Sever - Lauren DeStefano
This one's hard to rate. I keep wandering from the fourth to fifth star, because while I really enjoyed it and loved how it closed the trilogy, there were things I felt were passed over somehow or that didn't make sense in the context of the novel.

I LOVED that DeStefano balanced the tragedy of her world with happy moments. Oh, I loved it, especially after the weight of the second installment, which kind of felt like a gigantic cat had just parked itself on my chest and wouldn't budge, no matter how many treats I tempted it with. The relationship between Cecily and Rhine was a bright light in this dystopia--something I really connected with, and I really loved seeing more of here. And on the topic of Cecily, her character was beautifully fleshed out and developed. There was such beauty and attention to detail when it came to characterization (well, this was always one of DeStefano's strong points, but I felt it really shone here), and it made the novel all the more engaging.

There were, however, a couple scenes where I felt cheated. Cheated out of emotional potential, or just scene time in general. like the twins' reunion, Linden's death, and Rhine and Gabriel's reunion at the end. I just . . . feel like they were supposed to feel HUGE but ended up feeling so brief, explained in a couple of paragraphs. Maybe for shock factor, but I just didn't feel the emotional attachment to these scenes--places where I should've wanted to cry and scream but didn't. Don't get me wrong, what she had was well-done, it just didn't feel . . . done enough! Or maybe it was overdone. Like overcooked steak, and I wanted it rawer, more juicy, more REAL. Less dry somehow. This is all, of course, personal opinion.

All in all, a very satisfying conclusion to a very haunting, dark, and lovely trilogy that will stay with me for a long time (in its actual form and as a source of inspiration). DeStefano is a master at crafting beautiful prose, and I can't wait to get these books on my shelves permanently. :)