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

book reviewing-01

severTitle: Sever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #3
Date(s) read: February 18, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)


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 thoughts-01

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this series. I absolutely adored Wither, the first book in the series, but felt oddly indifferent about the second book, Fever. Of course, once I’ve gotten 2/3 of the way through a series, I kind of have to finish it just to see if the final book will redeem things.

I’m still really not sure what to think about this one. I was eager to get back to Rhine’s story and see how it all panned out, but it almost fell flat like Fever did for me. I felt like there was a lot of the same things going on in Sever as there were in Fever — lots of nothing. I wanted lots of something, but didn’t get anything. 

Certain issues, or loose-ends, were tied up by the end of this story, but other things still confused me. I didn’t understand the reunion between Rowan and Rhine — honestly, I expected more from that. With Rhine being someone who constantly questioned and didn’t just accept someone at face value, I didn’t expect her brother to immediately fall in with the wrong crowd. And speaking of that wrong crowd, I felt like I wanted more of a struggle against them. Instead, we’d have one character go to this place, with the other character ALWAYS being a step ahead of them. It really got annoying at times.

I did really enjoy Linden and Cecily in this story and found that when they were in a scene, the scene was ultimately better than it would’ve been without them. While Cecily may have gotten on my nerves in previous books, she’s grown up quite a bit and it was such a joy to have her in the story so much. And Linden … *swoons*

I also am still not totally convinced about the romance in this story. I don’t want to give anything away, but I really didn’t see the whole “romance” idea being necessary. I also felt like the whole story was tied up a little too neatly. Things lagged around a bit, and then other things happened way too quickly, and then it just ended. I have to say that I wasn’t feeling the satisfaction I wanted to feel by the last page.

Of course, that’s not to say that I’m not still interested in checking out what Lauren will write next. I still think she’s a very talented writer and I look forward to seeing what other ideas she may have.


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15 thoughts on “Review: Sever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #3) by Lauren DeStefano

  1. I feel like I’m one of the few people who really enjoyed this one! I think it was because I was SO disappointed with Fever (even though I think I still gave it four stars?) that I was glad to get back to super-creepy Vaughn as the villain instead of some random, outside situation.
    I was not a big Linden person until Sever and his character finally started to grow on me! I always saw a little something in Cecily, but I really liked the person she grew to be in this book.
    I agree with you, though… There weren’t enough things tied up at the end of the book (Like, helloooo it’s called The Chemical Garden trilogy.. let’s hear some more about that?) and I was really disappointed with the reunion of Rhine and Gabriel, actually, because for me, it just happened way too quickly.
    Great review!! Loved hearing your thoughts!!

    • I guess it was better than Fever … for me, I loved Wither the best. But I do like a creepy Vaughn! He just seemed a step ahead every time. And I never thought about the title and how it’s never really explained … thanks for pointing that out!

  2. Hmmm, I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for Sever, and you know I just get kind of bored with books where nothing happens, so there’s that. I might have to keep holding off on this book for a long time, as I don’t have time for a book that’s not getting enthusiastic reviews.

  3. I keep putting this book off. Like you I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the series and I’m not sure I’m going to be impressed with the ending. I know I have to read it eventually, just to finish it off but there are so many more books that are just so much more interesting to me.

    • I completely agree. I think I was in the momentum, so I read it. Meanwhile, with a series like Delirium — I love it, but I’m still scared to read the last one!

  4. All of the reviews that I have read for pretty much every book in this series are pretty “meh” It seems everyone teeters in the middle. They don’t HATE them but they definitely don’t LOVE them either. It’s too bad because they have some pretty covers!

  5. I felt a bit like you I think… I love the author’s writing, but the story itself wasn’t as engaging as I would have hoped so. I still appreciated most of the characters, but it lacked a bit of action. I’ll still be curious to see what she comes up with next!

    • Oh, I totally agree with you … I think Lauren’s a wonderful writer, but this story just fell flat. I’m very intrigued to see what she comes up with next!

  6. The first book was sort of just “meh” to me, so I didn’t continue on with the story. I didn’t really find any of it incredibly interesting, maybe just because there wasn’t a whole lot of action in it.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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