By Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 3
My Rating: 4 Stars
Sever is the third and final installment of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Trilogy. And what a conclusion this book is for this immensely engaging series. I was extremely satisfied with the conclusion of this story. DeStefano has created a memorable albeit disturbing story with this series. It’s sure to be one of the most recommended YA series for me in the coming future. While I will admit, I’m a bit behind the curve ball in reading this series as it’s been out for several years. I still think it’s worth recommending because of it’s uniqueness. So many YA books have come out in recent years, how could one possibly read them all, some are sure to fall through the cracks. The Chemical Garden Trilogy is one that took me a while to get around to reading it. It’s a definite departure from the insta-love that so many YA series have. There is more of an authentic connection for Rhine to those of the opposite sex. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it romance because it’s so much more than that. I’d rather call it closeness and friendship. There is depth to Rhine’s relationships that you don’t find in other YA series I loved how Rhine stayed true to herself and what she believed in.
Rhine has finally escaped the clutches of her father-in-law, Vaughn. Having taken refuge with an unlikely ally, Reed, Vaughn’s eccentric brother, Rhine is trying to move past what has happened to her and focus on finding her brother. But Rhine is haunted by the people of her past. Constantly thinking of Gabriel and how she left him behind without a word, simply disappearing into the night. And being connected again with Linden and her sister wife Cecily. Rhine wants nothing more than to get to Rowan before he reaches a place he can’t come back from. But when Rhine finally catches up with him, the brother she finds isn’t the brother she left behind. The Rowan standing before her has secrets and insists he knows things that challenge everything Rhine thought she knew about the world and their parents. It will take everything in Rhine’s power to look differently at the world she has always thought she knew and when she gets to the end, she may not recognize herself or those around her.
Wow, this book took me for a serious ride. Can you say plot twists? This book was absolutely full of them. It seems every page turned revealed something new about this crazy world that Rhine and Rowan are a part of and can’t seem to escape. Just when I thought I knew what was going on and where the story was going, something happened or was revealed and I found myself completely confused and blown away. I found myself going back and rereading whole sections of the book just because I was so blown away. Now I’ve reread sections of books before when I was confused but very few books have made me go back and reread because I completely missed something and caught on a bit later and found myself saying “Wait!!! Hold up!!! Did that really just happen????” Yeah, I did that at least three times in this book. DeStefano didn’t disappoint with this thrilling conclusion for her Chemical Garden Trilogy. I think what I liked most about this book and this series is that while the story felt complete at the end, there was so much mystery still behind the world they lived in and I found that to be intriguing and addicting. I would love to see more books made about this world. Maybe not these characters but maybe 20 years down the road. How has the world changed because of the events that occurred in these books. What happened to the characters? Did they survive or did the next generation have to take up their fight? It would be a fascinating read. Here’s hoping. Overall, a great YA series. I highly recommend this series to adult readers as they will find this series intriguing and fulfilling just as much as younger readers. They may even find they get more from it than some younger readers. Check it out.