By: Lauren DeStefano

Series: Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1

Published: 2011

# of pages: 368

Quote: "I don't know how Cecily has the energy to cry so much. I can barely muster the energy to move. Just being alive feels so arduous that all I want to do is climb under the covers and sleep. It seems impossible that I ever had the strength even to walk." -Rhine pg. 304

Official description:

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My opinion: I couldn't put this book down! Seriously, I cleaned the house while my kids were awake and then spent their nap time finishing this book. I'm disappointed that the next two books in the trilogy won't be out any time soon seeing as how this one was just published this year. I'll have to wait until February 2012 for the next book, Fever.

I really appreciated the writing style and how the story flowed. It was very natural. The characters are realistic and have conflicting emotions and opinions without seeming flighty or unorganized. The author doesn't force anything on the reader. So many young adult novels are repetitive or have everything spelled out for the reader. Or the main character seems unreasonable. It was refreshing to read a sci-fi novel that is so well written.

It hardly seems like a "young adult" novel. I suppose I need to redefine young adult in my head though. I think it's a great novel for adults to read, the content is mature, but not crude or full of bad language.

Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Well written, realistic characters, unique setting

Other reviews:

Bookfoolery and Babble
Royal Reviews

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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