Series: Chemical Garden #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 22, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, YA
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?
What I thought…
- The details on this book are spectacular. Seriously, even if you have zero interest in reading this book, go to the book store and check it out. Open it up, look at the cover page and even the copyright page!
- I know that people have had issue with the polygamy aspect, and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like Wither because of it, but there were so many other, more sinister, things going on that I really didn’t pay any attention to it.
- Wither is very… different. But that’s a good thing! It held my attention throughout the whole book. DeStefano created a world that is truly different, and creepy. You have to be open-minded about it though because even for a dystopian it’s pretty far fetched.
- Nothing is as it seems. Nothing!
- I enjoyed Rhine, I thought she was a pretty strong character, but definitely up in the air about how she feels about stuff.
- I really liked Jenna (her sister wife). I’m not really sure why, but I know I would have liked to have been in Jenna’s head more than Rhine’s.
- I did not like Cecily (her other sister wife). Cecily annoyed me to no end. I don’t know if DeStefano intended for her to be that way, but quite often I wanted to smack her upside the head. (Note: I was more bothered by Cecily being 13 than by the polygamy.)
- Housemaster Vaughn creeped me out from the beginning. (Note to Webster’s Dictionary – creeped is a word, everyone says so.) He has become one of my favorite villains. You don’t really learn too much about him but he is one creepy, scary, I-don’t-want-to-be-alone-with-him kind of guy.
- I liked Linden more than I liked Gabriel, but I think both of them are naïve. Gabriel just didn’t do it for me, but since I’m not reading the book for the romance I’m wasn’t that bothered by it. Linden seemed a lot more interesting, albeit clueless.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading Fever