Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Chemical Garden Book #1
Genre: Dystopian /Young Adult
Review Copy Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
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 limted time she has left.
This is classified as a Young Adult book but i would push it towards the older young adults. The book is beautifully written, it kept me reading with the way the words flowed and the situations grabbed my attention and kept me looking for what would happen next. The whole Polygamist thing definitely made me cringe, the underage (13 year old) having a baby was a bit hard to swallow and I wasn't expecting to like the book because of it but the way it is laid out with woman dying at 20 and men at 25 I understood where the author was taking the book and the issues the virus has caused in people trying to keep the population up and to find a cure. Rhine goes through quite the internal conflict with wanting to get out of her situation but not wanting to leave her sister wives alone, or wanting to hurt her "husband". Another issue I had was something I have heard in other reviews, Rhine is supposed to be the first wife yet she is in the house/marriage for almost a year and she is the only wife who hasn't had to consummate her marriage or bear a child (the reason why she was kidnapped in the first place) For some reason she was spared while the 13 year old was impregnated, yet she was the most favored wife??? It just seemed a little odd with everything that was going on. It was a good read and If you want a shocking and thrilling tale and dont mind some disturbing situations you will enjoy reading Wither too.
I gave it 3/5 stars