Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


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?


This has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now. I don't know how long I've had it, but I looked at it, and said, I need to read this. I have the second book, and I need to read this. I'm glad I did. Wither took me to the future and blasted me with the past. I felt I was reading the futuristic version of a life of a slave and a polygamy woman. I believe a marriage should only have two people in it. That stupid show on TLC, Sister Wives, is stupid. But this book wasn't. Wither exploits the complications of having multiple wives in a refreashing view point of a young girl, Rhine. If you are against polygamy or for it, it doesn't matter. This book is a read for anyone.

Plot: Rhine is sixteen. In four years, she'll die. One day, she gets taken by a Gatherer and is sold off to a weathly man to become his wife. She doesn't want to, but she's forced to. While married, she plots to escape and find her brother again. Along her journey, she falls in love with a servant, Gabriel, who could be killed if her father-in-law finds out. She plots to escapes with Gabriel, and live the rest of her life on her own terms.

In a way, this book is a futuristic version of slavery. Men taking girls and forcing them to do something they don't want to do: bare children to populate the dying world. I thought the plot and the world of Wither was creative. USA is the only surviving country, the rest are underwater. And the whole population is dying at 20 (females) and 25 (males) due to stupid scientists trying to perfect humans. The world of Wither is a very possible one. There are scientists trying to find ways for us to live longer and to get rid of mutations and disease. And if I was kidnapped to be a wife of some stranger, I would try to run away. And within this book, secrets of the father-in-law come out, and of the world his son lives in. This book was not predictable, except for the ending (which I read before I read the book. Yeah, don't yell at me). There were many twists to it, and many points where I wanted to scream because something bad happened or one of the characters (like Rhine or Cecily) were being stupid. I really like it. Had me guessing a lot.

Rhine: stubborn, determined, thoughtful, and emotional. It doesn't take a reader long to like her. Despite when things looked up, things went bad, she got a little depressed, and then kept going. And despite being emotional about some things, she was well rounded, not being too emotional or too cold.

Gabriel: Even though he's the love interest, he did show up in the book as much as I wanted too. (But there's a reason for that, not telling though.) Anyway, he's a typical YA boy. Sweet, funny, thoughtful, wishes for more. In love with Rhine. And he's a boy you would find in high school. He does sweet things for Rhine, and tries to help her out when he can. *Sigh.

Cecily: too young. I didn't really like her, but that's because she was like a freshman in high school. Annoying, doesn't know what to do, and wants to please the upperclassmen. That was Cecily. But she's young, and after what happened to her, all her bratiness goes away and you can't help but feel sorry for her.

Jenna: there's not much to say about her except that she misses her old life like Rhine did hers. her relationship with her husband was just sexual, but she did wish she didn't have to be there. She was somewhat flat, nothing truly going on with her except wanting to escape or help Rhine. Oh, and hating Linden.

Linden: He's nice, a good husband, but he's so in the dark about from what his father tells him about the whole world. I felt sorry for him for most of the novel.

Romance: Rhine's and Gabriel's relationship developed slowly, thankfully. The way Rhine's and Linden's relationship developed, though, I think she could have fallen in love with Linden. It would have been an interesting love triangle, if Rhine returned Linden's feelings, but she didn't. But who knows what will happen in book 2.

Ending: Predictable, but not what actually happens. Of course people know she gets away with Gabriel. It's what they do after they leave is what's unpredictable and cute. I can't wait to read book 2.

Future: Fever, and then Sever in February 13th, 2013

Rating, Cover, & Ending:

For the cover: I wish there was more on it, and the dress different, but I like what the things in the circles represent. The girl, the wedding ring, and the bird in the cage. Rhine trapped in her marriage.

*Bought this book

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Haven't started it yet, two ebooks distracted me, but I can't wait to start!


  1. I loved this idea. it was so dark but Rhine totally made me love her.
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Great review! I've been meaning to start this series.

    new follower

  3. I really enjoyed WITHER as well! The only thing I didn't quite like was the fact that I wanted Rhine to like Linden more than Gabriel. To me, Gabriel didn't really play a part in the story--just an unnecessary love interest who wasn't around most of the time.

    That's just me, though. I agree with you about the rest! Great review!