Author: Lauren DeStefano
The Chemical Garden #1
Published by Simon & Schuster
Release Date: March
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: (From Goodreads)
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.
Wither was a thought provoking read and quite a stunning debut. It was quite impressive in more than one area; the characters were well done, Lauren DeStefano has beautiful writing, the plot was somewhat low-key but that left room for many other aspects of this novel to be fully explored.
The characters. Oh, the characters. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel. Rhine Ellery, our main character, was entertaining. She was a good narrator, she stayed strong in her beliefs, and was easy to relate to in some senses. She's really just an average teenage girl stuck in a terrible world and in a terrible situation. Chaarcters such as Jenna, Cecily, and Gabriel were fantastic editions to this book as well, not to mention the few other characters.
My one issue with this book was the world in which it is set in. It just didn't seem very reliastic. Why would they kill all those girls if they were so valuable? Someone on Goodreads pointed out that there would be no way tjhat the world's entire population would end up dying at 20 and 25. Genetic advances would hardly be affordable. I do have other issues with the world building, but I'm not going to address them because it would take up almost 2 pages and would completely wipe out whatever I said I liked about this book. I am not asking for a dystopian world to be completely realistic, and though I did have issues, I did enjoy reading about it anyways.
This book did have a quieter plot, though that left lots of time to script Rhine's life. I enjoyed reading about her building relationship with Linden and her sister wives.
All in all, Wither is definitely a high class dystopian novel in my opinion. I am very impressed with Lauren DeStefano, and would read anything she writes. She does have a great way with words! Beautifully worded sentences. Book Two in this trilogy, Fever, already looks fantastic. 2012 cannot come fast enough!