Friday, February 15, 2013

Book Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Goodreads summary:

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.

My review:

Sever is a perfect conclusion to The Chemical Garden trilogy, and I'm so sad to see this series end.  It has become one of my favorite dystopian series ever.  Now that it's over, though, I have to say that the first book Wither is still my favorite out of the trilogy.  While I dearly love both Fever and Sever and gave both of them 5 stars, they don't have that same level of amazingness as Wither.

So on to Sever.  I adored it.  I was so anxious to find out how all the characters' stories would end, and if they would find a cure.  I read this book in one day.  Though it is not fast-paced or full of action, there is a sense of urgency in the writing as the characters struggle to make the right choices.  Sever is a very character-driven novel, and I appreciated that.

Lauren DeStefano's characters are so real.  They're vivid and unforgettable.  Rhine, Gabriel, Cecily, Linden, Vaughn, and Reed - each of them are wonderfully unique and compelling.  Rhine is a strong, levelheaded character that I absolutely love.  Sadly, Gabriel isn't in the story hardly at all until the very end, but I still liked his small role.  Vaughn is delightfully creepy.  He's a madman, but I love how he's not a villain just for the sake of being a villain.  In Sever, we find out the complexities of his character and understand him more than ever before.  I also loved the addition of Reed, Linden's uncle.  He's funny and I grew to love his character.

Of course, I need a whole paragraph just for Cecily and Linden.  Wow.  Cecily...I don't even know what to think about her.  In Wither, she was irritating and immature, but she was only thirteen - she was still a realistic and fascinating character.  In Sever, Cecily's now fourteen and has been forced to grow up quickly.  I grew to love the quiet strength of her character and the troubled relationships she has with nearly everyone around her.  And I felt so bad for Linden, who must make a choice between his father Vaughn and Cecily and Rhine.

The plot is great; everything is tied up and the ending is satisfying and yet still leaves a few things open.  I love the thought-provoking questions and observations about life that this book brought up.  You may think that, given the subject matter, this story would be depressing, but it's not - it shows how you can have hope no matter what and that you should live life to the fullest.

This review doesn't even begin to do this book justice.  I adore these characters so much, and the writing is touching and poetic and lovely.  I even teared up a bit at the ending - those last few paragraphs started to make me cry.  I'm so glad I got to take this journey with Rhine.  I can't wait to read Lauren Destefano's next series - the first book comes out in a year!

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm


  1. Glad to hear that it is a great conclusion. It is waiting for me to come get it at our library.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :)

  2. Wow great review! I've seen some mixed feelings about this one. I'm reread the first two before starting. But, I can't wait to see how it all wraps up! I'm very sad to hear Gabriel doesn't play a big part though. Hope I love it as much as you did :)


    1. Thanks Jasmine! That's great that you reread the first two - I hope Sever is just as good as those! But yeah, the only thing I didn't like is Gabriel's tiny role. :/