By Lauren DeStefano
March 22 2011
368 pages (galleygrab)
Review: Rhine lives in a world where girls die at 20 and men at 25. In a botched attempt to rid society of disease, people are dying younger and younger. Now men steal orphans to be wives and bare children, and people become desperate to find an antidote. Rhine was looking forward to spending her last few years with her brother, but she is kidnapped and forced to live with two other women as wives to young and wealthy Linden in his strange secluded mansion. Despite the luxurious lifestyle, Rhine doesn’t feel safe and the mansion is not where she wants to be. Can she escape before her time runs out and is there even anything to go back to?
Summary: DeStefano’s strength lies in her storytelling. Nothing about the novel stands out as exceptional, but when all the pieces are put together, a beautiful and enjoyable story is found. The world that she created was interesting and there were elements that made me feel like I was reading a historical fiction, rather than a dystopian. It was quite an enjoyable blend. The writing style made Rhine a little hard to relate to, but I enjoyed reading about her, especially her relationship with the sister wives. The three of them together was the most dynamic aspect of the novel. Readers will also be drawn to Linden as he straddles the line between foe and friend. The book does have a bit of an older feel to it, and readers looking for a fast-paced dystopian might want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re looking for a good read with a unique story, Wither is for you.
This is Lauren DeStefano’s debut novel
If you liked Wither, you might also enjoy: Matched by Ally Condie, The Giver by Louis Lowry and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Additional Info: Wither is the first book in The Chemical Garden trilogy
Author website: http://www.laurendestefano.com/index.php
Grade Level: S