by Lauren DeStefano
The Chemical Garden # 1
“I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.”
“This time, I don’t know where the light will guide us.”
In the further future our world has changed dramatically. After the third world war there only still existing continent is North America and the rest of our planet was destroyed. But not only the earth was damages, but also the humans: After scientists have found a way to generate ‘super’ babies which are stronger, healthier and life longer, they haven’t thought about the consequences. Because the children of this first generation carry a deathly virus, which kills the females at the age of 20 and the men at 25, no matter how healthy they are before their deadly birthday. In this horrific and unreal world lives the 16-year old Rhine with her twin brother Rowan. One day on her way to work Rhine gets kidnapped and together with 2 other girls she gets married to a rich landlord called Linden, to live with him and her sister’s bride a shared life in his home. But Rhine doesn’t give up without struggle and therefore the tries with deceitfulness to escape her prison one day, which exists of luxury, beautiful dresses and parties. But all she wants is her freedom back…
My thoughts about the book:
At first I had to struggle with the writing style of DeStefano which made it hard for me to get into the story, because partly it was choppy and on the other side some parts of it were too poetic. But after my first troubles it started to really enjoy it. I liked the idea of this book and how everything turned out with this third world war and the virus which affected every human on earth, because I can imagine that such things are likeable to happen in the future (hopefully not the part with the war!). But the part with the scientists isn’t hard to imagine because we are almost so far to decide which eye color or which sex our babies should have. And so it isn’t far to give such babies also other ‘credits’ and benefits to make them better, healthier and maybe less human. I don’t know. But there are some lines in our world and I have the feeling are almost going across that line and that we’ll harm ourselves with that in the future. Some things shouldn’t be interrupted by us, because we are just humans and we are not allowed to play gods. And therefore I like this book because it makes the people think about it and what could become of it.
But now back to the book which I really like except of a few things. The good side of this book was that the story appears authentic and kind of real, though it’s a dystopia. But the feelings which were described in it and how the people would act in a world like this, which such despair, is more than comprehensible. Furthermore I liked how the main characters have acted and how the different characters were described, so good that it was easy to understand their suffering, and misery and all of it their hope for a better future. It was also interesting to see how the relationship between Rhine and her supposedly kidnapper Linden changed throughout the book. It was hard there to just see black and white like in other books, because here were many different shades of gray, which let us see different motives and sides of a story and inspire us to think about it.
And I also got the end I wished for from the beginning of the book, which made me even happier to finish this book, although I’ve feared a completely different ending. What I didn’t like were the facts that there were not much thrilling or exciting moments, and that there wasn’t much happening in the book, although it plays through a time of about 10 months. I guess the reason for it is that all happens mostly in just one place and that Rhine is often just thinking or describing her childhood or her further life with her brother. But I’m sure that will change in the next books and that there will actually happen more in the present and that we’ll get our anticipated moments.
Although the covers are very similar I prefer the English Cover and I like the lines and the different appearance because it gives the feeling for labs and formulas.
All in all:
Good story and good idea but the suspense was missing a little bit. Besides it’s a great book which I really like to recommend further and which makes me longing for the upcoming books.
4 of 5 points
Rhine: ” Eventually I realize that I am holding on to him just as tightly as he holds on to me. And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves. “
Rhine: “I’ll tell you something about true love. There’s no science to it. It’s as natural as the sky.”
Jenna: “Did you tell freedom hello for me?”
# 1: Lauren DeStefano – Wither
# 2: Lauren DeStefano – Fever
# 3: Lauren Destefano – ?..
About the author – Lauren DeStefano:
Lauren DeStefano (pronounced: de STEFF ano) graduated Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2007. Her debut novel, WITHER, the first in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, is out now. (Source: http://www.goodreads.com)
Visit her Website »»