Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)
Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 371
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Amazon Kindle
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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.

Rhine is still recovering in the hospital and refuses to go back to the mansion and rightfully so! Linden and Cecily want to help Rhine so they take her to stay with Vaughn's brother, Reed, while she recovers. Reed was interesting and liked to tinker around. He was kind of crazy but fun and sweet. Not at all like his brother. Linden and Cecily still care about Rhine and want to help find her brother and even Gabriel. They take a road trip where we see more of the world and how Rowan is trying to change things. Rhine finally finds him but turns out he has been manipulated all this time. Will Rhine ever truly escape the horrors of the mansion, find a cure, and find Gabriel?

I admit in the first book I wanted Rhine to murder Linden with a folk in his sleep. I hated him. I do think he was mostly just really naive and gullible but ignorance is not an excuse. But in this book I began really feeling for him. His dad lied and hid him away and obsessed over saving him so much he didn't know anything real. He learned even some surprising things about his relationship with Rose and how he may have bee manipulated all his life. I really appreciated him FINALLY believing Rhine and Cecily about Vaughn and also helping Rhine not only find her brother but Gabriel too. Linden was finally able to get his feelings off his chest and Rhine and him could move on. I think Rhine loved Linden in a way as they spent time together and he was nice to her but never like Gabriel. Rhine just wanted Linden and Gabriel to be free. Safety versus living is explored in this book. Should Gabriel and Linden stay locked away safe or should they go out into the horrors of the world but have a chance to truly live. Gabriel was freed in the last book but this book was Linden's chance to finally be free. In fact, Gabriel is barely in this one at all which was a little disappointing.  

This book surprisingly also changed my feelings for Vaughn a little bit. He is still evil and went about his experiments all wrong, but he just desperately wanted to save his son. At the same time he was still always selfish. I also kind of didn't understand why he wasn't more open about what he was doing. Everyone wants a cure, so I'm sure Rhine would have helped out if she could without all the lies and deceit. It is a difficult moral question to face and it is discussed throughout the series. How much experimentation is too much? What is fair in the name of finding a cure and saving humanity? Part of the reason Rhine's world ended up like this was taking science too far. I thought the ending was perfect. All the people who need to end up together do and there are many answers about the disease and the cure. Although I was still a little bit confused about a few of the cure experiments and why some had to be done that way? A few surprises I didn't expect but for the most part it was the ending I was hoping for.

"To die trying would be better than to die without purpose."

"Maybe hope isn't the most dangerous thing a person can have. Maybe love is worse."

"I think about how many decades will pass before someone gets another idea to make the world perfect and destroys it completely."

Rating: 4/5


  1. I just skimmed over your review because I haven't gotten started on this series yet but I am happy to see that it is continuing to be really good for you. I love how your opinion on the bad guy has changed and he's becoming a more well rounded character for you!

  2. I haven't started this series, and based on my feelings about Dystopians, I'm not sure I will anytime soon. Series endings can be disappointing sometimes, so Im glad thus worked out for you. Great review!

  3. I was curious abotu this series but then I saw a lot of mixed reviews about it so I let it go. I'm glad this one was nice. thanks for the review!

  4. I didn't read your review since I haven't read the second book yet, but I see that you gave it 4 stars, so that's good. I do have the second one, but I just haven't had the chance to read it yet.

  5. I love how Linden came into his own a bit in this one but so sad at the same time.
    I know what you mean about Vaughn, I didn't think that anything would change my mind, but it did. Wonder of wonders.
    It was a very fitting ending i think!
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  6. Hmmm... this is one of those series that I still haven't started reading, yet I constantly see positive things about it and really think I should give it a shot. Thanks for pushing me toward reading it. :) Great review!

  7. I've only read the first one... it annoyed me for many reasons but there was definite potential. This has reminded me I need to check out the sequels! Great review :D

  8. I still need to check out this series. I am glad it ended well and that you am happy to hear that you changed your mind about some of the characters, that is always nice when the bad guys kind of redeem themselves, right?

  9. Great review, Jen. I read the first book and don't have any interest in reading the rest but it is good to know that some questions were answered, even if not all of them were.

  10. I recently finished this! :) I have to agree about Gabriel. He's rarely in the books to me. So I feel as though I barely know him. Awesome review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  11. I have heard some great things about this series, although I haven't had a chance to read them yet. The books sounds very interesting and the characters even better. Hopefully I'll get to it soon. And I'm glad it turned out the way you wanted it too!

    Fantastic review, Jen! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  12. Ah... I so need to read this series! I honestly didn't think I'd want to read it at first, but after seeing how much everyone likes them it makes me want to!

  13. Well the quotes are amazing and i have heard so damn much about this book! It sounds so intriguing!
    LOVE the idea and I am definitely adding it to my TBR
    GREAT review, hun
    Your reader,

  14. Can you believe that I haven't read a single book in this trilogy yet? I do won them all though so maybe now that they are all released I should give it a try.

    Great review!


Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! I read and love every single comment!