Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

March 3rd, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: March 22, 2011

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have been wanting to read this book for so long so I eagerly jumped at the chance to review it.  Although it took me awhile to get into it about half way through I got sucked in and am now on pins and needles waiting for the next book.

The Story Line

DeStefano built a world that fascinated me and this was the big draw of why I wanted to read the book.  Mankind decided to try and mess with nature by developing the “perfect” generation of children who are healthy and without physical defect.  Little do they know that this will come back to haunt them as their children all begin to die at a young age.  The men never live past 25 and the women don’t make it past 20.  So now they live in a world filled of the older first generation and the very young as people struggle to find a cure for this sickness.  In desperation some of the wealthy men have taken to kidnapping young girls to serve as one of multiple wives so they can have more and more children to keep their race alive.

I loved how DeStefano used all the characters to show how different types of people adapted to living in this sort of society.  It makes you wonder if you were to live in this world how would you behave?

The Characters

I loved Rhine.  She was the perfect mix of teenager who acts older than she is due to her circumstances.  She was not overly whiny or reckless but she wasn’t so perfect that it was hard to believe she was just sixteen.  My heart broke for her as she talked about her relationship with her twin brother and how he would be left all alone once he realized that she was not coming home.  Her turmoil of feelings of wanting to escape, anger at her husband and father in law and yet her developing affection for her husband all touch your core and make you feel for her.

Her sister wives, Jenna and Cecily foiled her perfectly.  Cecily is the child bride who was raised in an orphanage and so for her this is like a dream come true and on the opposite end is Jenna who loses her sisters and is forced to live with the man who is indirectly responsible for their deaths. There were both very different characters and although Cecily may be a little irritating at first you come to love them both and invested in what happens to them.

Gabriel and Linden did not capture me as much as the girls but they were still interesting characters.  They both fall in love with Rhine but unlike most male characters in recent YA books they are not the strong, take charge characters.  Instead both of them look to Rhine for guidance and comfort.  This makes me curious what will happen in the next book and how it will affect their relationship with Rhine.

The Romance

Since Gabriel did not grab me as much as Rhine did the romance was a little weak for me. I guess I am used to the strong male hero in the book serving as a perfect counter-balance to the strong heroine and is able to stand side by side with her.  So far Gabriel has struck me as the weaker half of the couple whom Rhine would have to protect.  In the same way Linden was more like a child who has been sheltered by his psychotic father and who almost seems to view Rhine as someone to turn to for guidance rather than a partner in life.

Overall I really enjoyed this book although I will admit the ending was a bit anti-climatic.  Still I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult

9 Responses

  1. Pam

    I will read book 2 as well.

  2. Kelly Hashway

    This has been on my TBR list for a while now. Very nice review. It’s good to know ahead of time if a book takes a bit to really get into but is worth the read in the end.

  3. Catherine Stine

    Wow, I would imagine that this premise would both frighten and fascinate teen girls.
    Thanks for turning us onto this novel!

  4. Katrina

    Very interesting review. I love reading reviews, because then it makes me feel something might be worth the effort after all. :)

  5. Beckie

    Hello friend – I just want to give you the 7 facts award, if you want to know more about it visit my blog:

    Thanks and have a wonderful day! :)

  6. Debbie's World of Books

    I hope everyone enjoys it and thanks for the award Beckie!

  7. lindsaywrites

    i want to read this one so bad! Hey! i’m a new follower! love the blog and can’t wait to read more!

    hope you check out mine and follow me too!! =]

  8. Kailana

    Glad you liked it overall! One of these days I am going to read it…

  9. Michelle

    I loved this book. I’m eagerly anticipating the next and we’re so far off from it! I didn’t think the romance was as strong, I wasn’t feeling Gabriel as a love interest at all. But I did feel like Linden had a great deal of potential.

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