Tricks and Tips

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: "Sever" by Lauren DeStephano

Hey everybody!!!

      So I decided to read "Sever" by Lauren DeStephano. "Sever" is the third book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy, which is a very popular New York Times Bestselling series. It's more of a science fiction/dystopia novel, with a little sprinkle of romance, but not enough romance that you get confused DeStephano with Sarah Dessan. Overall, the storyline is set in the future in North America; the United States, east coast specifically. It's a time where major diseases/biological problems, such as cancer and asthma, have been eradicated. However, when scientists found the cure to these biological problems, they somehow created a super mega-virus that kills people young; girls die at twenty and boys die at twenty-five.

     The story follows a young girl named Rhine. She is a twin to her brother Rowan. They identical and both have two different colored eyes; one brown and one blue. They're the children of two brilliant scientists who have died in terrorist lab explosion. Rhine and Rowan still live in their old home in Manhattan, struggling to survive in a world filled with death and despair. One day, Rhine attempts to earn some money after answering an ad looking for bone marrow transplants. However, the ad is a trap, and the ad's answerers are rounded up and sold off as brides. Rhine, a young girl named Cecily, and an older young woman named Jenna are sold off to the Asby family, where all three girls are wed to a depressed man named Linden.

     Linden was once a very happy man, but his wife, Rose, had recently fallen ill to the virus. Linden's evil father, Vaughn, had attempted to prolong Roses' life, but to no avail. The series follows Rhine and her desperate attempts to escape the Asby mansion, always trying to return home to her brother Rowan.

     Overall, I loved the Chemical Garden Trilogy. It was unique and exciting and intriguing, and I frequently found myself wondering how difficult life must have been, knowing that you would meet your death inevitably at twenty. It's actually pretty terrifying if you think about it. Actually, scratch that. Don't think about it. I don't want to give anyone scaring nightmares that will last forever.

     I really can't give a good review of "Sever" without spoiling the book, and I don't want to ruin anyone's fun because people have spoiled the endings of stories for me, and honestly, it's worse than getting a splinter in your foot. However, I WILL rate the overall series considering I finished it.

RATING: 8/10
The Chemical Garden trilogy WAS fantastic. It had a very unique topic with some interesting plot twists. However, the book itself is not fantastically written. It's a fairly easy read, and it lacks any symbolism or foreshadowing. The characters are very intriguing and do pull you in, but I wasn't overly broken up after some specific characters died. The book sometimes left me thinking. IT HAD FANTASTIC CLIFF HANGERS. Right when you think all is well, BOOM, it's not. DeStephano did a very good job of creating suspense. I highly recommend to anyone, even if you're not a huge fan of science fiction. Give it a try.


FAVORITE MALE CHARACTER: In "Sever", probably Reed. He was very whimsical and down-to-Earth, an extremely loveable character.

WOULD I REREAD: Most likely not, because the plot really deteriorates if you know what's going to happen

RECOMMENDATIONS: I would recommend to anyone 13 and up. There ARE a few mature themes throughout that I would not think would be appropriate for ten-year-olds. It's a young adult novel for a reason. Even if you're not into disease/science fiction, it's a wonderful series. Please, please, PLEASE give it a try. DO NOT READ IF SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION OR IF YOU RECENTLY LOST A LOVED ONE.

I hope you guys will enjoy the book challenge with me!! I love it so far!!

xx Meg


Friday, January 3, 2014

Costa Rica in Pictures

Hey everyone!
So I finally managed to download all of my pictures from camera to my laptop, and I came across my Costa Rica pictures from spring last year! :)
It was such a fantastic trip. I went zip lining for the second time in my life (which was the most exhilarating thing I've ever done), visited a hummingbird gallery, traveled to a coffee plantation, went horse back riding, hiked to and swam in a waterfall in the jungle, swam in hot springs, hiked a volcano, and watched a dance/singing performance at a local, Costa Rican elementary school. It was SO.
Anywho, looking at these photographs brought back countless memories, so I thought I'd share :)
Hope you enjoy!!

xx Meg