Book Review: Wither

Wither CoverBook: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Published March 2011 by Simon & Schuster|245 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: The Chemical Garden #1

Genre: YA Dystopic/Post-Apocalyptic

You can find Wither on goodreads & Lauren DeStefano on Twitter and her website

Goodreads Summary:

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?

What I Thought:

I’ve been wanting to read Wither for a while, and it’s been on my TBR list for so long that I knew it was time to read it!  And I’m glad I finally did, because it’s really different.  There’s definitely something about Wither that makes me think of Children Of Men (the movie, not the book).

I thought the idea of girls being kidnapped and sold as brides to have children so that someone can figure out how to keep the world going and even figure out to put an end to the really short life spans for everyone. Sadly, it’s something I can see happening, and I really hope it doesn’t happen in the future.  It’s kind of scary to think about, but it also makes for an interesting story.

Everything going on with Rhine and her marriage to Linden…their story is far from over, but I don’t particularly like them as a couple.  I know they were forced to get married, which would explain the lack of chemistry between them.  On the plus side, they didn’t fall in love at first sight, and she is very much insistent on making sure her brother knows she is alive, even if it means pretending to be interested in Linden.  And she doesn’t seem to be falling in love with Linden at all in Wither, which works really in this book, because of being kidnapped and getting married off.

Actually, I’m not completely sold on Gabriel and Rhine either.  Something about part of the population dying at 20, and the other part of the population dying at 25 just doesn’t scream romance to me.  But I have the feeling romance is inevitable, so it shall be interesting to see how the love triangle will play out.

There is so much we don’t know about this world, and I can’t wait to learn more!  Like what Vaughn is really up to and if a cure will be found.  Like I said before, I was really reminded of Children Of Men, and part of it is how people are dying young and trying to find a cure so they’re having kids young.  There’s also something about the way everything is described and the mood of the book is really atmospheric and dark.  It’s definitely different than a lot of the other dystopic books out there (that I’ve read) and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Let’s Rate It:

I love the premise and feel of Wither, and I think it could be an interesting read-alike for Children Of Men. I’m not completely sure about the romance, but it’s also possible I’ll get more into it as I continue reading the series.  Wither gets 4 stars.

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