Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

ISBN: 9781442409095
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #3
Page Count: 371 pages


"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."


  • DeStefano's writing is beautiful, haunting, smooth... even when I read the first two books, which I didn't love, the prose just flowed so well, they were easy to get through.
  • Team Linden! Even when Rhine finds her own freedom, their connection and chemistry just gets me every time. I love the relationship DeStefano created between them. It felt real.
  • The slow, even, absolutely perfect pace. I don't usually like slow-paced books but this one moved so well and I didn't feel bored by any of it. The ending, rather than being anti-climactic, was so spectacularly right. I got real, honest and true closure from the way it ended and though I have my qualms with some of it, it was definitely the right choice.
  • I was super shocked by how it ended also. The pace definitely had a little pick up in certain parts, and I like to say I can usually guess whats going to happen in a book, but this one left me completely at a loss. Definitely shocked by the sudden turn of events and though I wanted to cry and scream, I was still satisfied.
  • This book was a shockingly true portrayal of what the world could be like. We all read dystopian novels with all sorts of crazy stuff and think, wow - that could happen! But this one blew me away. It was creepily believable and almost a warning to us now.


  • The book overall being very believable, some things were just not realistic enough for me. Maybe it was the way Rhine kind of just accepted some of the huge revelations without so much as a blink. She always was a little on the flat side.
  • Rhine's relationship with Gabriel, kind of the opposite of Linden, in my opinion. Their relationship did not feel real at all. He was annoying in the first book, useless and delirious in the second, and almost non-existent in part of the third. I was just annoyed at the level DeStefano gave to their relationship when I feel as though it never had time to develop enough.
  • This series has consistently made me feel depressed every time I read one of these books. I know that DeStefano's ability to show the horrible state of the country is a wonderful thing - I already mentioned how much I love her writing - but it is such a dark series, it almost a little too much for an emotional girl such as myself. I could've easily crawled into my bed with the blanket over my head and not come out for quite a while, after reading this book.

     RATING:  (4 stars)

I think I should start by telling you how much I disliked the first book in this series, and how mediocre I found the second one to be. I chose to continue because I dont like to not finish a tolerable series if I know I can get through it. That's my job as a blogger, right? To read books that may not be that good, so you'll know if its something you might want to read? For me, things didn't get really good until the last quarter of the second book.

So with that being said, I loved this book. The writing was wonderful, as always. It was very slow-paced, in my opinion, but somehow, it worked for this novel. The characters all matured so much, there were some big revelations that I did not see coming, and the ending, though I wasn't thrilled by who Rhine ended up with, was the most satisfying ending to a dystopian novel that I've read, yet. The only thing that bothered me about this book was that some parts kind of didn't make sense, e.g. Linden and Cecily kept coming to visit Rhine at Reed's home, and at one point even stay there. There is no way the Vaughn I know should've let them take Rhine anywhere, based on how crazy he had been, let alone let Linden and Cecily not come home for days at a time. I know it was under the guise of Vaughn letting them have their way for a little while until they were ready to come back, but it didn't jive with me. Other than some small discrepancies that bugged me a little, this novel was almost-flawlessly written, perfectly paced, and left me feeling strangely bereft, yet with closure.

Great ending to an OK series for Lauren DeStefano, but I am looking forward to reading her next series, the Internment Chronicles. Have any of you read this book/series? Did you enjoy the first two more than I did? How did you feel about the series as a whole? I'd love to hear what you think!


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