Simon & Schuster, 368 pages
"Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they left behind. Determined to get to Manhattan and to find Rhine’s twin brother Rowan, the two press forward, amidst threats of being captured again... or worse. The road they are on is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age 20 and men die at age 25, time is precious. In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever."
Addicting. I honestly can't find a better word to describe this series. Before Fever, I was absolutely blown away with Wither. I must agree with Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy, when she said that Wither is "exactly the kind of book I've been craving to read." Amen, sister. Fever is just as intoxicating as its predecessor.
I seriously am enchanted by these books... the concept of the books is executed phenomenally. I actually felt like DeStefano sat down and pondered her world for awhile before writing it. It is original. It is new. It is fresh. And most importantly, it is shockingly realistic. Nothing in the book appears to be too outrageous to the point where you can scoff and say, "Psh! Clearly sci-fi mojo right there! That will never happen!" The world is frighteningly real. It sucks you in, and makes you wonder what it would be like to know exactly when you were going to die. I truly am empathetic for both Rhine and Gabriel... I couldn't imagine being given a death sentence the moment I was born into the world.
Honestly, DeStefano's writing in these books is really what makes them come alive. It really is lovely, and contrasts perfectly with the dark themes of the series. It really is amazing how DeStefano can make something so sinister into something that is beautiful. The covers even do the same thing! (Speaking of which... Oh. My. Lord. Can we say cover crush?!!)
Some say that the themes in this book (prostitution, drugs, polygamous marriages) may not be appropriate for young adults, but I beg to differ. First off, those themes are present in real life. Young adults will be exposed to them eventually. Secondly, I have read SEVERAL young adult books with more controversial content than this (Go Ask Alice anyone?). Thirdly, this book is by no means an advocate for any of those previously mentioned themes! Rhine is a character disgusted with prostitution, polygamous marriages, and drugs, and this story is about her escape from it. So, needless to say, this book isn't for everyone. If you are sensitive to those topics, then you obviously might want to think twice about reading this series. But, you would certainly be missing out if you choose not to read them!
So, if you are debating whether or not to give this series a shot, GO FOR IT! I really believe that it is one of the gems in Dystopian fiction. You will not be disappointed!
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!