Spoiler alert!  Read Lauren DeStefano’s Wither before proceeding.  You will be all kinds of confused if you don’t heed my warning!

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted something here on Knight Reader, and I promise I have a very good excuse.  School started.  That’s right.  I went from nearly two months of doing almost nothing but reading and sleeping to working in an elementary school five days a week (and being so exhausted when I get home that I either nap or stare blankly at the walls).  It’s a difficult adjustment, and I simply haven’t had the time or energy to devote to blogging…or even reading (which is kind of sad for a school librarian to say).  Hopefully, things are sort of getting back to normal, and I’ll be able to post at least a couple of times a week.  We shall see.

Moving on…

Last night, I was finally able to finish reading Fever, the second book in Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy.  (If the spoiler alert above didn’t clue you in, the first book in this series is Wither.)  I absolutely adored the first book, so I had really high hopes for Fever.  I’m happy to report that Fever lived up to my expectations.  It freaked me out even more than Wither did.  I’ll go ahead and tell you that this is not a “happy” book.  It will not leave you with the warm fuzzies.  It will make you uncomfortable.  It will make you cringe.  It will make you fear for the future of humanity and society.  Most importantly, it will make you think.

In Fever, Rhine has finally escaped her life as a wife of Linden Ashby.  She is joined by Gabriel, a former servant in the mansion they used to call home.  Despite all the hope that Rhine has for the future, she’s almost immediately swept into situations that are even worse than the one she left. 

Even when Rhine and Gabriel find a way out of yet another life of servitude, their journey is treacherous and filled with uncertainty.  Will they ever make it to Rhine’s home in Manhattan?  If they do, will they find her twin brother Rowan?  What then?  Time is running out, and Rhine is growing weaker by the minute.  What will she have to do to save herself?  And is saving herself even worth the price she would have to pay?

As Rhine and Gabriel look for ways to escape their current predicaments, they are faced with the possibility that things may never get better…and they may never escape Rhine’s evil father-in-law, Vaughn, who seems to be on their heels no matter where they go.  What will Rhine and Gabriel have to do or sacrifice to finally be truly free?  Is freedom even possible at this point? 

This book is INTENSE!  I’m still mulling things over, but I might like Fever even more than I liked Wither.  This book is the perfect “second book” in a series.  Yes, it was a bridge between books one and three, but it wasn’t just filler.  Stuff happened.  (I wanted to use another word for “stuff,” but this blog is kind of kid-friendly.)  There were some pretty major events that will have a huge impact in the final book in this series (which I’m pretty sure will be freakin’ awesome).  Book three, Sever, is scheduled for a February 12th release, so we don’t have a terribly long amount of time to wait to see what happens.  I’m still on pins and needles, though.  This series has me totally enthralled.

If you’d like to learn more about the Chemical Garden trilogy or author Lauren DeStefano, visit http://www.laurendestefano.com/.  Also, you simply must follow the author on Twitter @LaurenDeStefano.  She’s pretty hilarious.  I’m convinced we’d be BFFs if we ever met.

Still not convinced to give Fever (and Wither) a try?  Well, check out this book trailer.  That should do it.

*Note: This series deals with some mature themes and is not recommended for middle grade readers.*

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