Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: March 2011
ISBN: 9781442409057
Source: ARC sent by publisher

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)

When Rhine is kidnapped and forced into a marriage with a man who has three other wives, she little expects to find any pleasure in the rest of her short life.  In her world, women live only until 20, while men live until 25, due to an unknown virus.  She only has four years left, but being trapped and at the mercy of her husband's creepy father is not how she wants to spend that time.  Little by little, Rhine develops relationships with those around her - her sister wives, a serving boy, even her husband.  Will she ever find a way out or will she decide that this life is not so very bad?

Things I Liked:
I thought the portrayal of Rhine's relationships and the changes she experiences throughout the book were really interesting.  DeStefano has taken a potentially horrifying situation and made characters that you should despise into relatable, sympathetic, real people.  I loved how those relationships were built over time and not instantaneously, like many romantic YA books today.  The writing is simply fantastic, each scene and place described in vivid and sometimes horrifying detail.  The future world's technology and situations are (for the most part) quite believable and well-realized.  And that ending really made me want to know what happens next!  An interesting and fairly unique dystopian debut.

Things I Didn't Like:
The one detail I had the hardest time accepting was the virus that kills people at specific ages.  I thought it was a little too much of a convenience for the story.  I just couldn't believe that there would be something so specifically able to target a person who suddenly reaches a certain age.  However, the dressings on the story and the beautiful exploration of relationships easily distracted me from that distraction.

Matched by Ally Condie

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
XVI by Julia Karr

s-factor: !
some, not a lot

mrg-factor: XX
Nothing too descriptive, but because they're married...

v-factor: ->
mostly off-page and creepy, but not outright violent

Overall rating: *****

I've seen lots of reviews for this one, both positive and negative. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. This is one of those I know I'm going to hate but will read anyway.

  2. I didn't expect to like this one, but I agreed to review it because of the fabulous cover. I was completely amazed to find such an intelligent well-written book inside. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Jenny, ha! That's hilarious. I have those same books too. Hope you find something to like...

    Caitlin, I know! I was very impressed with the writing and development of characters.

  4. I just finished this one and I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a page turner and I can't wait for the 2nd book to come out. Great review!

  5. samantha, I'm excited for the second book too - I think it will be really different!


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