Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Goodreads Summary:"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."
Wow, this book is VERY unique. I was very captivated when I started reading this book. Sadly enough though, throughout the whole thing, I felt like there was a dark, heavy cloud hanging over my head as I read the story. This book was very gloomy and depressing, but still very good (if that makes sense!)
The sister wives' connection was very relatable. I loved Jenna's character. She was the older, wiser, and more serious out of the sister wives. Cecily, the young and naive one, was really annoying throughout the whole book. I didn't like her one bit. I hated how she was always all over Linden's face and trying to make him favor her over Jenna and Rhine. I just didn't like her. Rhine, however, was very likeable. She was definitely a flip-flopper though. What I mean is, she constantly forgets why she is at the mansion, which I didn't like. I think she should have stayed true to herself. I absolutely LOVED Rhine and Gabriel's relationship. I think they were best together, where they could be themselves without hiding any secrets. Linden was alright. It bothered me how he knew barely anything, when he was the House Governor's son. Now the House Governor, Vaughn, was just downright creepy.
The plot was clever and creative. It scares me to think that this could very well happen in the future... Which would be downright terrible. You can tell that this book is set VERY far into the future though, because it mentions that most continents don't exist anymore, except for North America (meaning that the polar ice caps melted and the sea level rose to an alarming altitude). I definitely think this book is mostly about.. women slavery. The way that Vaughn is the captor behind all of it makes it all the more creepy. And how he takes the dead bodies and dissects them, trying to "find the antidote" in order to make the men and women of the second generation live long like the people in the first generation.
THE ENDING WAS AMAZING. It was the ending of the book that made me absolutely have to love Cecily for what she did for Rhine and Gabriel. I loved how DeStefano sets the escape in a blizzard, it most definitely makes it more anticipating for the readers. Overall, I loved, loved, loved the book very much. I have to say that this book is NOT recommended for younger adult readers, however. It's very harsh and I think people have to understand the concept of slavery to understand this book. But, I cannot wait for book two of The Chemical Garden Trilogy!