Hardcover, 358 pages
Published March 22nd 2011
by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
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.
I am eager to continue the journey with Rhine and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy.