Saturday, March 30, 2013

Megan Rambles About Sever

Sever by Lauren DeStefano
From Goodreads:Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

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.


Wow it has kind of been a long time since I actually wrote a review. I blame school and its many attempts to drown me in homework. 

Anyway, I wanted to start this post off by saying that I absolutely love everything about The Chemical Garden Trilogy. Recently I sat down and tried to decide which of my many, many favorite authors are my favorites, writing wise. This was really hard, but Rachel has always had her top three authors who are tied as her favorites, John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Maureen Johnson (WE JUST MET HER *FLAILS*) and they're the main authors that made her want to write. I decided that I should have a set of authors who inspire me to write too and Lauren DeStefano made that list along with Gayle Forman, Tahereh Mafi, and Lauren Oliver.

The first T-shirts we ever made!
Now that my love for Lauren DeStefano has been explained, let me get on with the book. Sever was a really emotional read for me, and not just because it was the ending of the trilogy, but because I have literally been with this series since the very beginning. About two years ago, before this blog even existed (and probably before it had even occurred to either of us that we could actually run a book blog) my mom brought Rachel and I into New York City to the glorious, heavenly place called Books of Wonder for a signing with Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, and Lauren DeStefano. It was Lauren's first book signing ever, and she read from Wither and revealed the title for the second book, Fever. We had both already read Wither by the time we got there and told Lauren just how much we loved it and that we were basically going to die slow, painful deaths waiting for Fever. And now that trilogy is over and I am so, incredibly sad.

The other reason I am sad is because of CHAPTER 24. And the whole rest of the book, because this was one emotional roller coaster, BUT MOSTLY CHAPTER 24. I honestly can't believe what Lauren DeStefano did in that chapter. I wasn't expecting it at all, and it makes sense (not really. it's still not okay) for her to have done what she did, but MY FEEELINGS. So be warned, if you have a heart, you will cry (or in my case sob) when you read Chapter 24.

Now, on to the reasons why this book was the most perfect ending to the trilogy there could ever be. First of all, by the third book in a series, you would think you have a pretty good concept of the way the world the characters are in functions right? If your answer was yes, Lauren DeStefano is probably sitting at her computer somewhere laughing evilly and doing a little dance while yelling "NOPE!" because she literally takes EVERYTHING you thought you knew about world of The Chemical Garden Trilogy and blows it into teeny, tiny little pieces. My mind was completely blown and it was perfect and awesome and just so, so cool.

The characters were also amazingly well written in this book. We get to meet Vaughn's brother Reed, who is basically the exact opposite of Vaughn. Where Vaughn believes science can solve the problem it created Reed is basically like "NOPE. I AM SO DONE WITH THAT SCIENCE CRAP." Plus, his house is in the middle of nowhere and filled with all of these inventions and old things he is trying to fix. Cecily really grew up a lot in this book too. She definitely isn't the same scared  fourteen year old girl we first met at the beginning of Wither. Now that she's had a baby and discovered Rhine down in Vaughn's lab, it is obvious how the cruel world she lives in has changed her.

Rhine was a really strong main character in this book for sure. I really felt for her because she was dealing with so many terrible things at such a young age. Vaughn is constantly haunting her, she desperately wants to find her brother, she still worries about Linden and Cecily, oh and there's that tiny little detail of her rapidly approaching 20th birthday which will also be the day of her death unless a cure is discovered sometime soon. That's definitely more than I could handle if I was in her situation. Rhine also has this quote that I just love, so much that it is currently written on a post-it on my wall. "A feeling can't kill you." I don't know exactly why I love that so much, but I guess it's just relevant to pretty much anything. Especially when you're a teenager and every little bit of emotion kind of feels like it might just be the death of you. Also it's relevant to this book because FEELS.

Finally, Linden. Oh how I love Linden. From the very beginning of this series Linden made me love him even though I didn't want to. He has always been so innocent where his father was evil and I couldn't hate him no matter how hard I tried. It was obvious from the beginning that Linden wasn't the one making all of the rules keeping Rhine and her sister wives prisoners. At the end of Fever, Linden was forced to wake up and see just what Vaughn had been doing in his basement of horrors. When Sever starts, he is trying to find a way to deal with the horrible things he's discovered about the man who has taken care of him his entire life. It isn't easy for him, and he isn't the same man he was at the beginning of the series, but I really loved seeing Linden grow up a bit, become more independent, and really start to be his own person and make his own decisions.

This series ended in the best possible way, with a last chapter that wrapped everything up the only way it really could have been. Lauren DeStefano has completely sold me on her writing and I will definitely be reading everything that she ever writes. So if you haven't read Sever yet, get your hands on a copy now! If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments. I'd love to hear your opinion on the ending (Also feel free to harass Rachel until she reads it too, because she hasn't yet and I am DYING OVER HERE).


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