Book Review | Wither

Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)

Author: Lauren DeStefano

About the Book:

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?

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received my copy of Lauren DeStefano’s new dystopian romance, Wither because it didn’t look like anything I have read before. I figured what the heck and I’ll give it a try and I am so glad I did. I was completely blown away by this book and and cannot wait to read more in this trilogy.

The book follows Rhine Ellery, a 16 year old girl who is taken captive and forced to become a wife of a rich young man, Linden. Two other girls were also kidnapped and became Linden’s wives as well as the book delves into the world of teenage polygamy. Don’t forget this book is set in the future where males die at age 25 and females die at age 20 so that’s why these brides are so young.

The characters were rich and multi-dimensional for the most part. I adored Rhine and how she was so strong and brave even in the horrible circumstances she was in. She was loving and caring towards her fellow sister wives, Cecily and Jenna. Cecily was a little fireball and there were parts in there that she got on my nerves. I definitely wouldn’t have been as cool and calm as Rhine was when dealing with her!

Rhine meets one of the house servants, Gabriel and they feel a mutual attraction towards each other.  I wished there would have been a little more with them in terms of romance, but I guess I will have to wait to see what happens in the next book.

This book does have some scenes that might not be appropriate for younger teens (ie. violence, teenage pregnancy, sexual content, polygamy). It is dark and some parts are sad and I did cry in one part. I guess that’s  the sign of a good book when it can bring out that raw emotion!

Wither is released this month so if you want to see what it’s all about and see why I loved it so much, then go pick up a copy!

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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