Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wither by Lauren Destefano

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age: Young Adult
Species: Human
Rating: 5/5
Interest: Pretty Cover/ Dystopian/ Cool Series Name

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings. Editor's recommendation.

Wither was not the book I intended to read. At least, I had no plans to read it when I did. I was organizing my books, read the back cover, and started reading. Unfortunately it was during a gathering of friends and I was forced to stop until the next day. When I did get a chance to read it, uninterrupted, I couldn't stop. I loved so much of the book. I'm not really sure what I can eloquently say about it.

Rhine Ellery was an extremely strong female character. No matter what hardships she went through like being kidnapped, forced into marriage, losing a friend she did not break. If it were me, I probably never would have survived in that household. I would have become Jenna essentially. I loved Rhine's heterochromia (2 eyes of different colors). I looked up pictures of the mutation and I realized how unsettling it is to look at someone with a brown and a blue eye. It's like someone holding two different colored books in front of you. Your eyes are unable to focus on both at once and instead end up flicking back and forth. Looking into Rhine's eyes would be completely unsettling and I feel like it fits in perfectly with her character. It's the only small power she has, being able to unnerve her captors and their staff with her eyes.

I wanted to hate Linden Ashby. More than anything, I wanted him to be this horrible bad guy that I would loathe. He never became that person for me. Linden was too naive and sweet. He would have done anything to keep his brides happy. While I do hate him for what he did to Cecily because he should have known better, I know how much she wanted it too. On the other hand, Linden's father, the scientist, I wanted to throw him from a moving train. Then I wanted to back the train up to run over his body, repeatedly. That is all I'm going to say about him because otherwise I'm going to turn this review into a 5 page rant about him.

I was surprised when I ended up liking, even loving, the sister wives. Rose was there to briefly for me to really understand her, but I still enjoyed the lasting effect she had on Rhine. Cecily... was cute, though most of the time she was a huge pain in the butt. I practically screamed at the book when she was trying to "act more adult." It was so wrong to me. Logically, in a society where 20 is the expiration date for females, girls would have to grow up extremely quickly. Still, I was sort of put off by the things Cecily so readily wanted to experience at 13. Jenna, like Rose, wasn't a large enough presence for me to get a bead on, but I still liked what I saw. Jenna was loyal, clever and resilient. I wished there had been more time with her.

Gabriel intrigued me. I knew exactly what he was going to be to Rhine before he was even introduced. I was interested in seeing how their relationship developed more than anything else involving him. So far, I just see him as a love interest, not his own person. Hopefully Fever will rectify that with a closer look at his personality. The same goes for Rowan Ellery (Rhine's twin) I want to get to know him and fall in love with him.

The world-building in Wither was fantastic. I kept wanting to know more about how the disease came about, who were the first pioneers of research, is there any headway at all in a cure? There are so many questions and I can't wait to have them answered, hopefully all in the next three books since it's only a trilogy.

Wither is a beyond amazing dystopian book which I want as many people to read as possible. The novel made me really think about how much life I'd get or have in that world. By their standards I'd be dead in less than two months. How could I live with a death sentence like that, when I'm practically still a kid? You need to read this book and ask yourself, what would I do and how would I live if I knew I was going to die so young.

Teaser Line: "Eventually I realize that I am holding on to him just as tightly as he holds on to me. And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves."

Series Order
1. Wither
2. Fever (To be released in the U.S. February 21st 2011)
3. TBA

Happy Reading,


  1. It was cool how DeStefano created society to be "messed up" where girls and boys only live to a certain age, and some girls are taken. After reading the overview, I knew I had to get this book, and I wasn't disappointed! Unlike so many teen books, Wither is unique and unpredictable, containing no super natural characters..hallejuah! I recommend this novel, and I'm hoping for a sequel, and if there is one I know I will love it.

    1. Yes, the world building in Wither is magnificent! I can't wait to read the sequel FEVER.


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