Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: March 22, 2011
Pages: 358
My Rating: 3/5
Misc.: First in Chemical Garden trilogy

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.

Synopsis taken from goodreads.
My Review:
Wither is Lauren DeStefano's debut novel, and I must say, for a first novel it is impressive. It takes place in a dystopian world where a "virus" has spread, causing females to live to the age of 20 and males to the age of 25. The story revolves around Rhine, who is kidnapped by Gatherers and sold into a marriage, and is struggling to find a way to escape and go back home. 

I love that even though dystopian is a huge trend right now, DeStefano manages to find a way to stay original. I love the premise of the world, and I was kept wondering if anyone was ever going to find a cure to the virus. I just didn't find some aspects of the world and how people reacted to certain things believable. That being said, in this world, girls are kidnapped very often. But I noticed that nobody really tried to stop this. Huh? So when Rhine gets kidnapped (this happens before the first chapter, not spoilery, I promise) I was hoping for more of an explanation of how it happened. It is explained later on, but not really in much detail.

Another thing, this book took me about a week to read, which is not usual for me. It's not that the book was slow paced, it just wasn't fast paced. When I put it down, I didn't feel the need to immediately pick it up again. Though, what kept me going was the characters. I loved how developed each character was. Even the side characters that only show up a couple of times in the book had a distinct personality. And I love how the main characters were flawed. Rhine sometimes lost her way. But then again, nobody's perfect. My favorite character, however, was Jenna. She is one of Rhine's sister wives, and I was amazed at her strength, loyalty, and determination.

The plot was okay. It was laid out pretty much from the beginning of the book. I just wish we get to see more happening in the rest of the series. Though, I love Lauren DeStefano's writing style. She creates beautiful sentences, and the book flowed nicely. Aside from the characters, the writing style is definitely my favorite part of the book.

So yes, the world is unique, but at certain points, not very believable. It wasn't very fast paced either. But I think the characters and writing style saved this book. I wouldn't recommend this book if you're looking for something with a lot of action in it, but if you're looking for some sci-fi  or a little romance, give this book a try. The sequel, Fever, comes out in February 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Hey great review! I agree, it wasn't a very fast paced book so when I put it down, I didn't feel a need to pick it back up either.

    (Just one thing though, I don't think, strictly speaking, this is a dystopian novel. It's sci-fi and/or apocalyptic, hehe).