Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Trigger warnings: This book introduces a character with physical malformations. She isn't treated as a burden, but if this is a touchy area for you, then you might not want to read Fever.

SynopsisRunning 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.

Review: Fever picks up where Wither ended with Gabriel and Rhine running away from the mansion. I have nothing new to say about Rhine as a character, but it was nice to spend a little bit of time with Gabriel away from the mansion. We do get to know a number of new characters. Most notably, there's Lilac. I liked her quite a lot. We also meet her daughter, Maddie, who was born deformed. As noted in the trigger warning, Maddie never really gets treated like a problem by Rhine and Gabriel because of her physical disabilities. If anything, they mention how they're afraid she's going to scream because she's a child and that's what children do. Still, there are a number of scenes where the head of the carnival talks about Maddie like she's a problem. While it's only one side character who really does this, it can still be a problem.

The plot didn't grab me in this book. I was hoping for more considering this story takes place away from the mansion. The carnival was interesting and I liked seeing how they mixed a brothel with a carnival. The carnival aspect was only about half the book and that was the most interesting part. I understand why they sped up Rhine and Gabriel traveling from Florida to the northern part of the US, but I wish we could have experienced a bit more of the world. There is one thing I liked at the very end of the book, but I'll bring that up when I review Sever.

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