Over at Lauren DeStefano’s blog, she’s having a giveaway for ARCs of the first two books in her Chemical Garden Trilogy! Now, this is special because book two, Fever, isn’t out yet. It doesn’t even have a cover image yet! (Hence Lauren’s lovely artist’s rendering in the photo.)
I absolutely loved Wither, which is the story of a girl named Rhine who is kidnapped and forced into a polygamous marriage at just 16. In this world, men only live to 25 and women to 20, so they’re expected to get married young and start popping out babies until they find a cure that will make people live full lives again. It’s a really fascinating, dark, seedy world, but Rhine is such a bold character, and I love how she struggles to escape but also forges a strong bond with her sister-wives. You can read my full review of Wither here.
If you want to enter the giveaway, visit Lauren’s blog here to find out how.
Wither is the first book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano. I’ll admit I was skeptical when I first read the summary on the back of the book: one generation’s attempts to stop aging have backfired. The First Generation succeeded and will live nearly forever, but their children will not. In any subsequent generations, men only live to age 25, women to 20, before succumbing to an uncurable virus. Teenage girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages, with the intention of creating enough new children to keep the human race alive and to experiment on, to find a cure.
And this is a YA book? I wondered how this book was going to handle such dark themes, and worried that it was going to turn into one of those bullshit books where the kidnapped victim ends up falling in love with her captor. But I was absolutely wrong. DeStefano has done an amazing job with this book. It’s dark, don’t get me wrong. It’s very dark and does deal with some pretty frightening themes. However, I found myself totally enthralled by this book. Our narrator, Rhine, is separated from her twin brother Rowan when she is kidnapped by men who provide wives to wealthy men. She is then bought and forced into a polygamous marriage along with two other girls. Once married, they live inside a luxurious mansion, where they have everything they could ever want – except their freedom.