Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

(The Chemical Garden #3)
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Hardcover, 371 pages, Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Dystopian

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.

My Review

Rhine is in a bad place… again. And I don’t really understand why.

So this book starts out where the second one left off and (slowly) moves on from there. Rhine and her “husband” and sister-wife move in with Linden’s uncle in order to get away from Creeper McCreeperson (aka Vaughn). The whole time Rhine is saying that she wants to find her brother and her friend Gabriel, but she never does anything about it. Never! She just lets everybody push her around and it got soooo annoying.

Like Rhine, all of the characters got on my nerves. I found absolutely zilch of them relatable, empathy-worthy, likable, etc. Even Cecily and her kid’s relationship was fantastically annoying! Rowan, Rhine’s brother, was gullible and oblivious. Linden was a wimp. Rhine was a pushover. The only character I can say that I in any way liked was Linden’s uncle, but he didn’t even really do anything throughout the book.

The plot of the story was pretty much nonexistent. For over half of the book the gang’s just sitting around when Rhine should have been out there looking for her brother. Oh, and don’t even get me started on her disturbing relationship with her brother. JUST TALK TO HIM, RHINE! Good golly! If you would just communicate, then maybe so many bad things wouldn’t happen!

Also, whenever the characters actually managed to do something—and I am using the word “do” loosely in this case—everything just seems to magically fall into place: “Oh, you need to find your brother? Well, let’s just listen to the old radio and… Oh, what do you know?”

The only positive I can come up with in this book is something that happened towards the very end. I thought that scene really gave some power back to one of the characters, but it was so abrupt I couldn’t even digest the monumental scene properly.

All in all, I don’t know what happened to this trilogy. I thought the first book was a beautifully written, disturbing view of a seriously messed up future society, but something went incredibly wrong with the last two books. So if you’re looking for a young adult dystopian series to get you through your Katniss withdrawals, I’d say look far, far elsewhere.

*Note: I purchased this book myself.


  1. I totally agree with your review of this series.The first book was so good I threw the second and third in the trash. They were terrible. I was floored by the books. I as so excited waiting on part 2 and then threw it across the room. Very disappointing!!!

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