Sunday, September 30, 2012

Witchy Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 358 Pages
Released: March 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Misc: Purchased, Read hardcover

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 is one of those novels that I have a love/hate relationship with. First of all, the cover is absolutely stunning. The bird, ring, hair and makeup, and chemicals shown on the front and back make more sense after completing the first novel of the series. I read the book in a weekend and enjoyed myself. I am not usually one to jump on the bandwagon late, but I am happy that I did.

There were times when I would have to put it down because of other obligations and all I could think about was the story and where it was going. The beginning starts off with Rhine being captured and basically sold on the black market. The world the author created was, well, different. I had never read a novel quiet like this, which is not a bad thing.  Truth be told, dystopia is not a genre that I read in regularly.

Imaging a world where women only lived to the age of 20 and men only lived to the of 25 puts the character's lifes into perspective, especially because I am over that male age limit in the world DeStefano created. The girls in the story are forced to play as sister-wives and be loyal and faithful to their husband. Rhine, the main character, was not a cookie cutter wife but was considered the most favorable of the three. At age 16, she was defiant. Rhine is the character that most girls can relate too. I love the fact that DeStefano was able to create creepy characters that the reader should intentionally despise and hate, mission accomplished Miss DeStafano, mission accomplished.

Towards the end of the novel, I felt like I already knew what was going to happen. I am one of those readers who hates knowing the ending beforehand. To me, it was predictable, hence my love/hate relationship. I am glad the story went on the way it did, and happy that the ending was the way it was (trying not to give any spoilers) but I somehow expected something different. That is not really a complaint, but more insight to my reasoning. :)

To wrap it up: I would recommend this novel to my friends and am looking forward to reading Fever, Book 2 of The Chemical Garden Trilogy. I am hoping that it is a quick and enjoyable read just as this one was but with more action.

What do you all think? Have you read Fever already? What were your opinions with Wither?


Witchy Rating: 4 Black Cats

Opinion has been brought to you by Elphie at Witchy Reviews


  1. I still need to read Fever. I went to the book launch in Feb. It was awesome. I am suspicious though, I mean it ends w/book 3 due out in 2013. So, does she die too? You can't end it that way..or can you? It may seem corny to find a miracle to stop the deaths at 20/25. What do you think?
    Great review btw. Adore your blog :-) the colors and theme are wicked.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I wonder the same thing myself...maybe she will be like Rowling and somehow give us a happy ending? One of the premises of the book is to find a cure to the disease. Aww...thanks for the very sweet compliments. Cannot wait to read Fever!

  2. Haven't read Wither or Fever but this is a really interesting series. Love the cover, too. Great review! :)


    1. Thanks Leah! It was a great book and quick read. :)



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