REVIEW: WITHER by Lauren DeStefano

WITHER: The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStafano

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1 edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442409053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442409057
  • Rating: YYYY1/2
  • 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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


    REVIEW

    When I first saw the cover to WITHER I was immediately drawn to it. It seemed beautiful and haunting enveloped in a mystery that beckoned me to read the story that was within it's pages, demanding all of my attention. Then as I began reading WITHER I was held captive and unlike Rhine I did not want to escape.

    It has been days since I have finished WITHER and it is still on the forefront of my mind. I don't think that story has had this hold on me in a long while. I appreciated the story conflict of a society's youth never growing old, never seeing their children grow up and always knowing when they would die. I could not even fathom how I would react knowing that information, then compound it with how women are callously treated during that time. WOW. It is a bit brutal and disconcerting, but I could not stop reading.

    Rhine's anger and resentment from being ruthlessly abducted from her twin brother and forced into marriage to a wealthy family was believable and honest. I appreciated and understood her need to escape and reach her brother. It did not matter that she would leave the life of riches behind, for what is luxury and privilege when you don't have your freedom, when you cannot see your family or love whom you wish to? Another appreciated storyline is Rhine's camaraderie with her sister wives Jenna and Cecily, their relationship was endearing and heartbreaking and created some of the best moments in the book. While Rhine's relationship with her husband, Linden seemed odd, it wasn't as odd as her ultra creepy father-in-law housemaster Vaughn. He sets the perfect mood of mystery and conflict that provided Rhine with a perfect vessel to direct her hate.

    Despite my adoration for this story I did have a slight issue with how the last few pages of the story went. I cannot divuldge much without giving away the story, but It is something that I cannot wrap my brain around. It seemed a bit too simple, too easy considering everything prior to that point.

    I believe that there are two types of exceptional storytellers. One can narrate a story that is so well visualized and entertaining that you become immersed within it's depths, carried away into the story that is being told while the other is able to have intelligent well-crafted scenes, dialogue and structure with a strong sense of timing and rhythm. When you have a partnership of both types then you have something truly remarkable like Lauren DeStefano has created with WITHER.

    Fans of Dystopian novels will find WITHER to be a great read for it is original and enthralling and for anyone else seeking an amazing read then you need not look any further.

    9 comments on "REVIEW: WITHER by Lauren DeStefano"

    Rebecca Herman wrote: November 8, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    All the reviews of this book are making it SO HARD to wait for March! I'm dying to read it.


    Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews wrote: November 8, 2010 at 1:58 AM

    OMG!!! That cover is gorgeous!!!! Love it...and that's another book on my wishlist!


    Sadie wrote: November 8, 2010 at 5:10 AM

    This book is sooo going on my wishlist!:D
    Thank you so much for sharing!


    thatonegirlyouknew wrote: November 8, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    On my list as of now! Thanks!

    Buffy


    Kulsuma wrote: November 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Can't wait for this to be released! Great review:)


    Miss Bookiverse wrote: November 9, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    I so can not wait for this. The cover and the title are just so beautiful.


    Icedream wrote: November 9, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    I love dystopian lit so thanks for the heads-up. I will definately be adding this book to my wish list.


    Deepali wrote: November 12, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    What a positive review! I do know what you mean by endings that are simplistic - I find that several authors take shortcuts with the story ending when their page limit is being met ;)


    Vivien wrote: November 12, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    I cannot wait for this book to come out. The cover is amazing. Plus I just love dystopian books so that's a plus. What a great review. I'll be buying this ASAP.


    Post a Comment

    I would love to see what you have to say :)

    “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

    Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

    Tales of a Ravenous Reader

    My Photo
    Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the YA books that I adore.

    Grab My Button

    Email Twitter RSS Feed

    Contact Me

    I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
    nancy has read 0 books toward her goal of 125 books.
    hide

    Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

    I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

    2014

    JULY

    MAGGIE STIEFVATER
    Books Inc. event at the Alameda Free Library
    Wednesday, July 23 @7:30pm

    MAGGIE STIEFVATER

    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, July 24 Time TBA

    Not YA but a favorite author of mine
    DEBORAH HARKNESS
    Books Inc. Palo Alto
    Tuesday, July 29 @ 7pm

    ERIKA JOHANSEN * The Queen of Tearling

    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Tuesday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm

    DEBORAH HARKNESS-THE BOOK OF LIFE
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Wednesday, July 30 @ 12:30pm

    DEBORAH HARKNESS

    Copperfield's Petaluma
    Wednesday, July 30 @ 7pm

    AUGUST

    RACHEL DEWOSKIN
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Monday, August 4 @6pm

    GAYLE FORMAN, NINA LACOUR & JANDY NELSON
    Books Inc. in San Francisco
    Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm

    ANN AGUIRRE, VERONICA ROSSI and CORRINE JACKSON
    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Friday, August 8 @ 7pm

    SEPTEMBER

    SARAH J. MAAS and VERONICA ROSS
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Friday, September 12 @ 7pm

    WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN and MARK HUNTLY PARSONS
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Wednesday, September 17 @ 7pm

    GRETCHEN MCNEIL and ANNA CAREY
    Books Inc. San Francisco
    Thursday, September 18 @ 7pm

    OCTOBER

    LAUREN OLIVER
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Thursday, October 2 @7pm

    LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

    RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
    Fox Theatre in Redwood City
    Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

    CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

    Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
    Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

    GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT

    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

    What I am Reading Now

    and this too.....

    BOOKSTAGRAM

    BOOKSTAGRAM

    Follow by Email

    Followers

    Rating System

    ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

    ♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

    ♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

    ♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

    Would not recommend

    DNF=Did Not Finish

    Blog Archive

    Blog Stats

    Blog Designer