Saturday, April 13, 2013

March Book Club: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

We read the first book in DeStefano's trilogy and then the second one together, so it was fitting that we finished off the series as a book club as well.

After everything she's been through - losing her brother, being married against her will, escaping from Housemaster Vaughn's clutches, losing Gabriel, and being recaptured and tortured - Rhine finds herself back with Linden and Cecily. She still plans on finding her brother, Rowan, and trying to regain a small sense of her life like it was before everything happened. As she fights to fulfill her goals, Rhine has to decide who she can trust and whether Linden, Cecily, Rowan's uncle Reed, and even Vaughn himself, will ultimately help or hinder her along the way.

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What we thought:

Jenn N.: Sever exceeded my expectations. DeStefano succeeded in overcoming the sophomore slump that was Fever. Of course I expected Rhine's trek to find her brother to be harrowing but Sever was full of twists and turns that I did not see coming. I also loved the growth in Cecily's character. In the prior two books I found her nothing but obnoxious but here she really stepped up to become more mature than her years with varying results. I'm still trying to decide whether her boldest maneuver was brilliant or tragic. The only thing I didn't like about Sever was that the tidy ending was a bit rushed. Regardless, it was a great, thrilling, and suspenseful read.

Rachelyons: This is my favorite YA dystopian series after The Hunger Games. Like Jenn, I loved Cecily's growth. I hated her in the first two books but grew to love the woman she became. I also loved Madame and the new less threatening side we got to see of her. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book :) I also felt like it was rushed at the end, but I feel like that with most last books in a trilogy. It's like Rhine is just chillin with Reed for half of the book and then all loose ends are tied up in the last quarter of the book. But overall I think this series is original and addictive and I was thoroughly satisfied with Sever.

Rebecca T.: I was not a fan of Fever, so I was a little nervous to get to Sever. However, from the beginning I was intrigued. I too loved Cecily. I wasn't so antagonistic toward her in the first two books (I even wished that she had narrated part of Fever), but I loved the progression of her character and, like Jenn, I am still torn over her most daring maneuver. However, I thought it fit perfectly into the arc of her character. I adored Reed. What a great addition. I do agree with Rachel that it seemed like Rhine spent a little too much time just kind of hanging out with him, but she was also recovering from both her time at Madame's and the experiments in Vaughn's basement, so she needed time. Plus that meant we got more of Reed :) I also really liked the development of Linden's character and the way DeStefano dealt with his and Rhine's relationship. Overall I liked the complete story arc and Sever definitely redeemed the trilogy for me.

What did you think? Did  you like it? Who was your favorite character?

This month we're taking another break from YA and checking out Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette? Feel free to read along with us and check back to let us know what you thought! (Rebecca T. here - I just started this and I am LOVING it! My manager at work wanted to know what I was laughing at on my break :)

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