Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Trilogy: Chemical Garden #1
Pages: 372 (e-ARC)
Genres: YA, Dystopia
Source: Galley Grab*
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 limited time she has left.
Wither is an intriguing, thought-provoking and compelling dystopian read. Such an amazing start to a wonderful series!
I really enjoyed reading Wither. Lauren DeStefano’s writing was fresh, distinct and immensely captivating. The verbiage was really, really beautiful. I love it! It was one of my favorite aspects of the book. I felt emotionally connected with the characters, especially Rhine. The premise, too, is very creative and so original. Speaking of creative, I thought the names of the characters are very unique too.
As for the characters, Rhine is a smart, brave and kind-hearted heroine but what I really love most about Rhine was she knows what she wants and she won’t stop until she get it. Also, her relationship with Rose and her sisters wives, especially with Jenna, was really beautiful. It’s amazing how they formed their strong bonds with each other despite their given situation.
While reading this book, I also realized that I am actually growing fond on love triangles and this book has that aspect. Surprisingly, I am leaning more on Linden’s side on this one. Linden is the type of character that I want to hate but I just can’t. I found myself enjoying his moments with Rhine. Although, I also find his character to be boring at times, perhaps because he’s still unaware of what an evil his father is and I can’t read him sometimes. But nevertheless, I really want him for Rhine. Maybe he’ll come along during the second book or the last one, we’ll just have to wait and see. On the other hand, I thought Rhine and Gabriel’s chemistry was lacking gist. I didn’t feel any incitement between the two of them but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy Gabriel’s character.
My only issue on this book was the pacing. There are some parts of the book that felt a little bit dragged. But nonetheless, Wither is an engaging and satisfying read. I recommend this to those who wants to read a refreshing and enthralling take on the genre of dystopia. It will not disappoint!