Title: The Chemical Garden Trilogy (Wither, Fever, Sever)
Author: Lauren DeStanfo
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books
Genre: young adult, dystopian
Page count: Wither – 358; Fever – 341; Sever – 371
Synopsis from Goodreads for Wither: 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?
One word will sum up this series: haunting. It’s been a few years since I’ve completed this series and still this story sticks with me. I think when they were published, there wasn’t too much talk about them and there should have been! This series is severely underrated! The characters I thought were very realistic. The plot and world building were both done fantastically. And the story is one you remember because I felt at the time and still feel that it’s so different from many of the YA dystopian books available.
This was Lauren DeStanfo’s debute series and I think her writing is just beautiful. It’s so elegant and delicate that it makes the story (even some of the harder parts to read) very easy to read.
The reason I gave this series 4 stars is because I did feel in some parts of Fever and Sever the story drug a little. It was a tad bit slow in parts. But I feel it’s because Lauren is just so detailed in her writing that she really paints an intricate and elaborate picture.
If you haven’t read this series and want something a little bit different than the normal doom and gloom dystopian, I highly recommend you pick this series up. And be sure to watch for Lauren DeStanfo’s newest book coming at the end of this month (Oct 24th) The Glass Spare.
Below are links to purchase the books through Amazon.com. If you use the link below to purchase this book, I do receive a small compensation as I am an amazon affiliate.