The Chemical Garden #1
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Released: March 22 2011
Number of pages: 358
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
My ReviewI was dying to read this book since a couple of months, as I've read lots of good things about it so, when I found it used in a bookshop, I had no doubt about buying it.
In the future, life will last only 20 years for women and 25 for men; this will happen because of the evolution of science and medicine, who have found a cure against all the diseases.No one could have thought that their children would have lived only for 20-25 years instead. So, the richest exponents of the society,they always choose among groups of girls, kidnapped by hunters, those who will become their wives. Rhine has been stolen to his twin brother for this reason: become the wife on the governor Linden; Will she accept her destiny or will she rebel against her captors?
Isn't the blurb magnificent? When I've read it I was so captured by the synopsis that I started the book as soon as I bought it. For being sincere, the beginning disappointed me a little. I mean, I expected there was more action and twists in the book but, conversely, the story proceeded very slowly. Fortunately at the end I finally found myself completely concentrated on the story that I couldn't put the book down.
What I found very positive in the book was:
-First of all the incredible ability to write of Lauren DeStefano; I loved how she had developped the whole book, because even if slowly, it was very well written. What I enjoyed particulary about her writing style was the harshness with which she described the scenes.
-The characters' description, I loved them all ! It was amazing because they all have peculiar personalities and even if they are completely different in some aspects they are forced to live together.
*Rhine, she was the protagonist and I appreciated that the author had always expressed her feelings and emotions. She was a strong girl but sometimes she seemed so fragile; the desperate condition in which she is located, leads Rhine to hate everything around her but at the same time sometimes she let herself free from this hatred, in needing of a family as a reference and a bit of affection.
*Jenna, was certainly one of my favourite character! She was also a strong woman but she was resigned to her destiny, as all of her sisters were killed by the hunters; by the way, she was always there for Rhine and she helped her finding a way to escape from that reality, even if that cost her her life. I loved her sensuality and the way she used that quality of her to deceive people around her. Yes, her death was a shock to me! :')
*Cecily, I really have twisted feelings about her, just as Rhine had. She was a fourteen girl who was raised in an orphanage, where everyone taught her that being the wife of a rich men was everything she could ask from life. She immediately got pregnant and enjoyed the circumstances in which she was, as she will never understand the horror that was around her. She was so tender sometimes because you could clearly understand that she needed someone desperately, but at the end of the book I hated her behaviour!
* Linden, maybe this could sound like completely wrong, but I would love to see him and Rhine together!! Maybe this is because I was not particulary captured by Gabriel's character; Linden is the victim of his father and he basically lives in a world of lies and falsehoods. He would never know what his father is doing in the basement and he will never enjoy freedom, a life away from his father.
I think that Linden and Rhine in other circumstances would have been perfect together!
What I would have loved to see was a more detailed description of Gabriel , who was certainly a special guy but actually, there is not much of him in Wither. Conversely I still feel so attracted by Linden and I love his moments with Rhine.
I just can't imagine how he will go ahead without Rhine?!
The book's finale didn't make me think about a sequel, because that seems like the perfect "happily ever after". By the way I can't wait to read "Fever", 'cause I'm so curious about how Lauren DeStefano will continue this promising trilogy.
And you? Have you read Wither yet? Are you planning to read it? What do you think about the problem Linden/ Gabriel?
Until next time,