Monday, April 4, 2011
"The Chemical Garden Trilogy: Wither" YA Fiction ~ For Adults, too
Publisher: Simon & Schuster: Books for Young Readers
Ages: 14 and up
Summary from Book Cover:
"In the not-too-distant future, because of genetic engineering, every human is a ticking time bomb--males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. To keep the population from dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted--except freedom. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape Before It Is Too Late."
With author Lauren DeStefano, there is hardly a moment's breather from the time you read the first to the last sentence of "Wither." This novel is fantastic. Her writing style is beautifully suited to a young adult audience, but I also found it mesmerizing as an adult, as well.
Ms DeStefano's storyline is well-conceived, and she deftly executes it without flaw, presenting a book that melts away so that time flys by. I simply could not tear myslef away from it, and I didn't want it to end when it did. This is a rarity for a reader who is used to mostly adult fiction.
Not since Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale," have I read such a believeable dystopian novel. Lauren DeStefano brings us into a futuristic society whose population has been chemically altered with horrifying results. "Wives" and servant-workers are blackmarketed by slavetraders called "Gatherers," and discarded undesirables are eliminated. Young people of 2nd and 3rd generations of chemical/genetic altering have become victims of scientific efforts to extend life. Many become orphans and fodder for the Gatherers who supply 1st generations with human replacements.
Our own youth obsessed society is not so distant from this mindset when we consider our society's interest in plastic surgery and prolonging life, not to mention the attempts to find ways to put off old age all together. It was, obviously, this youth-centeredness that caused the mishap that set the chemical disaster into motion in DeStafan's novel... a warning to all of us.
Ms DeStafano is so adept at creating her characters that they live. Told from the perspective of Rhine, who is her narrator and primary female character, we feel as if we are actually living in the moment. The "sister wives" are individuals, not shadow people, but girls we come to know and cherish. And, Rhine's love interests illicit complex, mixed feelings that mirror her personal struggles, as well. Genius writing causes one to long for more in the Chemical Garden Trilogy.
My recommendation is to buy this book immediately. It's a fantastic read for the weekend, or for a couple of days when you need a good novel. Your daughter will love it and thank you, too.
Personally, I'm anxious to find out when the second book in her series is coming out. Lauren DeStafano is an author who will capture a following. She has a bright future. Her trilogy is going to be a collection for your library.
And, by the way, isn't the cover design artistic and beautiful?
Your Bookish Dame/Deborah
Posted by Deb at 8:23 PM