Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 358 pages
Series: Book One in the Chemical Garden Trilogy

 By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to created a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows all she can do to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens to her a magical world of wealth and illusion she never though existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she if safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape -- before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

"Wither was creepy, elegant, and overall, a great dystopian novel. Lauren DeStefano has writing talents that are beyond amazing!"

I wanted to start reading Wither so I could prepare for the sequel, Fever. And after I read the last word on page 358, I knew that Lauren DeStefano had created a great first book.

First, the writing style. Lauren DeStefano's voice is so gorgeous. It was so beautiful how she described everything in this masterpiece, yet very frightening, world that she has created. Lauren DeStefano is a gifted writer, and she's a debut author!

Next, the writing style. Rhine is one of the best characters I've ever read about. She's determined to escape this horrible, trapped life that she now has to get back to her brother. Yes, she did have her moments where she did like Linden, her new husband, but she always reassured herself that she has to get back to her brother, Rowan. Jenna and Cecily, her sister wives, were also excellent and well-developed characters. Jenna was always the shy one who knew that she didn't want this life, and Cecily is the type of girl who thinks that this life is so wonderful. Linden is another great character, and I despise his father, Housemaster Vaughn. He's such a wicked and twisted human being! But Lauren DeStefano did an incredible job with her characters.

Then, we just have the storyline. Males living until 25, with women until 20? This novel was pure and original. Everything that happened in this book was well executed.

Can we talk about the ending? No spoilers here, folks, but I will say, I did not expect the the last three chapters of the book. This ending was on my mind days after I read it, and I just couldn't get enough of this book.

Overall, Wither is a great novel that promises to be the beginning of an excellent trilogy. I can't wait until Fever comes out!

My Rating:


  1. Fabulous review! I've read Wither, and I agree, those last 3 chapters were really... action-packed! I'm also excited for Fever. :)

  2. Every now and then, I try reading a new author and hit pay dirt. This was definitely one of those times. This book keep me turning pages until the end and I don't think it gets any better then that when reading.


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