Book Review - Wither by Lauren DeStefano

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me, dystopian novels seem to fall into one of two categories: Hunger Games/Katiniss-esque or Delirium/Lena-esque. Katniss kinda was whiny. Hey, I liked her! I devoured the books, but well, she got whiny. That’s all I’m sayin’. So in the world of dystopian fiction, the main characters tend to start out the series hating the way their lives are and wishing for a better life, and they tend to do this while being a kinda bit whiny. On the other hand, there is Lena who starts out the novel just wanting what her society wants for her. She has no desire to break the rules or live any differently than she had planned. And then she meets/sees/reads, etc. But the difference is that Lena was never whiny. She just realized that she wanted her life to change and did something about it.

Okay, onto Rhine. She falls into the category of Lena. At least in my opinion. She lives in a crazy world where humans no longer have diseases. Well, at least no diseases such as heart failure, cancer, etc. However, once humans were cured, the subsequent generations never lived beyond 25. No one knows what the disease is but it kills all females at 20 and men at 25. Rhine’s parents, scientists from the first generation, researching a cure for the disease that kills everyone, are killed in a lab bombing, forcing Rhine and her twin brother to fend for themselves in what once was New York City. Unfortunately, Rhine is kidnapped and forced to marry a man named Linden along with her other young girls. The only way to keep humanity from dying is for men to have multiple wives in which they can procreate with. You know, so that scientists can continue researching with these subsequent generations and hopefully find a cure.

Wither was such a captivating story! Definitely a fresh new take on a dystopian/fantasy world. As we strive for human genetic perfection, what happens when we achieve it? Nothing good apparently. Poor Rhine gets kidnapped and then thrown into a ginormous mansion to live with her husband and 2 other sister wives. She has no desire to ever remotely like Linden. He is a total villain to her. Then she meets Vaughn, Linden’s father and she definitely starts to realize who is in control. Ooh, he is a creepy one, he is.

Also, can I say how much I really enjoyed the interaction between Rhine and Gabriel? So good. Go read it. Cannot even wait until the sequel arrives!

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