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?This dystopian is creepy as all get out. It really is. After reading it, I don't remember what I went into it expecting but I know that it wasn't exactly what I read. I found Rhine to be interesting because she managed to keep Linden at arms length even though she was the one he spent the most time with. Their relationship was interesting. Her two sister wives were such polar opposites but it did feel like they each had their niche in the house. What bothered me most was that Linden would have chosen a 13 year old girl as one of the wives. But in their future, it seems that they have fallen back on the historical belief that younger wives are better. I also had a hard time believing that Linden saw none of his father's evil. He did not even stand up for his rights to his own son. I can't believe that he could be so blind. Vaughn is evil as crap. No joke. He made me want to puke. Gabriel was really my favorite character because even though he doesn't remember what freedom feels like, he's willing do whatever it takes to make Rhine happy and so that they can be together. He is so sweet and caring that it is hard to believe that he has survived so long in the house with Vaughn. I need to read the next two books just to see how it all pans out because there are so many loose ends that need tying up.
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?
You can click here to find the Chemical Garden Trilogy on Goodreads. Lauren DeStefano can be found on her blog, Tumblr and Twitter. She also has a Facebook Fan page. I give Wither 4 Fairies for an interesting read that was nothing like what I thought it would be.