Wither (Chemical Garden)

Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano I love the premise of this story. It is an unusual YA story and not typical in that genre at all. The world in which Rhine inhabits does not need much explanation to find it dangerous and desperate. The author does the set up for this world well. And although you do feel the horror of capture with Rhine and the other girls, it does not last nor do I feel it as confining as I should; however, it is still not a world in which I would want to live.

With this story, Rhine finds that her nemesis, Housemaster Vaughn entirely creepy, and I would agree. I think he was the perfect villain in this story. His experiments were secret and he had the true control over the household and the wives, not her husband, Linden. However, and this is where I part from others who loved the book, I wanted that mystery solved. I wanted that tension and horror in my book. Instead we had more of Rhine bumbling along trying to escape. On one hand, it makes sense. What else would a 16 year old want more than freedom? On the other hand, the mystery and danger was held by Vaughn and what her husband would or wouldn't do to defy his father is what I wanted played out here. Plus, I had many scenarios in my head as to what was really behind Vaughn's experiments and the cryptic warnings Rhine received from the other sister-wives.

I do realize that this is a trilogy and so my answers may lie in the other books. I just think my disappointment lied in the ending which seemed reminiscent of the Handmaiden's Tale. I just wanted it taken further, but perhaps I will find out why it was taken in this way as the Chemical Garden winds through the other 2 stories.

I give this book 3 stars. I have parts of this book I'd really like to discuss, but won't since it would be huge spoilers within the plot. I obviously found the story interesting and often I did feel like I was on the edge of my seat for much of the story waiting for the dangerous act. Perhaps that is why I was disappointed in the ending. However, I will be looking forward to the other books and see where I am taken and what lies in that basement where Vaughn toils away.