Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.
My thoughts:
Wither is a hard book for me to review, simply because I can't quite make up my mind about it. There's so much about the setting that feels wrong to me. First, I just don't believe that these genetic mutations would apply to every single person in every single country across the earth. I can't imagine a procedure like this being very cheap, and that makes it highly unlikely that so many people could afford to go through with it. Second, if a guy is told he only has 25 years to live, how likely is it that his sole focus becomes having as many children as possible? Of course it would be nice to have someone to carry on your family name, but wouldn't most guys (even those as oblivious to the truth as Linden, Rhine's husband) want to have some fun instead of marrying 13-year-olds to have their children? And third, how on earth did some of the highest elevated countries like Nepal, China, Argentina and Peru disappear, while Florida and New York are both still around? I'm not buying it.

Despite all of this, I still enjoyed the book. Rhine is a great character, and I really feel like I got to know her well even if I did not always agree with her actions. I loved how she always kept her goal in mind, and always stayed so true to herself. The other characters were all very well described, and by the end of the book I had found things I loved about even the most annoying of Rhine's sister wives. Wither is a little slow as most of the action is conversations and small happenings between Rhine and the sister wives in their new home, but Lauren DeStefano has such a beautiful way of writing that I often found myself stopping to read certain lines over again.

“Eventually I realize that I am holding on to him just as tightly as he holds on to me. And here we are: two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves.”

I love the typography, the colors, the model, and the overall feel of this cover. I don't think I've ever seen one just like it.

My rating of this book:

Want to know more?
Visit Lauren DeStefano's website
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Full disclosure:
Checked out at my local library

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and online book stores like Amazon and The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store has free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. Sounds like it is hard to suspend disbelief with this one.

  2. I always see that people like the book, yet it's nothing special. That makes me sad, because it has such a beautiful cover! haha. I want to like it so much. I guess we'll see what happens when I read it soon. :)

  3. Ugh. I'm so wary of this book. I have it at home but the reviews really put me off of it. I need my dystopians to be realistic under the circumstances or I usually get frustrated with them. Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. I had the same issues. But I still really liked it :D
    But yes come on, US would mostly be gone. And what about Iceland, why would not they be aroudn


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)