Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bookshelf Tours #1 ~ The Chemical Garden Books

Welcome to my new feature! The last time I reorganized my bookshelf, I realized that hardly any of them has been mentioned on this blog. The books are just there. They're not being read or used in any way, so I decided to feature one book (or series) each Sunday. I read almost all of my print books before I started reviewing and this is a way to briefly spotlight them and share some quick thoughts on them.

All books featured are books I've read from my physical bookshelf.

The Chemical Garden Trilogy 
by Lauren DeStefano

Book #1
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?
Rating: 4 stars
Read: 2011
Average GR rating: 3.86
Would I reread it? Possibly

Quick thoughts: 
Awesome cover
Very interesting world
Premise executed well
Wasn't a big fan of Linden
 Kept my attention the whole way through

“‎I have always been fascinated by the ocean, to dip a limb beneath its surface and know that I'm touching eternity, that it goes on forever until it begins here again.”

Book #2
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Read: March, 2013
Average GR rating: 3.81
Would I reread it? Probably not

Quick thoughts: 
Not as good as first
Very, very unlucky main character
Liked Rhine and Gabriel
Quite a strange read

“Do you know what my father used to say?" I ask her. "He used to say that songs had a heart. A crescendo that can make all your blood rush from your head to your toes.”

I haven't read Sever yet, but I'm looking forward to finishing the series. I really like the story told in the books, and I think the world is a cool and different one.

Have you read these books?


  1. This is a great idea for a feature. I sometimes feel bad about not reviewing books, especially if they are not too well-known, so featuring titles like this seems like a helpful thing to do. I'm glad you liked Wither, even though Fever succumbed to sequel syndrome, and I hope Sever concludes the trilogy on a positive note. I haven't read any of these novels, but I agree that their covers are eye-catching. :)

    1. I really hope Sever will conclude the series well, too. Thank you. :)

  2. I read both Wither and Fever a while ago, but never really got the urge to read Sever.
    Loved looking at this!
    Em @

  3. I read Wither and Fever as well, but Sever not yet. I really liked Wither, but Fever was such a disappointment. I felt like nothing happened in that book. I've heard Sever is better again, so I hope that's true!


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