Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: Wither, by Lauren DeStefano

Wither is less a dystopian than a story of kidnapping, slavery, and survival.

Yes, the story takes place in a future world where, because of genetic engineering gone awry, women die at the age of 20 and men at the age of 25. Rhine and her twin brother Rowan are struggling for survival in Manhattan. They are all each other has. And then Rhine gets captured by the Gatherers, who kidnap women and force them into polygamous marriages for the sake of producing offspring.

Rhine is taken along with Jenna and Cecily to become the wives of Linden. Linden lives in a mansion in Florida with his father, Housemaster Vaughn, who is one of the most sinister villains that I've read of late. His intentions aren't clear. Supposedly he's looking for a cure for the virus that is killing all the young people, but as the story progresses we discover his motives might be much more unsavory.

Rhine is dancing a tightrope trying to keep Linden happy, but also trying to figure out how to escape, and take one of the servants, Gabriel, with her. Linden is totally oblivious to the outside world and the fact that his wives might have been unwillingly obtained.

This book flows well. I had trouble putting it down and the pages flipped very quickly. I felt for Rhine, but also got a bit frustrated with her at times for what I thought were some stupid and potentially dangerous decisions. The secondary characters were also well written, so that I cared for each of them too.

The dystopian world was revealed as Rhine describes her home life--we don't really experience much of it. Most of the setting of the book takes place in the mansion, which most definitely isn't the "real world."

The book leaves us with a hopeful ending, but it is also apparent that these characters have much more to endure before they are safe.

Adventure and dystopian fans will love this one. Fans of Matched, and Delirium will relate very well to this story.

Published by Simon & Schuster, March 22, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
358 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I liked this book too and I finished it in a day:) Great review!

  2. I liked this book and found it disturbing. I would have liked to know what was beyond the mansion. I thought the ending was bit too wrapped up nicely. I'm curious as to what happens next and look forward to the next book.

  3. I really liked this book! I'm a huge dystopian fan, so it was a bit disappointing that most of the novel took place within the mansion, but I have high hopes for the sequel where we get to see what the real world is like. Definitely loved Rhine too, even though I did question her judgement at times too.

    Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

  4. I really enjoyed WITHER and I'm looking forward to FEVER. I love your insight! Thanks for the review!

    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

  5. Hi Annette;
    I enjoyed your blog today and find it interesting to see what other people are reading.

    PS If you enjoyed "Cold Mountain" I'm having a giveaway for Frazier's new book, "Nightwoods"
    check it out

  6. I had a strange reaction to this book. I didn't love it and I definitely didn't hate it...I liked it and the characters and want to know what happens next. Great review!

  7. I have been wanting to read this book for a while now. I am going through a bit of a dystopian phase at the moment so I am hoping to get my hands on this one soon :)


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