Published February 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|248 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia
Time is running out for Rhine in the conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.
With time 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, and she takes refuge in his dilapidated house. However, 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 on 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.
Sever! I think I liked it, but I’m actually not too sure how much I like it. Definitely not as much as the previous two books, and this one is my least favorite, for reasons we’ll get into.
So, not surprisingly, Rhine- and her brother- are very, very special. Because of their eyes. And I didn’t really get why that made them special. Or the cure, and how it actually cure people. People in the U.S., because apparently, everyone else in the world was fine. Oh, Hawaii was seemingly fine. Maybe because they’re an island? It all seemed weird, and the specifics weren’t there. I definitely wanted more of an explanation than what we got in the book. It just didn’t make sense to me, and it seemed like it wasn’t that important to explain, which is weird, considering that’s what the book is about. It sort of felt like the whole world DeStefano created in the first two books was a little bit destroyed in this book…and not in a good way. Everything I liked about the first two books were gone in this one.
I also felt really confused about the romance. Linden, at times, seems to be falling for Rhine, and other times, he chooses Cecily over and over. I didn’t get Rhine’s jealously of Cecily, especially considering she didn’t appear to have feelings for Linden. And her relationship with Gabriel seemed a little off to me. It felt like he was just there, and if Rhine had to be with someone, I kind of wish it were a new character, so she could have a fresh start. And her grief over Linden felt out of place. Maybe his death made her realize how much she cared for him, but with everything that’s happened over the course of the series, it was a little hard to believe. It was the same with Cecily, but with her, it was slightly easier to believe. Still, everyone grieves differently…
Vaughn is easily the most interesting character in the whole book, and he really overshadowed everyone else, in terms of development. He’s definitely villain-adjacent, but his was the only story I was actually invested in.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting with Sever before I started reading it, but after reading it? I’m pretty sure what I was expecting wasn’t the book we got. I wanted to like it, but I think maybe I lost interest in the series.
2 stars. It was okay, and I wish things made a little more sense to me.