Wither (Chemical Garden Series #1)
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My readers know I love a good dark YA novel and this one does not disappoint. Dealing with themes of kidnapping, forced marriages, human experimentation, and much more, this is well within the realm of dark fiction and I commend the blatant bluntness with which it approaches such topics. After all, not everyone gets a happy ending. Not every story is filled with excessive fluff and the raw emotional destructive reality of this story was what kept me drawn in until the end.
That being said, I was quite disappointed with the pace of the plot. It started off fast. I was actually caught off guard by the way I, the reader, was thrown into the midst of the story, but it kind of tapered off from there. What’s more, it fell into a series of scene repetition. While the events in the story weren’t identical, they had a certain mirrorism with earlier scenes in the book that left the second half wanting for more, original plot points.
Female Character Variety
One of the points I most advocate in YA fiction is non-trope female characters and this is a perfect example of what I’m looking for. The main character, Rhine, is both weak and character. Yet, two other females in the story offer stark contrasts to her personality and her beliefs, and neither are portrayed in a negative light. Thus, the story offers up a variety of options for what a teenage girl can be. For that, I respect and appreciate this story.
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