Review: Wither

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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)

Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22, 2011
Received From: S&S Galley Grab

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What if you knew exactly when you would die?

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 limited time she has left.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I’ve been sitting on this review for a while because I don’t even know if I can adequately express how much I loved this book and why I loved it so much. The writing is amazing. DeStefano’s world is so beautiful and at the same time so heart breaking. To know when you are going to die – how you are going to die – and to have to sit and count down the years. Could you imagine?

I loved all the characters in this book. I thought Cecily, the spoiled, selfish third sister wife, would get on my nerves but I ended up really liking her and feeling for her. Here is a a girl who has never had anything in her life  and has been handed the world on a platter. Of course she is going to take full advantage of it! She thinks she has been given a gift. On the other hand, Rhine and Jenna have been taken away from something – their families, people they love. I’ve gotta say, I loved the relationship between the sister wives. Throughout the book you can tell that they truly do care for each other and become sisters.

The boys in the book are interesting as well. I know some people are Team Linden (looking at you, Miss Remmers!) but I’m gonna stay on Team Rhine for right now and not even pick a boy. I liked the relationship with Gabriel – they became friends first not this rushed love kinda stuff – and with Linden – he seemed to really care about her. I’m really interested in seeing what happens in the other books and how the relationship between Rhine and the boys play out.

Also, the writing in this book is beautiful. The situation is depressing but DeStefano makes the world beautiful. Rhine’s feelings just explode off the page. You feel what she is feeling – despair, happiness, sadness. The writing just sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the last page. I am going to take a minute and say how much I love this cover. It is just gorgeous! I usually don’t mention covers in reviews but this is one of my favorite covers so far this year. Love it!

Y’all, this is a fantastic read. If you haven’t read it yet, go now and read it. You will not be disappointed!

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