Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Published by Harper Voyager on March 22, 2011
Genres: YA, Dystopian
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Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home—before her time runs out forever.
It’s a dystopian book, I get it, it’s something supposed to be in the future and it’s pure fantasy, but . . . Really? A flood has devastated all but North America, the continent with the most advanced technology. I’m not having a debate about “the continent with the most advanced technology” because there are many discussions about that—America vs Japan—already and personally I think this is not the right place to start a conversation like that . . . Instead, I’d like to make a point for me even more important. If there was the possibility of a case of a flood like that, how could it be possible that Florida and New York—or at least a part of it, Manhattan—would still be around? Uhmm . . . I can’t help it, I have some serious qualms on the matter . . .
Apparently the society has no law, nobody really cares about children, women are kidnapped, sometimes even raped, and they’re forced into polygamous marriages—I couldn’t see an explanation about that—but the ones considered “undesirable” are killed. Nice, huh? And in all this there’s no way of an intervention of a single authority. BUT there are rich classes and then poor ones. Who does decide who’s rich and who’s poor if there’s no law at all? Any thoughts?
Despite this disturbing story world, I have to say that at first I thought the story was interesting and I liked the writing style. But after a while I started reading slowly not only because of what I previously said, but even because I couldn’t find a connection with any of the characters and this bothered me a lot. What to say about Rhine in particular? First she seems to be a very strong character, she knows what she wants more than anything and she’s determined to obtain her freedom and see her brother again and acting like she cares for her husband seems the key to reach her goal. But during this process it looks like she starts for real to feel something for him . . . And then you seriously start to feel confused and have no idea of what she really feels. To be completely honest I don’t think she has a personality at all.
I had big expectations from this book and that was a huge mistake because now that I’ve read it I feel so incredibly disappointed and I personally believe this is a book that you hate or love, there aren’t half ways.