Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wither (Chemical Garden, #1) - Lauren DeStefano

*Rating:* 5 Stars

"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."

My Thoughts:
       This was such a beautiful, yet horrific book. Rhine was the ideal main character. She was extremely courageous to be able to endure what she had to go through. Rhine didn't just sit around and mope about how sorry her life was, similar to her sisterwive Jenna. No, she didn't let herself give in the the idea that this is what her life would be from now on and that there was nothing she could do about it. She WORKED for her freedom. She put on a show, making everyone believe she was okay with this new way of life while in reality, she was working on a way out.
        Naturally, there was a love triangle. Now I know lots of people are sick of them, but I believe this wasn't like any other love triangle. Linden and Gabriel both love Rhine. But Rhine only loves Gabriel--so it seems. I personally preferred Gabriel. Not because I thought Linden was a jerk, because he really wasn't. At first, I was inclined to hate Linden. Who wouldn't hate a man who kidnapped young girls, made them travel in a fashion similar to those of the Holocaust victims, practiced polygamy and got girls pregnant at 13? But as it turns out, he really didn't know about the kidnapping and such. Now, I still didn't like the whole multiple wives, and pregnancy thing, but what can you do? He treated his wives gently, and I feel as though he did feel SOMETHING for them. It was his father who was the problem. So desperate to find a cure for the disease (it made women die at age 20 and men at 25), he did anything he could. Even experimenting on Linden's wives. Which I believe was the reason he had so many. I was quite happy when Rhine and Gabriel got away at the end, and am looking forward to the next installment of the Chemical Garden 


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