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Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (Chemical Garden, #1)Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: Chemical Garden #1
Pages: 356
Date of Publications: 22nd March 2011
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 limted time she has left.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book. It is awesome. It is just so good. I loved it. I think everyone should read it. It's amazing.
Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I needed to tell people how good it was without actually telling you anything about it, apart from the fact that it's awesome and I loved it. And that took me way longer than it should have, but there we go.

Wither is the debut novel from Lauren DeStefano, and an amazing one at that. It is a YA Dystopian, which is one of my favourite genres of all time. One of the best things about it is that every single dystopian book I have read is completely different, because the future could be absolutely anything. I love how authors can come up with completely new and impossible things, but because of the future setting, it makes complete sense and it seems pretty believable.

In DeStefano's future, every woman dies at the age of 20, and every man at the age of 25 (How unfair, I know ;P). Therefore, teenage girls are precious, and get carted off to become the wife of a wealthy male needing children to keep their family going. Rhine doesn't want to be a bride, but she has no choice, and like thousands of other girls, she is to become the first wife of a wealthy man, and her new husband is called Linden. Even though he's just lost his first wife who he loved, he quickly falls for Rhine, but all Rhine can think about is getting away from the sprawling mansion and return to her brother.

Lauren DeStefano is an amazing writer. The world she has created is so unique and clever, and written with just the right amount of everything needed to weave a good tale. The settings were weird and wonderful, the characters were people you could actually imagine.

While I loved Rhine, the secondary characters were extremely well written too. I especially loved Cecily, one of Rhine's sister wives. She's thirteen years old, and she goes through a huge transformation in the book. At the beginning she's just a child, happy and bubbly, and then... I won't tell you, I don't want to spoil it for you! And Linden is sweet and caring, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him when all Rhine could think about was leaving...

Everything about this book was amazing. I loved every word on every page, and I was hooked right from the beginning. I don't think there is anything about it that I didn't like. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me panic and it made me smile. I cannot recommend this enough, it was just so awesome. I can't wait to read the sequel if there is one, and if there isn't, I will definitely look out for anything else written by this incredible debut author.

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

2011 Debut Author Challenge #7
2011 e-Book Challenge #7
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #19


  1. Fantastic review! I love your detailed argumentation and your character analysis which I always consider really helpful. I often need to like the main characters to like a book. You are so right, DeStefano created an unique world. I didn't like Wither as much as you did, but I see great potential for its sequel:)

  2. Having avoided dystopia for years I'm starting to seek it out now and this looks awesome - great review!


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