(WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD)
First thing’s first: MY BABY LINDEN.
Dystopian books always make me nervous because I always know there’s going to be at least one death that will blow you away and leave you speechless. Of course the final book to the Chemical Garden Trilogy didn’t disappoint.
Linden dying was so unexpected and out of nowhere and I honestly didn’t even know how to handle it. From the beginning I loved his gentle, naive spirit and while I feel DeStefano wanted us to immediately fall for Gabriel from the beginning, for me it was the opposite - I fell for Linden with every passing page. He was so pure and innocent and the way his world fell apart in front of his eyes time after time, and yet he still didn’t get a happy ending? Yeah, it was painful to say the least. But nevertheless, I thought DeStefano did a really good job at wrapping up the series in a realistic manner. Aside from Linden dying (and breaking my heart in the process), I really thought this was an amazing trilogy and leaves the story on a somewhat hopeful note, unlike most futuristic books these days, and I appreciated that.
At the end of the day I came to love Gabriel and could find myself being happy that Rhine found happiness with him. But nothing can convince me that she didn’t love Linden too. It was what his life and his father represented for her that I think made it hard for her to ever really accept that she could have a future with him. *crying for the OTP that never really was, or will be again*
(BTW is there even a fandom for this couple, or even these books. Cause if so I wanna be apart of it :)
Back on subject, I was also glad to see Rhine reunited with her brother and finding a father-like figure in Reed to be there for her and her family when everything came undone after Vaughn’s death. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confused about a character as I’ve felt about this guy btw. The first two books I hated/feared Vaughn as much as Rhine. But then when I got to read his backstory in the third book it opens up this vulnerable side to him and then when Linden dies I just felt so bad for him because all his efforts were for nothing, and even he wasn’t able to save his own son. And while most of the time I found myself annoyed by Cecily, at the end of the series I found myself hurting for her the most. She was so young when it all started and she never even had the choice to grow up, she was forced to. And she lost Linden, the only person outside of Rhine who I felt like she could really love, and it was just depressing after she lost Jenna and her second unborn child too.
Which brings me to a subject that I need to address before this rant is over. I’ve seen people complain about the some of the things that go on in the book (i.e. Cecily being so young when she got married and how they portrayed it as ok for her to be having sex and it was like rape). THE BOOK IS A FICTIONAL BOOK PEOPLE, A DYSTOPIAN ONE NONE THE LESS. Yes it’s disturbing in a society like ours because there’s no way we could ever see that as ok. But the whole point of these futuristic books is to show us how ugly humanity could be if certain things, like limiting the life span for example, happened. So people need to stop criticizing the book because of that. DeStefano obviously knows it’s something wrong, there’s signs of that everywhere in her books. She’s not promoting it in any way so stop implying that, please, it’s ridiculous.
ANYWAY. So yeah, pretty sad material. But I mean I know when I start a new dystopian book that I’m going to have to brace myself for heartbreak, it just never hurts any less I guess. Overall though, amazing book, amazing plot if you love dystopian books. Definitely recommend it!