External Links: (Author Page) (Book Page)
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Summary (from GoodReads):
What if you knew exactly when you would die? Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
DeStefano's writing is good. That is the first thing you will see when you pick up this book. Good in that she is able to effectively draw you into the world that she's created. A world where women have fallen so far down the social food chain that they've become commodities all over again. A thing to be taken and used for a purpose rather then loved and cherished. You can really understand the way that Rhine has hidden herself away. How dark and frightening her life was before she was captured. I could always imagine Rhine and her brother staying up all night in an attempt to keep Rhine from being kidnapped. How their house was completely closed off except for the basement. How people who aren't rich are living lives that are wrapped around not being kidnapped and barely surviving one day to the next. And, those that are rich live lives are amazingly privileged in more ways then just money and food. Rhine's husband, Linden, is so sheltered in his life he believes that being his wife is all that Rhine has wanted to be.
From the moment she arrives as Gov. Linden's wife, one of four, Rhine has decided to run as far away from her new home as possible. But the longer she stays in her prison the harder it becomes to leave her sister wives. Escaping her father-in-law's ever seeing eyes also becomes difficult for her. By the time I hit the last 1/4th of the novel I was as ready as Rhine was to make her escape. PLEASE woman LEAVE was basically how I felt. For the love of pete stop crying about leaving and LEAVE. I know that escaping for Rhine is hard considering that she had to gain trust in both her husband and her father-in-law in order to even make it outside of her home. But, still. I just wanted Rhine to run away by the end of the novel.
Writing aside I still have no idea what The Chemical Garden is. Absolutely none. As a novel, not apart of a series, I have to say that Wither is a wonderfully well written novel. As a trilogy it's still to be seen just where DeStefano will take her main character Rhine. I mean I read 351 pages and I still can't tell you what the Chemical Garden is, is not very good for a novel that's apart of a trilogy. The second book, Fever, comes out in February 2011. I will definitely be picking it up.