Review | Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)


Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Published: March 22nd 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi
ISBN: 9781442409057
Age Range:
Rating: 4/5
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 book took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting there to be multiple wives! You can tell that I didn’t know much about this book before I read it, it was for a book club. SO, I went into this book waiting for it to be awful… I know totally judging a book by the cover (literally, I dislike this cover).
The hard part about this book is that the description above literally sums it all up. It leaves out only the details .. but as you can tell, even they aren’t that important. Wow, now I sound like I am hating. The truth is though, that I actually liked this book despite there not being any surprises. Rhine is a character that I felt sympathy for, you can tell that she is torn between wanting to enjoy the life and luxuries that she didn’t have growing up and leaving to find her family. This is another one of those books that kept me wondering if this could one day be our reality, what would I do if I was going to die at the age of 20? Well, for starters I would already be dead .. BUT if I was 16 what would I have done? Would I be ready to bear children as expected? Would I be okay with sharing my husband as long as I was the one that he loved the most?
This book honestly left me thinking about choices and my life. It left me feeling excited for Rhine and yearning for her to find happiness in her heart. I hear the rest of the series is just as good so I guess we will see!

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