Monday, September 10, 2012


Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 358
Genre: Dystopia, Romance


By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek 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 sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet 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 has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.

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?


It was so difficult buying Wither because book stores here did not have it in stock I think at least four to five months counting from the day I inquired about it. And when I finally got it, I didn't doubt it being a good dystopian book! I patiently waited for its scheduled reading date and my high expectations didn't falter until yesterday when I finished it.

Lauren DeStefano's debut novel is beautiful yet dark. It started when Rhine, together with Cecily and Jenna, was taken then sold by the Gatherers to be brought to Florida and be in a polygamous marriage with Governor Linden. Since they were like living time bombs (men dies at twenty-five and women at twenty after a modern medicine research gone wrong), Housemaster Vaughn, Linden's father and a doctor, tries to find an antidote to save his son and will do anything for it. And so the story progress from there.

Is there a special way to look at Wither? I really had issues getting into the gist of the story. I was even doubtful whether to finish it or not. At first I thought it was just slow but up until the end, the pace didn't change. One moment, the characters were focused on doing their parts well then the next moment, they're escaping. Then that van incident which was very morbid and some characters who succumbed to the virus which I really don't understand how the virus started or what virus it was. Then Cecily's terrible attitude and Linden's cluelessness. Then a lot of back story telling. I guess there are a lot of things in the story that didn't work for me or perhaps, I wasn't just accustomed to this slow-paced kind of dystopian premise.

Of course there are also things/characters I liked like Jenna. She's my type of character, the one who fights. I also liked the wind mill and the june beans! And who would forget about hardworking Deirdre and beautiful Rose?

That's about it. Those are my thoughts about it. I love Lauren and I don't hate the story its just that I guess I've expected so much. Maybe I'll reread it but sure enough, I would give Fever a chance. Let's see if it would change my mind.

"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."


  1. Fingers crossed that you like the second book a lot more than this one. I still haven't bought a copy of this book, but I'll probably buy the first and second book at the same time. I'm not into slow paces, so I'm a bit worried. Great review.

    1. I tried my best to make the review a little positive at least. But you go ahead and read it! Then let's talk about our reviews. :) Thanks Nina!

  2. I'm sorry you didn't end up liking Wither! I gave this one 3/5, and the sequel 4/5. I liked Fever a lot more. She finally gets out of the mansion, so the setting changes.


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