Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on February 12th 2013
Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.
With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.
In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.
Where the first book had potential and the second was a hot freaking mess, this third book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy was just a disappointing meh. I can’t say it was worse than FEVER, because that book was a complete disaster, but neither did it have the hope for something good that came from WITHER.
Let me say before I continue: I love Lauren Desteffano. None of this has anything to do with her as a person. I enjoy her other books and series much more than I have this one and as a person I respect her so much. So please do not take this negative review as an attack on her, it’s not. But these books are really just not good.
And now back to the review.
The main character here has become insufferable. All if the respect I had for her disappeared during FEVER. SEVER does a little bit of fix the damage to the character but there’s not much to be done here. She’s just not a good character. She’s whiny and I wanted to see more strength from her than what she had in books two and three.
Our villain is incredibly one dimensional. There’s not much too him other than the fact he’s just bad for the sake of bad. True, he’s a disturbing level of bad, and I did enjoy that more than I thought but I did want to see a bit more character than cardboard.
The plot itself is a little bit all over the place. You’ve got a lot of traveling going on in both FEVER and SEVER and it doesn’t feel like a lot really happens. What does happen is all a little bit weird and not necessarily in a good way. I spent a lot of time going “what the fuck?” and “wait, what?” and having to read some parts a few times. It didn’t help much.
All in all I really consider this series to be a little bit of a loss. If you want a good Desteffano series, skip this one and read her Internment Chronicles instead.
I don’t recommend this one at all, despite the similarities to THE HANDMAID’s TALE (which I love). Go read something else.
What did you think of SEVER and The Chemical Garden Trilogy? Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,