Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Wither (Chemical Garden Trilogy #1 )by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Library

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?
Review: Before reading this book, I’d read plenty of mixed reviews to mix up my thoughts. Did I want to read this book? What if I read it and I didn’t like it? That would be a waste of my time. What if I didn’t read it but I would have loved it? I finally decided to give it a try and I’m glad I did! I’m going to say that I absolutely loved it because I didn’t but I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Any other day polygamy would not be my choice of subject to read about but I did in this book and I enjoyed it. I liked reading this book and reading more about this world and what was happening in it. I have to give it to Lauren for not making polygamy the absolute main focus of this plot. To me, the main focus was on our protagonist Rhine and her feelings of where she currently was and what was happening to her. The plot moved a bit too slowly at times and some things seemed a bit repetitive and that really pulled me away. BUT the main thing that bugged me about this book was this: the world’s population is dying out. Guys live till 25 and girls till 20. YET, even after this fact, you kill a van full of young girls because they don’t meet the status quo? HOW does that make any sense to anyone? I get that you want the best traits for the new generation but really? Kill all those girls?

I think there are two things this book is, in my opinion, going to be known for: the gorgeous cover and the equally gorgeous, lyrical writing of Lauren DeStefano. I just loved, loved the feel and sounding of the words together. This book really, really came alive with her descriptions but the best part was that the descriptions weren’t overdone. They were just right! The feel of this entire novel is just so palpable. The emotions and the descriptions were just so darn real! Rhine in turn was an amazing protagonist! She’s a strong, fierce girl who knows what she wants but she’s human too.

There wasn’t a lot of romance in this book and usually I like a book to have a certain amount and I felt that this book didn’t necessarily have enough. Rhine’s relationship with Linden and Gabriel wasn’t developed enough to my liking but I hope that in the next book, it will get better.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot but some aspects didn’t work for me. I will read Fever when it comes out but I don’t think it will be right away. I think people should really give this book a try!

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—GEORGOUS! I LOVE THIS COVER SO MUCH. It’s got so much symbolism to the book and it fits the book perfectly!

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