Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) Wither discussion


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Kristen Did anyone else have trouble believing the premise of this story?
I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, but I did. But there were a few things that I found...a little out there.

First of all, the global scene. Now, I give credit to DeStefano for even attempting to address the rest of the world, because so many dystopian authors don't bother, but it was a little silly. The whole world, aside from North America is under water because of a third world war? What would possibly cause the continents to sink in that scenario? Even if it was believable, Europe and Asia are much more likely to be the remaining continent(s) for sheer size alone.
So, that was a little goofy.
But the fact that in a few generations, people barely even know the names of other countries? Really? I found myself rolling my eyes whenever there was something like "a country called China" or "have you heard of Japan?".

Second, why do people who know diddly squat about science, insist on using science as an explanation to whatever situation we supposedly find ourselves in in a century or two?
Why are people in this book dying at 20 and 25? I'm no scientist, but I know that people aren't perfectly healthy and then magically turn into a time bomb at a given age.
Realistically, if people were destined to die young because of some genetic predisposition, there would be signs - many many signs - before hand.
I could believe that maybe the genetic manipulations produced an overabundance of progeria. But there are obvious physical symptoms of that disease.
If you ask me, it would be alot more believable if people would drop dead at ages that might be different for everyone. Or that every person would have their own unique set of problems that may or may not be fatal.

But okay, supposing that all of that made sense, the whole societal situation is a little far fetched too. I could see the situation happening - of girls being kidnapped off the streets and kids being left to fend for themselves young and therefore becoming easy victims to alot of different people - but I find it hard to believe that it would be so....normal and accepted. That there wouldn't be any attempted governmental protection or condemnation of those things.

Also, why would it be so common for girls to be kidnapped as brides when the country is in the state that it is? Sex slaves or some other twisted purpose, sure. But brides?
Linden believes that Rhine and the other girls came from orphanages where they were trained (or at least expected) to be brides, and wouldn't that make more sense?
Financially, it would be alot cheaper for the ones securing brides.
And in such a dire situation like that, where kids would easily freeze or starve to death, you'd think they'd be glad to sign up for something like that. So you wouldn't need body guards to keep your brides.
And why kill the girls they didn't sell? If there's no retribution for them to fear by taking the girls, there's no reason to kill them when they didn't sell them. Seems like a waste of bullets....

And I think Linden was a kind of ridiculously naive. He's 21, not 13. He gets out into the real world and really should have some idea of the way things are. You'd think he would at least wonder about the state of his brides when they first arrived. Why would three girls who spent their lives dreaming of being the wives of rich men, arrive the way that they did? And why would they try to escape? Even Rose, who loved Linden, tried to escape. The most naive person in the world would put 2 and 2 together, but Linden doesn't....

I don't know.....anyone else have these kinds of thoughts?


Eleanor I think Linden is naive because he was raised that way. He has been coddled and pitied and petted all his life. His father 'loves' him, but Vaughn's idea of love is 'protecting' his child from the outside world. Linden has no idea that bad things are happening right under his nose because he is not allowed to see them. And maybe he doesn't want to. He's not exactly the bravest of hearts, is he?

And I think they shot the girls to stop them telling. I mean, even with the country in such a state, the government surely wouldn't ignore girls being bought and sold like slaves. If they're dead, however, they won't notice. These girls were chosen because they had nothing, had no one to miss them. And maybe they're called brides to look more 'normal'. The irch and powerful are saying "Look, the country is in a mess and I'm going to die in 3 years, but I'm carrying on with my life!"

Hope this helped and that I didn't miss the point entirely :) xxx


(Liene) I must say, the first book made me have the same thoughts, but in my opinion, things are explained very well in the next 2 books. It is still one of my absolute favorite series. It really does make a lot more sense if you read on, the world building continues.


Eleanor Lieniitte wrote: "I must say, the first book made me have the same thoughts, but in my opinion, things are explained very well in the next 2 books. It is still one of my absolute favorite series. It really does make..."

Ah right, I've only read the first one. Are the other two as good?


message 5: by (Liene) (last edited Jan 31, 2015 01:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

(Liene) To me they were really good!

I didn't expect a lot of the twists it took, though some were to be expected. The first and third books were the best, at least to me. The second was still a 5 star read and I read it very, very fast, but the third one really shocks you quite a bit in some moments!

I've read many series since then, yet this one somehow seems to come to mind every once in a while and I'm sure I'll be reading it again sometime. :)


Eleanor Good!
I know sometimes sequels are disappointing do I just wanted to check.
Yeah me too! I've had Wither for less than a year but I've already read it twice. x


message 7: by Kristen (last edited Feb 01, 2015 04:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristen Eleanor wrote: "I think Linden is naive because he was raised that way. He has been coddled and pitied and petted all his life. His father 'loves' him, but Vaughn's idea of love is 'protecting' his child from the ..."

I understand that Linden was raised to be naive, but he acts as if he's never been out of his bubble before.
He goes out. He takes Rhine to parties and who knows how much he took Rose out and where they went. He talks to people and has exposure to reality.
And I'm sure Rose talked to him about real things every once in a while.

Also, he understood that Rhine was trying to escape even though everyone was telling him she wasn't. Which tells me he has the capacity to think for himself and see things that his father doesn't want him to see. I'm guessing he knew that Rose tried to escape as well.
And why would someone try to escape if they're where they always wanted to be?

I just think he's a little more naive than realistically he should be.


And I think they shot the girls to stop them telling. I mean, even with the country in such a state, the government surely wouldn't ignore girls being...

Rhine says that there are no more police. Only private detective that rich people can hire. And if these girls were chosen because there's no one who cares about them, then there'd be no one to hire detectives.
And I'm assuming that if the government had a problem with girls being kidnapped to be sold off to whoever could pay for them, it wouldn't be so commonplace that it happened. Yeah, it probably still would happen, but in this book, it's basically the way society functions. When Rhine is at that party, she notices that all the other wives are prisoners just like she is.
Also, I think that a big pile of bodies would be more problematic than a bunch of girls saying that they'd been kidnapped and then let go, when they would have no way to identify their abductors.


Kristen Lieniitte wrote: "I must say, the first book made me have the same thoughts, but in my opinion, things are explained very well in the next 2 books. It is still one of my absolute favorite series. It really does make..."

Unless everything Rhine knows turns out to be wrong, I don't really see how anything could be explained to make sense.....I'm going to finish the series though, so I guess I'll see.


(Liene) I could answer your questions and talk about what you're thinking about, but I don't want to spoil anything. But things are explained by the end. Personally, though I had a very strong hunch as to how it will turn out, I liked the ending. It was quite logical. Still, many twists were unexpected!

I liked how by the end I was quite attached to the characters. I really felt strongly for them.
I know some people don't like the ending, but I do.

When either of you finish the series, I'm interested in knowing your thoughts! :)


Kristen Well, that makes me nervous....lol I want to ask why people didn't like it, since I hate wasting my time....but I don't want spoilers...hmmmm


(Liene) Honestly, I don't know why, because it was logical. The only thing I didn't like about the ending was that I wanted more. It was logical, but I would have liked to see maybe a bit more than the author gave of what was ahead. Everything was resolved, but I guess there was one thing that some people felt like they weren't told and they would have liked to know. Though to me, even that made sense and I saw only one outcome. Really hard to say what about without giving spoilers. :D But it really was a logical ending. What happens after the ending, after the epilogue, wasn't exactly confirmed with specific words, but it was explained in the epilogue, making it quite clear enough for me. :D


Kristen Hmmm....could go either way for me, lol
I hated the endings of the Delirium series and the Divergent series, but I don't get why people hated the end of Mockingjay....so I'm not really a crowd follower on hating these things....I guess I'll see. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done :)


Kristen ************SPOILERS COMING********************
DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.




Ok, having finished the series now, I maintain most of what I said in my original post.
I realize that the world is not quite in the state that Rhine originally believed, but it's still a little ridiculous to have removed the rest of the world from the people's collective memory to the point that they barely even know the names of other countries. And I still don't buy the idea that there would have been so much destruction as is still presented by the end of Sever. Or as much national isolation.

The explanation for the 'virus' is really weak in my opinion. It made for an interesting and urgent problem for the sake of the story, but realistically it doesn't make much sense.

I still find it unrealistic that the basis of society is founded in girls being kidnapped in mass for the purpose of becoming brides. The theory about picking them out of orphanages makes much more financial and ethical sense.
And am I the only one who sees the enormous story problem with the fact that Vaughn didn't just keep Rhine for himself and his research from the beginning and/or have Rowan pulled off the street when he found out about him?
Linden had no reason to be attached to Rhine so early, and considering how naive he was, he could have easily been made to believe some lie from his father to explain why she was not a suitable bride. Especially given the readily available excuse of the condition we learn about Jenna. He could have said that was Rhine's issue instead.
And if Rowan was so easily manipulated (which I also find unrealistic) why would Vaughn waste his time using him as a distraction and risk the possibility of losing him to some 'demonstration' gone awry? Also, telling Rhine he had Rowan there either willingly or not, would entirely eliminate her desire to escape.
Just makes the entire story feel pretty forced.

Also, I still say that Linden was much much too naive in the beginning. Even when he begins to come around and see the truth, he's still kind of....slow. After everything, he realizes the things his father has done and the kinds of things he's capable of, he's just ready to head on back (conveniently) by the time Rhine returns from Hawaii.


I did enjoy the story overall, but there are alot of problems with the plot in my opinion.
And the fact that after everything, Rhine ends up right back where she started from, kinda makes the whole thing feel pointless and circular.


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