Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

By Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Summary: By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Review: Yes, I FINALLY read Wither! I probably would have given this book five stars if I hadn't read so many rave reviews for it. Because I've heard this books as amazing, I think I set my expectations a bit too high and this book just didn't reach them. Don't get me wrong, this book was really really good, it just wasn't as amazing as every one else set it up to be. 

I thought the whole idea behind the book was really interesting and unique. Girls live until they're 20 and guys live until they're 25 and no one knows why or can figure out a cure. Rhine, the main character, is kidnapped to be someone's wife (along with two other girls), taking her away from her twin brother Rowen. This was such a unique take on kidnapping and that kind of life. I loved how all of the characters were so different, specifically the three sister wives, and how Rhine falls for Gabriel, the servant. I found myself reading faster because I wanted to see what else the author could bring up in this world. 

The reason this gets four stars, though, is because some parts were just too slow while others weren't explained enough. The entire book is Rhine in the house for months, trying to escape back to her brother. I feel like for a 350 page book, more things could have happened. Also, it was kind of confusing at some points because the author skimmed over things about their lives, like what's going on in the basement of the mansion or Linden's life in general. The last thing that bugged me was the snow. They're supposed to be in Florida yet there was a huge snowstorm. I know this is a minor detail, but it kind of bugged me. 

So over all, Wither was a great story with really interesting characters and ideas, but there were some gaps that needed to be filled. I'm definitely checking out the next book because I really want to know what happens to Rhine and Gabriel next! Hopefully we'll get to meet Rowan and more intense, action scenes happen. If you haven't yet, be sure to pick this great dystopian novel up!


  1. Love this series! Great review! Fever is really good, too, but very different from Wither!

  2. I felt so bad that I had read this book and NOT reviewed it.
    I have FEVER and have yet to read that. I loved your review.
    You were right about the pace and the missing detail. I was a bit VC Andrews like for me.

  3. I wasn't a huge fan of this book and I really don't know if I'll read the next but I'm happy you enjoyed it!

  4. I totally agree with you about the pacing - I really wanted there to be more action! And I wanted to know what the heck was going on with Vaughn! We really only heard Rhine's thoughts on what he "might" be doing, and it really wasn't enough to convince me.

    Great review and thanks so much for participating in the Catch Wither Fever Read-Along Event! I've added this post to the Catch Wither Fever Event Post List! ;)

  5. What I really liked about Wither – although it is the first in a trilogy, the ending isn’t much of a cliffhanger, it ends in a way that puts the reader at ease, and at the same time, wanting more. Overall, Wither is an excellent read that will capture your breath from the very first lines and leave you hungry for more after the very last line.

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