Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden #3)

Posted May 9, 2013 by Liza in Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Published: February 12th, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Audio book
Group age: Young Adult
Challenge(s): 2013 Finish the series
Grade rate: B+

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
Finally!  Someone did what needed to be done!  Let me now get ahead of myself, but Sever was my favorite of the books in the series. 
Woo, hoo!  I made it to the end of the series 🙂  I have to say that Wither was nice, but I really didn’t care for Fever as much (see my review here), since it seemed to be the narrative of one calamity after another.   Severwas full of twists and turns and more action that we saw in the first two books.  Also, Cecily and Linden are in this one a lot more, which I enjoyed. 
The story starts where we last saw Rhine, in the hospital, when she is about to get discharged.  Linden takes her to his uncle’s house to stay until she recovers.  Reed is the complete opposite of Vaughn and I liked him a lot.  Rhine finally finds Rowan, but the encounter is tainted by my last favorite person in the series.   Rowan is strong, even if he places his faith in the wrong person.
Oh Linden!  It was so hard for him to come to terms with what his father was and to put his wives’ wellbeing before his own blind faith in Vaughn.  I admire how DeStafano made Linden, the presumptive villain and girl snatcher, into such an endearing character.  I truly believe that Rhine loved him and if circumstance had been different, she could have been happy with him.
Vaughn keeps on being his evil and manipulative self and his reach is very far and wide, although we get to understands his motives in this book, I still hate him.  Kudos to Cecily for doing what needed to be done!   Gabriel is not in the book until the very end and I’m sad to say that I never really liked him.
The writing continues to be the most redeeming quality of the series.  It is lyrical, beautiful, absorbing… listening for these books was almost like someone reading poetry to me.  So full of feeling, whatever those were: sadness, despair, pain, fear and even love.
I don’t know how to describe the ending, other than DeStefano tied all the loose end rather nicely.  It is, against all odds and the premise of the series, a happy ending.
Some quotes for you:
“We’ll squeeze every second that we can from our lives, because we’re young, and we have plenty of years to grow. We’ll grow until we’re braver. We’ll grow until our bones ache and our skin wrinkles and our hair goes white, and until our hearts decide, at last, that it’s time to stop.”
“Maybe hope isn’t the most dangerous thing a person can have. Maybe love is.”
“I don’t dare touch her. Loss is a knowledge I’m sorry to have. Perhaps the only thing worse than experiencing it, is watching it replay anew in someone else–all the awful stages picking up like a chorus that has to be sung.”
“It isn’t a perfect place. There are no perfect places. But nobody cares about perfection when there are sand castles to build and kites to chase, children that are being born, old hearts that are giving in.”
About the cover:  The covers are all full of items that symbolize part of the story, but I’m sorry, I can’t get pass that awful green color (the color of hope?)

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One response to “Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden #3)

  1. I really enjoyed Sever too! I agree with what you said about Linden and Rhine, if the circumstances had been different, I’m sure they would have been happy with one another. I loved how Cecily played such a large role in Sever too, her character has grown so much since we were introduced to her in Wither. And I get what you mean about the cover, I was lucky because the UK cover has a more bluey-green colour instead of this green. Great review!

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