Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: Wither

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)  
by Lauren DeStefano

Hardcover358 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 

At age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years to live. Thanks to a botched effort to create a perfect race, all females live to be twenty, and males live to age twenty-five. While geneticists seek a miracle antidote, orphans roam the streets and polygamy abounds. After Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she is desperate to escape from her husband’s strange world, which includes a sinister father-in-law in search of the antidote and a slew of sister wives who are not to be trusted. On the cusp of her seventeenth birthday, Rhine attempts to flee—but what she finds is a society spiraling into anarchy. ( Summary)

I suppose this book is old news. It has been out since last spring and received terrific reviews. Even so, I never felt like reading it. It seemed, dare I say, boring? However, given my love for dystopian/apocalyptic stories, I decided to give it a shot. And I am so glad that I did.

It starts off on the slow side. I will admit that I had to motivate myself to keep going. Fortunately, by about page fifty, the story trapped me in a similar way that Rhine is trapped. And for a while, I was simply content to keep reading. Then mid-way, all of a sudden, I was excited to read and reached a point where I couldn't put it down. So, it gets there, but it takes a while. Give it time. 

Polygamy? Who knew that could be intriguing? I guess a lot of people -- i.e. Big Love, Sister Wives, this book. And turns out, I agree. It is such a different take on dystopian novels. And the result is something original and refreshing. 

Rhine is generally likable. And the romantic interest (Gabriel) is as well, though I would like a little more of him. That's just me (a.k.a boy crazy). However, the romance is a side note, whereas the relationships between Rhine and her sister wives are the real focus. They feel raw and real. Linden is the husband to three wives and shockingly, we don't hate him. Actually, we like him. It is strange to admit that we don't find it too scandalous that he is married to three people. 

The book itself is very aesthetic. The cover and the pages reflect the romantic yet eerie feel of the story. It definitely makes a good addition to the bookshelf, adding both a beautiful cover and an interesting read. 

Overall, there are some very thought provoking questions. How would you spend your life if you knew exactly when you were going to die? Are comfort and glamorous dresses worth the loss of your freedom? And in a world where there is little hope, what would be worth fighting for? 

I was apprehensive, but now I cannot wait for Fever (book, #2).  

1 comment:

  1. I own this book but have yet to read it!

    Thanks for the great review, now I can't wait to read this one. I think it will certainly bring up those interesting questions that you presented in your review.


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