaking of the government...

4. It turns out that the government has lied to the public about the rest of the world disappearing underwater. Okay, fine, governments lie all the time in these types of books. Rhine is shocked to discover that Hawaii still exists when Vaughn flies her out there. While in Hawaii she notices that there are people that look to old to be under 20 or 25 yet young enough that they can't be from the first generation. When she asks Vaughn about it he tells her that in Hawaii the virus that plagues the young people back on the mainland doesn't exist in Hawaii. WHOA. How is this possible? This is HUGE. Right? Apparently not. Because at that point the chapter ends and the next chapter starts in a totally different place. This big revelation is never mentioned again. We never find out why the virus isn't in Hawaii.

5. Linden dies in the dumbest way ever. Rhine, Cecily, and Linden get into the airplane that Uncle Reed has been restoring in his barn (even though he admits he's never flown a plane before). Uncle Reed and Linden are up front while Rhine and Cicely are in the cargo area in the back. When Uncle Reed crash-lands the plane everyone is thrown forward. As Linden gets out the plane immediately afterwards he suddenly collapses and starts have a seizure with blood coming out of his mouth. Then he dies. Rhine notices a small smear of blood on the windshield which implies that his violent death was caused by his skull smashing into the glass. Okay let's think about this for a moment. First of all, why didn't anyone else at least get hurt? Rhine and Cicely came flying from all the way in the back of the cargo area to the front of the plane when it slammed into the ground. But they're fine. Not even a bruise is mentioned. Secondly, why is blood coming out of his mouth if he hit his head?? I could see a nose bleed but blood isn't going to come pouring from your mouth if you hit your head.

There are so many more disappointing things in this book. I just don't have the strength to keep going. But I will say that the most disappointing thing about this book is that I actually REALLY liked the first book in the series and to have it all end like this is just so...sad.

Will I read anything else by DeStefano? Yeah, probably so. But only because I think she really does have the capability to write things that are worthwhile but she just totally lost it with the last two books in this series. I'm curious to see if she can redeem herself with a new series.
Profile Image for Lexie.
184 reviews19 followers
February 22, 2013
No. Just no. I wish with all my might that authors would stop trying to emulate other, more popular series. There is no formula for a perfect, rave-review book. Don't truncate your work because it doesn't fit into a mold.

Let's start with the cover. The cover of the first book almost worked - I could see the idea that was being attempted, and the photograph was interesting, but it didn't quite make it. The second book was forgettable, but this... this looks like a high schooler with no photoshop experience made it in two hours. The colour is too strong a shade, the photo is poorly manipulated and the pose itself is just bleh. Just sloppy, sloppy work.

And now, onto the actual book...

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