Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Released: March 22nd, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #1
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Bookstore
Edition: Hardcover
Page Amount: 358
Age Group: Young Adult

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 create 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 to do all she can 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 her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought 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 is 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?

You know you've read a good book when, after reading several other books, you are still left thinking about that certain books and everything about it. That is what is happening with Wither.

It is no secret that I love dystopian books. Some of my favourite books include The Hunger Games and Divergent. I have wanted to read Wither since the first time I heard about it, before it even came out. For whatever reason, it has been sitting on my shelf for years and I had yet to get to it until recently. I now know what I have been missing out on all this time.

I really enjoyed Rhine as a main character. She was strong-willed and very relatable. She wasn't like the other strong young female heroines that are in Young Adult novels these days. She was somebody that I could see living next door to. I thought that her reactions to her situations were very realistic. I also liked her relationships with the other characters, especially Cecily and Jenna. I really enjoyed Jenna's character, and I wish that we could have seen more of her through the novel. I found Rhine and Rowan's sibling relationship very realistic and I could feel Rhine's love for her twin through the whole novel. I found myself rooting for certain characters (although I won't mention which ones). The 'love triangle' in this novel (if you could even call it that) was not the typical one that you find in most novels. The situation that Rhine is put through makes the situation much different that makes the love story not comparable to ones like Twilight.

The plot of this novel is unlike any other novel I have read. Even in the dystopia genre. Yes, it does have similar themes to novels such as The Hunger Games, but it is so much different. DeStefano wrote about subjects that you don't find in a lot of modern day fiction novels (such as slavery and polygamy). These subjects were written flawlessly, making the situation seem believable in the future.

I am looking forward to picking up the rest of the books in this series and continuing with Rhine's story. I cannot wait to see the difficulties that she will probably be put through, and see how the actions that she has taken work in her favour.

About the Author

Lauren DeStefano (pronounced: de STEFF ano) graduated Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2007. Her debut novel, WITHER, the first in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, is out now.

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