26 May 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Book: Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Pages: 358
Source: Library
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

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?

Hesitant to read this because of all the mixed reviews, I came into Wither with my doubts but to my surprise, I ended up loving it more than I thought I would!


  • Thank goodness DeStefano knows what "world building" is.
    • After a couple of horrors with some YA dystopian and YA paranormal lit, I've become more critical in the world building aspects of the books I read. Questions and doubts swirled in my head, as I wondered if Wither would just be another dystopian book with a pretty cover. WRONG! 
      • This book has awesome, awesome, awesome world building. DeStefano manages to create a shockingly believable reality around the idea that men and women die in their early twenties.
      • I also loved the way DeStefano described Rhine's "prison", if I may. It was luxurious, filled with mysteries and secrets among the household with pretty cool futuristic gadgets. Despite the glamour on the outside, DeStefano doesn't fail to give this "prison" an underlying cold and trapping atmosphere.
  •  A big reason why I really liked this book was probably because of the writing.
    • Honestly, there isn't anything that stands out in the plot. It's not action packed, exciting, or anything of the sort. YET, Wither is the kind of book that is completely engrossing and I couldn't put it down for a second. Why? BECAUSE the writing KICKS ASS.
      • Excuse my language, but the writing seriously rocks. It pulled me in like a moth to a flame and didn't let me go until I had turned the last page.
  •  Yay for sister wives and servants!
    • Layered, complex secondary characters equals LOVE (from me). I adored each and every one of the characters in this book, from supportive Jenna to overbearing Cecily and sweet Gabriel and Deirdre. 
  •  THIS is how an ending should be like.
    • Wither wrapped up just beautifully and could end be a standalone just like that. Thank God it isn't as I personally have a few questions that need to be answered in the sequel, Fever.


  • I couldn't really connect with Rhine.
    • I have nothing against Rhine. She's strong and has all that great qualities of a heroine, but she just felt really distant to me. 


  • Wither was just a gorgeous read. Hard to put down, I loved every minute reading this book. I'm totally looking forward to reading the sequel, Fever.

4 lovelies:

Gianna said...

I also just loved DeStefano's writing and I think she does an even better job in the sequel Fever. I had the same problem with connecting with Rhine as you but I definitely think the story gets better and I am eagerly awaiting the third novel!

Gianna said...

DeStefano's writing is absolutely to die for! <3 And ahhh, I really want to read Fever! 

Gianna said...

Fabulous review, Gianna! I agree with you, I didn't really feel connected with Rhine when I read the book. The worldbuilding is great, and for some reasons, I kind of like Linden a little more than Gabriel LOL. x)  I have Fever waiting for me to read it, hopefully we can meet Rhine's twin this time! :)

Gianna said...

I'm actually reading this right now! The premise is really interesting, and I agree with you that the world building is great! That's something a lot of books seem to lack these days... :/ And now I can't wait to read the ending. 

Great review! 

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