Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Hardcover, 356 pages
ISBN: 1442409053 (ISBN13: 9781442409057)
available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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 Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

Stop what you're doing and go and buy this book! I was completely blown away by this book. This novel had me hooked in the first few pages.  Wither definitely falls under the category of "want to neglect everything just so I could read". This is a dystopian novel centered around a sixteen year old girl named Rhine. Rhine has grown up in a world where the average life span for a girl is 20 years and for a boy 25 years.  When they reach this predetermined age, they develop a horrible virus that slowly kills them. Nobody knows what causes the virus and nobody knows how to cure it.  The virus leaves destruction in it's wake. There are hundreds of thousands of orphans, girls are forced into prostitution or they are kidnapped to become wives to bear children.  In the beginning of the story Rhine is kidnapped by a gather to become a wife.  She wakes up to find herself in a gorgeous house. She has everything she could possible want except her freedom. Rhine realized early that to escape she'll have to play along, bide her time and wait for the perfect opportunity. I think the views of this society are represented well in the characters of this book. Cecily is a sister-wife who is under the illusion of  that everything will work out. She is naive  in many ways and is happy to be a wife. Jenna is under no illusion, she has surrendered to her fate. She is determined if she's going to die, it might as well be in style. Rhine is like a caged bird longing to be free.  I really enjoyed all the characters in Wither.  I love the way DeStefano slowly unraveled their past so that we could understand the characters more.  The story line is compelling and mesmerizing, from the first to the last page.  The world that DeStefano creates is very intriguing and mysterious. It's bleak at times and very moving at others.  After I finished this book I immediately wanted to know when the next one is going to come out.  There's no word yet but I'll keep you posted.  Overall I love, love, love this book and strongly recommend it. 

To find out more about Wither and Lauren DeStefano check out:
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*Picture and summary taken from GoodReads
*I received this book courtesy of Simon and Schuster galley grab in exchange for a fair review.
*I'm an affiliate of amazon and b&n. I receive a very small commission is you make a purchase using the links provided.


  1. Thanks for the great review. I have heard lots of great things about this one. It has already been added to my TBR list! :0)

  2. I loved this too! It's so easily one of the best books I've read in a while. I second the strong recommendation - great review.

  3. Tracy and Barbara, This is one of the best books I've read too. So many people love this books. I've read some negative reviews also. However the majority seems to really like this book. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like the book Tracy :D


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