Late last year the amazing Kathy from A Glass of Wine had the idea for a Team Linden/Team Gabriel post to celebrate the release of Fever by Lauren Destefano. Because if you've read Lauren's amazing debut, Wither, you'll know it's a sequel you ought to be excited about!
So today I'll be defending Team Gabriel. And because Kathy just likes outdoing her own levels of awesomeness, she made this fabulous Team Gabriel button! (See? She secretly must be Team Gabriel! :P). Make sure you check out her incredible post after mine and then enter the giveaway!
Gabriel...Gabriel lived in an orphanage throughout his earlier childhood, but at least he still had freedom to venture outside, see the ocean. At the age of 9 he was sold in auction and has lived as a servant in the Vaughn mansion ever since. Gabriel is a beautifully sweet boy, who you can only hope will find happiness. He listens. He cares. He may not be able to take Rhine out on flashy dates or buy her expensive gifts, but his small gestures to make her feel special touch your heart that much more. Sneaking June Beans in napkins because he knows how much she likes them or arranging her breakfast into the shape of a boat or the Eiffel Tower - freedoms they can now only dream of. Despite how dangerous it is, he steals any moment he can just to share a few words with her. A smile or an uncertain kiss. It's a sweet, tentative relationship. A single rosebud amongst a tangle of suffocating weeds. Two beaten souls who find hope in one another and that is ultimately what Rhine needs - hope. How can Linden offer that when he doesn't understand just how much she needs it?
Linden...I won't say Linden is a monster, because despite his actions, he really is just a pawn in his father's cruel games. Linden is a gentle young man, kind and compassionate but his beliefs are twisted. His father has raised him sheltered and fragile, feeding him only the information he deems fit. And so Linden doesn't understand the wrongness in kidnapping these girls to be his wives. The things he does may seem sick in theory, but Lauren has crafted such a layered character who you can't help but pity on. But that's the problem - you pity him. I really want to see him break out of the cocoon his father has wrapped him in, but right now, he just isn't strong enough to be with Rhine. They wouldn't be equals and Linden's naivety prevents him from understanding the past Rhine has endured and how trapped she feels in the present.
Rhine...Rhine needs someone who is willing to brave the scary and terrifying world outside. Someone who will fight beside her, encourage her and fuel her own spark of hope. She can't share with Linden the life she's lost, the brother who was ripped away from her, but she can with Gabriel. And she can't just forget these parts of her life. They make her who she is, they urge her to keep on surviving. She is such a strong heroine whose spirit remains unbroken despite the horrors she's faced. She needs a partner who doesn't turn a blind eye to what is happening around them, but someone smart enough to acknowledge what's wrong and brave enough to join her.
And Gabriel is that choice. A forbidden one, a dangerous one, but one she had the freedom to choose for herself. It's beautiful and tender and real. It wasn't born out of fear or a calculating move to try escape, as was her relationship with Linden at first. Rhine and Gabriel sought comfort from one another and quickly found a kindred soul. And that is why you should all be throwing June Beans at Linden and chanting the tune TEAM GABRIEL! TEAM GABRIEL! TEAM GABRIEL!
Now go over and read Kathy's amazing post for TEAM LINDEN! Okay, so I'm 100% Team Gabriel, but I'll admit she is ridiculously good at swaying you to the other side... BE STRONG! *pins Gabriel badge to your forehead*
Want to win a copy of Fever, the sequel to Wither? OF COURSE YOU DO! Kathy (aforementioned girl who is 21324x awesome) is giving away a copy from The Book Depository. Meaning it's open INTERNATIONALLY. Read both our posts and submit your entry by 27th February for your chance to win!