Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.
Hardcover, 341 pages February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

This is a fantastic continuation to Rhine's story. In Wither, there was a story that was so different than anything I had read before that I lost myself completely into that story. I was disgusted and shocked and intrigued by how much imagination when into creating such a story. There is nothing uplifting or good about anything that Rhine is going through. From her daily life, just fighting to survive, but the idea that there are people that have a better life. She gets to become part of a better life in Wither, but there is always that looming knowledge that you are going to die young. And the death is not easy, this is not something that your body just starts deteriorating as you get older, this is a grotesque sickness that takes over in a matter of weeks you die. It's very disturbing.
But that knowing no matter how you live your daily life, that sickness is waiting for you. That factor brings a really depressing tone to the novels. The thought that Rhine does not get to choose how she lives her life, even though she is put into a glamorous lifestyle, the idea that she was stolen from her brother and her life cannot escape her. She did not chose to become a wife, even though she is given everything, she is determined that the only way that she wants to live out her days is in her home, with her brother, fighting to stay together.
I bring up these factors from the first book Wither because it's what drives this whole 2nd book. That drive to find her brother and only family she knows is the only thing that keeps her living at this point. The drive to keep moving and find answers and just keep on.
There were only a couple of spots that I felt the story dragged a little. All of the events that happen are logical and I enjoyed learning more about the people she encounters and what is going on in this world that has taken over all the young and newborns with this sickness. I would not choose to live in a world so torn and destroyed. But if I had to live in that world I would have chosen Linden and Vaughan over what is happening outside of the house.
I appreciated Rhine's determination. The writing style keeps that guilt and depression that she's feeling for all of her decisions comes across clearly in the story.

5 stars

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