Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Hardcover, 358 pages

Published March 22nd 2011

by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Wither series

The Chemical Garden #1


 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.


I was blown away by Lauren DeStefano’s intense and vibrant world that she created, in what has to be one of the best dystopian debut novels I have read this year.  Her writing talent is that of a seasoned pro. She has a way of drawing you in and not letting you go which, will place her among the best authors that YA have to offer.. 

This book deals with so many different taboos in our society such as polygamy, teen pregnancy, rape, kidnapping and death. Yet I believe DeStefano did a wonderful job of keeping within the realm of this world and the harsh realities she is trying to portraying in this novel. Even though this is a disturbing world every thing comes across as believable for a world trying to survive and find a cure for past mistakes.

 Her characters were extremely believable, none more so than Rhine the lead protagonist. She is strong and has the force of will not to give up on her hopes and the belief that she will be free. Rhine will not let herself succumb to the fate that she has been dealt unlike the other  two sister wives.  I have to say I loved Jenna and I wished we could have learned more about her and her life before coming to the mansion. There was so much more behind all of her aloofness and you knew that she looked after Rhine  in away that she would have probably did for her own sisters. Although she chose a different path than Rhine I still felt that she was an amazing character because she chose to face her fate and accept it. She chose to play a role in order to not die alone, hungry and with out the comfort that this lifestyle could give her. I can not say that given the same options that I myself would not have done the exact same thing.

 I am eager to continue the journey with Rhine and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy.


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