Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Sever

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: February 12, 2013
371 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

I keep my hopes high when it comes to the third book in a trilogy. I expect twists and turns that make me rethink everything I've read so far. It must also wrap up everything and leave no unanswered questions. Some have let me down a little, but I'm glad Sever isn't one of them. DeStefano knows exactly how to take a world that we think we know and turn it into something completely different. Small clues hidden everywhere that suddenly make sense at the end and an explosive ending that will leave you breathless.

Just when Rhine thought she'd finally escaped Vaughan and the mansion, she ends up back in his care with nowhere else to turn. With the help of Linden and Cecily, she stays with Vaughan's brother, Reed, until she has the strength to leave on her own to find her brother and Gabriel. Linden and Cecily are once again a huge part of this book. They were mostly absent in Fever, and you can see how much they've changed since Wither. Both have matured but they still want Rhine in their lives even if she doesn't want to be in theirs. Something keeps her there though, maybe it's fear or loneliness, but she spends most of her time with Cecily and begins to feel whole again. When news of her brother comes forward though, she knows she must leave to find him. 

Every character has grown a lot. Cecily is no longer the little girl she used to be. She now sees the world for what it really is and Vaughan for what he's capable of doing. Linden sees this too, everything he's ever known suddenly null and void. It's a sad truth in a sad world and for the first half of the book, it's mostly character development, mostly Rhine trying to come to terms with everything that's happened to her. It's brilliantly written, DeStefano's prose and metaphors hitting like bricks and keeping us plastered in the world she's created. Scared for Rhine, Cecily - everyone. Fear of a cure never being found kept me going, wanting to know if there was any way for Rhine to get her happy ending. What happens will leave you with fear and hope and a completely different perspective of this series than when first read. Everything changes in the most perfect way and only DeStefano could create the feelings felt throughout this book. It is not just a conclusion, it holds its own against every other book in this series, especially Wither. It makes up for the lacking of Fever and left me wanting more of this world and her writing. 

I'm especially pleased that she never made a real love triangle. I will never be a fan of triangles that seem to be added in just to get attention. Rhine loves Linden, but it's never been a romantic love. To her, it's always been Gabriel and I think that's important in youth books. There doesn't always have to be boys you love, there can just be the one and it's important for teenagers to see love that way. When you know you love someone, just go and love them. Give them your all and do whatever you can to be with them. Rhine does have two loves in this series, but one is her brother, the twin she's been searching for since they were seperated. I love their relationship and how different they've become from each other. My brother is my favourite person in the world and I too am separated from him, but I know the kind of love that never wavers, and DeStefano portrayed it perfectly. 

Seriously though, there is nothing I didn't love about this book. I can't wait for her next series, The Internment Chronicles just so I can get more of her. 

“You have a way of looking at things. You make it seem as though everything's going to be okay. I can't imagine a more dangerous thing to have than hope like yours.” 

“I never wanted to live forever," she says. "I just wanted enough time.” 

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