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all hearthfires & holocausts

eating books. bleeding words.

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R.J. Palacio
The Chaos of Stars
Kiersten White
LeighAnn Kopans
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John M. Cusick
The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
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Cyndy Aleo

Wither (Chemical Garden)

Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano For such a 'scandalous' concept and for all its attempts at drama and intrigue, I found Wither to be incredibly boring.I never really felt connected to Rhine, or became invested in her story--or anyone's, for that matter. For all DeStefano's attempts to make Linden a sympathetic character and, I assume, set him up as the eventual third point in the love triangle, I was completely creeped out by him. Sorry, maybe he didn't know everything his mad scientist daddy was up to, but he was still super cool having three wives--one of whom is THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, AND HE PROMPTLY KNOCKS UP.Ew.There's no redeeming that. If I was supposed to let it go because his behavior is normal for that society, then I don't feel there was enough setup to warrant my acceptance. Not only that, but he went from grieving over the death of the love of his life, to 'falling in love' with Rhine--who happens to look a lot like the former Mrs--in 0.2 seconds. THAT'S NOT CREEPY AT ALL.On the other side of the spectrum, Gabriel was basically a non-entity. He was a cardboard cutout character, two dimensional at best. I never felt any chemistry or was given any foundation for the supposed connection he and Rhine had.Added to that the evil genius Housemaster Vaughn who's pretty much killing everyone everywhere to find the cure to stop people from dying? Idk. It was just a mess. From about 30% on, Wither is just chapter after chapter of repetition, the only difference Rhine's gradual softening toward Linden...you know, the guy who was cool with his dad buying random girls--sight unseen, mind you--to be his wives/sperm vessels? But he sketches super pretty houses and sometimes takes her to parties and dances with her SO HE'S FINE, GUISE. DON'T EVEN WORRY ABOUT IT. HE MIGHT EVEN BE A LITTLE HOT WITH HIS PALE CHEST AND HIS TEARS AND HIS DELIBERATE OBLIVIOUSNESS TO HIS RATHER OBVIOUSLY EVIL FATHER. TEAM LINDEN! There was so much Try--trying to make it scandalous and shocking for the YA genre, trying to make it mysterious, trying to make it sad, trying to make it unpredictable--that it became incredibly boring and transparent. And creepy. Very very creepy.I don't normally write such harsh reviews, but this fell flat for me in every single aspect.