Tuesday 4 October 2011

Review: Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1
Genre: YA, dystopia
Pages: 320
Published: August 2011
Publisher: Voyager
Source: Bought

What if you knew exactly when you would die? 
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

My Thoughts:
I liked it a lot, sure there were things that were a bit, ok what, how, please? But in the end I fell for it all cos it was just so exciting and great. 

But let's start with the things that annoyed me cos I am just weird like that. First, why is it always the US that is the only country left standing? Please, other countries have bombs and technology too, and I am sure they would send those missiles overseas and smuggle them in. But nope the rest of the world is gone and North America is the only place left. I mean come on, not even like Greenland made it? Who bombs Greenland? 

And then there were the gatherers, in a time when you need money would you really shoot the merchandise? I am sure the brothels would have paid for a few new girls. 

Now on to why I liked it. I just like the story, I do not know what more there would be to say. Sure I do not think Rhine would have made it out untouched since Linden liked her so much. Sure the thing with Gabriel came by fast but who cares when the story got me in a grip and would not let go. I liked Rhine who tried her best to run away from the house. I liked her sister wives who were messed up in their own ways. I liked Linden who was just a prisoner without knowing it. I can't hate an ignorant fool in a time like that. 

I liked the world where everyone dies young, a world that will go under for sure if a cure is not found. A world that is loosing hope and where humans were being sold daily. It was a freaky new world that we had brought upon ourselves and it had all the excitement I needed. 

I did not want to put it down and I really want book 2 so that I can see what happens to Rhine. I just hope it will not be like other trilogies that get worse and just suck at the end. 

Rating: Recommended

Cover: Awesome


  1. I've read mixed reviews for this one. I haven't read it yet, but I'm hoping to read it soon.

  2. I'm still undecided on this one. It sounds like a unique world, but I don't know that it's one I want to get sucked into.

  3. I've never really been that fussed about this book, but I might take a closer look now!

    Agree with you that America always seems to survive the apocalypse! I love the place but I'm pretty sure over places are more likely to survive - Greenland, New Zealand, various small islands etc... :)

  4. Count me about not persuaded either. Most likely I will wait for the second part and your excellent review before I start this one. Sounds really like "The Handmaid's Tale" by M.Atwood for teens.

  5. I had a few issues with it but I'm excited for the next one.

  6. Exactly, Linda!!!! Who bombs Greenland? Why is the U.S. the only place standing? Why shoot those poor girls? And how the heck does Rhine become first wife without having to give it up? Grrrr. I'm glad I wasn't the only one bothered by that stuff.

  7. I'm glad to see you liked this one. I've had it for a while now but wow does it have mixed reviews. I think I'll still give it a shot on my own to decide.

  8. Nice review, but: dystopia, YA, no thanks.

  9. Oh this one looks so good! Not only from your awesome review but from the cover too. I'm placing this one on my TBR list immediately! :-D Thanks for the awesome review and I can't wait to hear what you think of book 2...which isn't suppose to release until the beginning of next year, blah for waiting!

  10. I am with you on wanting less US-centric dystopian novels -- I find the idea of more international dystopias to be exciting!

  11. Mrs Q
    I had actually not seen the mixed reviews, lol, I totally missed them

    I liked it, the world was scary and real and just without hope. Gotta love that

    *waves frantically*

    Nothing against America, but yes come on, not even a tiny island made it somewhere? At least in the Hunger Games only the middle part made it. That I can believe

    I have heard that being said. i did tried to read that book but freaky rape scene in the beginning made my stomach turn

  12. Linda
    A few issues on my end too but I am so looking forward to book 2

    Exactly! I mean they were married for 1 year, if he made his childbride preggers then I am sure he would have had Rhine too. I mean he thought she wanted to be there.

    And yes, at least tell me some cities were bombed. And those Gatherers wasted money

    It is usually best to just try and see. One never knows

    No YA dystopia for you?

    I know, so many months!!!! Arghhhh, I need to know now! I mean the poor girl is dying in 3 years O-O This can't end well

  13. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I look forward to the second.

  14. "I mean come on, not even like Greenland made it? Who bombs Greenland? "

    You are hilarious! Touche. I have feeling that in the next novel we're going to find out that not everything the young 'uns have been told is true.

  15. I agree my friend, it's always the US that is left standing. Lets face it, we would destroy ourselves first anyway :)

    love the cover for this one. Thanks for your thoughts :)

  16. I just won this so I'm glad to see it was unputdownable.

  17. Audra
    I would like that too. Maybe I should write one ;) But then again I am sure my country would not make it either

    I do too, I really want it now!

    Yay, *fingers crossed that Greenland made it* I would think some would have made it. Still with many of these books the rest of the world is just gone

    Lol, well that is true. Maybe Alaska would survive

    I do hope you will enjoy it then

  18. This sounds interesting. I do enjoy YA dystopia and don't get to read as much as I'd like to.

  19. Ya kno...now that you say something I've noticed that too...or England. England and the US are like the only countries to ever survive ANYTHING. I'm actually really into the books/movies/tv shows about the future being all crappy. Like Terra Novia. Great show, btw.

  20. I enjoyed this one too, but people thought I was strange for wanting it to go darker. I though it really could and even be better. What can I say? I like dark. ;)

    I also hope the next books rock.

  21. This is one of those books I've heard great things on, but it never really called to me. I'm afraid it's not one for me, but I do love hearing what everyone says about it because it makes me wonder why it doesn't call to me.

    And I agree, America isn't the only country that can survive. *sigh*

  22. Not wanting to put a book down is a good thing. I thought this one seemed interesting. And hmmmm... I wonder why the US is always left intact?

  23. I think I have this one on my kindle, I do love Dystopia. I'm glad you're recommending it, all the reviews I've seen have been positive so I'm in :)

  24. I do love a good YA dystopian book. I am so adding to my wishlist after your review. You make a good point about the US always being the only one left-and Boston is always the last city standing. That never makes sense to me. Who would attack Greenland or Switzerland for that matter.

  25. I think I read this on a reading burnout because, though I liked the story, I felt it was lacking at times. For example - the love interest for Rhine? I felt like he was an afterthought. Love your thoughts though!

  26. I look forward to reading this one soon. I love the concept of it.

  27. I really enjoyed this one too! Linden I think was my favorite character because I just couldn't quite figure him out and I always like when that happens. Was he seriously clueless about what his dad was up to or is he just a really great actor? Can't wait for book 2!

  28. I'm thinking... to take your word and wait for the rest of the books in the trilogy and read them all in one go...

  29. i'm glad you liked this one. I only read about 10 pages and I didn't like it at all. not my style.

  30. Good to hear you liked this! I've wanted to read this but I've read mixed reviews about it.

  31. Naida
    Same here, cos well it is not that popular here so I have to take a chance and order online or wait for the library to get something

    I know, it's like the rest of the world is boming the shit out of each other but the US and UK has this protective dome over them. Nope everything should go to hell. Cos yes I like crappy futures too. I am watching Terra Nova :)

    Well, now when you say it yes I would have wanted it darker too. Sure it was good as it was, but darker would have been more real cos now with the whole marriage thing, I just could not believe it.

    Melissa World
    I did hear that there is a theroy that others survived, but still with everything US is always left standing. I did like to see the whole world bombed to bits.

    Lol, yes I wonder ;) I mean if I wrote a book Finland would totally be gone cos let's face it, we are close to Russia and it would be all bye bye Russia.

    I hope you like it then too!

  32. Bucky
    I did not know that about Boston, oh well, people liked Boston i guess :) I could believe that the middle makes it but the rest, at least something must be gone. You guys always survive the zombies better than the rest too.

    I know, I did see that too, but I just liked the book so much that I overlooked those things cos in the end it was just awesome

    I hope you will enjoy it :D It is truly good

    I did not think about that! o_O perhaps he really is a creep and a good actor. Now I just like him more, what an enigma

    I shall do my best to review them then

    Too bad :/ But yes I can see that it is not for everyone

    Everyone keeps saying that and I had only seen positive ones, lol

  33. LOL you are right. I've never thought of why the US is always the country that survives but now that I think about it, I have read a couple books where the US is the only country left.

  34. I haven't read Wither yet. It hasn't really appealed to me & I keep reading so many mixed reviews. This series may be a case where I just wait for it to end and read it all at once.

  35. Jenny
    There you see, Canada I could believe though ;) You all can hide there at the top of the country

    Everyone says that but I only remembered the good ones, I guess I really wanted this book!

  36. Sooo. I know so many people have read and reviewed this book so I'm not sure I missed this strange premise. Hmmm.. I'm intrigued but I'll have to wait on the second book to be published before I see this one out.

    Lol at your comment about why North America is the only one standing. I have my thoughts on that.

  37. Alexis
    Lol, well I do know why they leave it standing, but come on, I am realistic and would have my country be blown to pieces ;)



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