January 16, 2011

Early Book Review: Wither

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Length: 358 pages
On-Sale Date: March 22, 2011
Format: ARC paperback

Wither takes place in a dystopian future.  It’s a world where man has finally found a cure for every disease … A perfect utopia.  Unfortunately,  the side effects that the perfect first generation face are causing their children  to die.  Every birth is a death sentence.  In Wither, men die at age 25 and women don’t live past age 20.  Somehow, this “cure” could turn into the end of the human race.   To keep mankind alive girls are stolen, captured, and sold to wealthy men for the sole purpose of reproducing.  Groups of girls are taken and the ones that become wives are the lucky ones, because all the rest are thrown away.

Rhine is sixteen when she is snatched from her New York home.  She knows what this means.  If she survives she will be forced to enter in a polygamous marriage.  It’s a good thing that Rhine had the memory of her twin brother and ivy covered home, because it was too easy to forget where she came from, once she became Governor Linden’s wife.

Wither grabbed me from the moment I opened the cover.  I was down with a horrible cold when I started it, and even in my semi-lucid state I was drawn into this story.  There was never a moment where I did not want to know what was going to happen.  I simply, could not get enough of Wither.  I’m still carrying it around with me.
There’s beauty in this writing.  True beauty.  It’s really the first time I’ve felt it with my whole heart.  The writing just completely captures you and you’re able to picture everything that Rhine is seeing.  I found it amazing that all this beauty can still be seen within the tragedy.
Rhine is one of the most inspiring heroines I have ever read.  From the beginning I found her spirit mirrored Katniss Everdeen’s (The Hunger Games).  If you are not a fan of The Hunger Games do not let that stop you from picking up Wither.  Rhine is a force all her own.  She has such a strong will and she knows who she is.  Having said that, she is not immune to the hardships she encounters.  She, like everyone, has limits, and can lose herself when faced with impossible tragedy.
I loved that Rhine found comfort in New York City.  I think it really showed something about her character that she felt safest in an industrial district.  That is merely one of the traits that makes Rhine so relatable.  Lauren DeStefano has created such complex characters with so many layers that I cannot wait to learn more about them.
There is immense pain written into this story, and you really feel for all the characters.  Sometimes the villains don’t even seem so villainous.
The world may be ready to give up, but Rhine would fight for her freedom until her dying breath.

Wither made me very thankful for everything I have, and everything I take for granted.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from Simon & Schuster Canada. Receiving this ARC did not influence my review in any way.

Page number is tentative and subject to change.


  1. What a beautiful review! I didn't think I could possibly get more excited about this book but I was WRONG! Anyone who can be compared to Katniss Everdeen is immediately going to be my best book friend forever. I'm starting this as soon as I turn in the papers I have due this week.