Book Review: Wither by: Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Publish Date: 22 March 2011
Origins: Publisher for Review
Format: Hardcover
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy: Wither (1), Fever (2)

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.

I seem to be reading a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels recently. I find that I either love or hate each one that read, there hasn't really been any middle ground. I think that this book is very dark, it has a gothic feel to it, even though it's supposed to be set in more of a futuristic society. That made for a very good juxtaposition and I also found it sort of entrancing. I started this book in one night and I finished it the same night.

I had to get past some of the dark and twisted things in this novel such as the shooting in the beginning, the way the whole world works really, and then the pregnant thirteen year old. I know all of these things sound like "What the hell did you read this for?" but I really liked that the author wasn't afraid to get into the nitty gritty of her world.

I enjoyed Rhine the most. I loved the fact that she never lost sight of what was important and she kept her goals in the forefront of her mind the whole time. I can get behind a women who knows how to persevere. I am really entranced by this novel and can't wait to read the next one in the series. 

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  1. I loved this one too. I have also been reading a lot of dystopian lately...must be in the air. And I have to agree with you, I'm a love them or hate them reactionary too. Like this one loved it...then Bumped, hated it. Great minds and all I guess.

  2. You're right - it did have a Victorian/Gothic feel to it. It seemed Linden was "courting" his three wives.

  3. I really enjoyed this book as well and couldn't put it down. I'm interested to see what the author does with the next book in this series. Great review!


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