Friday, 23 September 2011

Review for Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: HarperCollins (UK)
Release Date: 4th August 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Amazon Summary:
"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 limited time she has left."

Dystopian books are possibly my favourite type of books to read. There’s something so compelling about these dark and dangerous futures that could so easily become this world’s reality and the terror of that makes these kinds of books highly readable to me. In Wither Lauren DeStefano has created a harrowing world where thanks to scientists tinkering with the idea of a “perfect human” through genetic engineering the next generation’s life span is cut short with men dying at age twenty five and women aged twenty. Because of this the world is desperate to repopulate and so girls as young as thirteen are bought by wealthy men and forced to become their brides. The girls that are not chosen are either killed or sold into prostitution. The world is in panic and marriages have become baby farms with everyone desperately trying to reproduce. This world is shocking, scary and controversial making for an unputdownable read that really made me think.

Our main character is sixteen year old Rhine, with only four years left to live Rhine along with two other girls nineteen year old Jenna and thirteen year old Cecily are bought by Linden and kept prisoner in his father’s mansion. Each wife has very different opinions on being a bride. Despite their life of luxury and privilege Rhine craves to be back home with her twin brother, with one year of life left Jenna despite hating Linden resigns herself to dying in this place, and youngest bride Cecily couldn’t be happier with the arrangement! She worships their handsome husband and immediately takes to a life of luxury hoping to reproduce. The strongest aspect of this book as well as the world itself was the characters they were each so well developed and I absolutely loved Rhine and Jenna who were two very strong female leads.

Wither is a slower paced dystopian, instead of a lot of action and gore it was beautifully told the world and goings on in the mansion scary enough. I loved the way Lauren DeStefano told this story and was so caught up in this claustrophobic, fragile world. I was completely enthralled by Wither and was desperate to see if Rhine got the freedom she so desperately wants. Wither isn’t the kind of book that you hurry through in an action packed frenzy but is the kind of book that you take your time over absorbing and thinking about this terrifying way of life and the fate of the characters. If you’re looking for a controversial, beautifully written book then Wither is the way to go.


  1. Heard mixed things on it but I've been curious for a long time now. Adore my Dystopian' too!

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one. I'm a little tired of the dystopians at the moment, especially YA dystopians which tend to be very slow moving, so I think I might put this one on the back burner!


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