Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Description from Goodreads:
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?
Wither completely baffled me. My thoughts and feelings on everything in this book are so scattered and conflicting, I'm not even sure how to express it. The most important thing, and one of the few things I am sure of, is that I one hundred percent loved this book. I enjoyed it through and through.
I must begin with Lauren's writing style. It is positively goegeous. I was caught up in it from page one. She describes everything so perfectly, but not in a way that bores me to tears. Yes, I like to be able to picture things in my mind, but I do get bored while that picture is being created sometimes. With Wither, this was never the case.
One aspect of this book that I was cautious of wsa the idea of sister-wives. I don't really have a problem with it, but I thought it would bother me a whole bunch that one of our love interests has two or three other wives as well. I get jealous for my heroines. I wasn't really bothered by this as all, though. I actually really liked seeing the sister-wives interact with each other and grow closer.
Another facet of this book that I was on the fence about was the world created. It's so ugly and horrible. I wondered how I could ever enjoy a story told in this world. I mean, by page four, my jaw was on the floor at the OHMYGOSH-ness of it. But again, this worry was unwarranted because I ended up loving this book cover to cover. Plus, a majority of this book takes place at Linden's estate, where there is no representation of the actual state of the world.
Character rundown: Rhine. I didn't particularly love Rhine. I liked that she was so nice and protective and determined. I didn't like how closed-minded she was toward Linden. Now, for Linden. OH, LINDEN. I love Linden. He's so sweet and genuinly kind. Gabriel. He's the other guy in the little love triangle, but I don't really think much of him. We don't know him too well yet. I have nothing against him, but I definitely prefer Linden.
The ending. Can you say cliff-hanger? Yeah, one of those. I don't approve of the ending at all, for obvious reasons once you read Wither. I can't wait to read the sequel, Fever, to find out how Rhine and Gabriel and Linden's story will continue.
Overall, this book was purely amazing. Completely shocking in so many ways that, as I said t the beginning of this review, baffled me. I can't deny how much I enjoyed this book. It can be somewhat disturbing, but is definitely worth giving a shot. Plus, this story is so completely unique.
That's it for today, y'all.
Have a great day, Friends!