Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano (ARC)

Title: Wither
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy 
Book #: One
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: 2011
Source: Star Book Tours

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left. (taken from


This is one of those novels that keeps you up late at night. Thought-provoking concepts are thrust into the light, and topics of death and freedom are brought to the surface. Rhine's world has a depressing and claustrophobic feel to it. The execution of the plot and setting is brilliant. Even though the story is a bit strange at times, I feel that Wither is a worthwhile read. 

DeStefano created amazing characters. I loved the relationship between Rhine and her two sister wives, Cecily and Jenna. They started out as strangers in a desperate world and were brought together after being kidnapped by the Gatherers. As the novel progresses, their relationships become more complicated and deeper. It was almost beautiful to watch. 

The plot was incredibly complex. In place of action and adventure, most of the story takes place in mind games and secrecy. If Rhine ever wants to escape the cage that her father-in-law has built, she has to play the role of the perfect wife. 

Another heart-wrenching part of the plot was Linden and Rhine's relationship. At first, I hated him for making Rhine become his bride. Then, as Rhine and I got to know him more, I realized that he was never the villain. I began to feel sorry for him. 

Overall, Wither is a powerful read. What would you do in Rhine's shoes? What do you truly believe in? And what are you willing to sacrifice? These are all questions that I asked myself while delving deeper and deeper into Rhine's world. If you're interested in a dark, riveting read, then I'd recommend checking this one out when it releases on March 11. 


Amber said...

I've got this one but I'll be reading it a little closer to its release date. So glad you loved it and the characters were great. Can't wait to get started!

Camila said...

Hi, I love your blog and your tips!
If you want, pass on my blog. I love to write a lot and I hope you like my stories.I am Brazilian and my texts are in Portuguese. Well, you can translate. I dont know if the translation is good, but I think you'll understand something.

My blog (rain of dreams):

if you want, you can comment !

Ashley said...

I'm jealous you got to read this one! It's definitely on my waiting list!