Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Wither (Chemical Garden #1)

Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Lauren DeStefano
Published March 22, 2011
368 Pages

Description 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 Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover it has a haunted beauty about that just pulls you in, but once I read that description I was not really excited to read the book so I put it back on the shelf for awhile. The Hunger Games were my first dystopia style novel and while I loved those books the whole genre never really appealed to me until this weekend. I had some kind of ephinany and realized just what I had been missing out on! In one weekend I read Whiter and Divergent and now I am a hopeless fan of this genre and cannot wait to attack all of the dystopia books out there waiting for me!

Wither is a beautiful story set in an alternate future, that by the way is not so unbelievable, a world where females die at 20 and the males die at 25 because of human desires to create the perfect baby and eradicate all that is not. Because life is so short and there is a strong possibility of the human race dying polygamous marriage is accepted and praised with young girls even being kidnapped and forced into it. This is where Rhine’s story begins she is trapped in this marriage and her only thoughts are of escape back to her brother. But the longer she stays in the house the more complicated her decision becomes. Not everything is purely evil about her new life. The reader struggles just as Rhine does trying to sort out her feelings for this new life.

The writing is lyrical and the world the author creates came alive for me allowing me to get lost in the book. I read the whole book without breaks and felt a little sad when it was over. It has been a few days since I've finished the book but I can't get the story out of my head. For me this book was not heavy on the romance it was more of a sweet slow romance which is a nice break from the usual all consuming romances you tend to find in the YA genre. I liked Gabriel but I am hoping to get to know him better in the next book. I have to admit I am a fan of the arrogant strong hero and from what we learn of Gabriel he is more of the sensitve type so hopefully his character will continue to grow. The relationship between the sister wives was the most beleivable for me. It wasnt always smooth but it always felt real. Like Rhine I had conflicting feelings about Linden Ashby her husband, I want to hate him but in the end I am still torn. I think I mostly feel sorry for him because like Rhine and the other girls he became a victim of his circumstance. Linden’s father House Master Vaughn is just plain creepy. He is not outright hostile but this just helps to up his creepiness factor always lurking around and the mystery surrounding what exactly is going on in the basement is definately intriguing.

The Bottom Line:

If you are looking to be pulled into a mesmorizing tale then Wither is for you! I'm looking forward to the next book to be drawn back into Rhine's world. If you are anything like me you will love this book. I recommend running out and getting a copy today!

♥ ♥ ♥ = really liked it