Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Pages: 356

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

WITHER is a beautiful story about life and survival that will get you glued to your seat unable to get up until you make it to the very last page, and then after that you want more. Stefano has done an outstanding job at keeping me amazed with every single chapter in this compelling story.

WITHER is about a story where 16 year old Rhine is kidnapped and forced into being a wife, and she is not the only wife. There are two other sisters, Celicy is the youngest wife, 13 years old. And Jenna is the oldest who is 19 years old. And from the moment Rhine has stepped foot inside of the house of her would be husband she has been plotting her escape.

Of course I would want to run away. Anyone who's been free can understand wanting to be free again. But Linden has never been free. He doesn't even know freedom exist, so how could he want it?

WITHER is a unique world where Women die at the age of 20 and men at the age of 25. And it is a world I could actually believe in. It was a terrifying and scary world that could draw me in and believe that this could actually happen. Girls being kidnapped and murdered. And if you were chosen you would become a wife of someone wealthy.

I would say Rhine is the most normal of the sister wives and she just wants what any teenage girl wants to live her life the way she wants to, to be able to have freedom. I feel her suffering and I enjoyed having her as our heroine. I am unsure if she did love Linden, her husband. Even though what she does in the book is to gain her position as first wife, most of the time I had a feeling that she did love Linden.

When I first started this book I had the impression I was going to hate the person Rhine was to wed to, it was actually a surprise to find out he wasn't really that bad. I find Linden to be a shy person, kind of the personality of Rhine a bit. I find them similar in different ways.

To me Celicy has gotten exactly what she wants through this book, a home, someone to love, Linden. She was in an orphanage so she being pamper like a queen she has shown to me what a rich a spoiled little brat she really is. Celicy is not my favorite sister. I find that she whines too much when she doesn't get her way, and after the ending it justifies again why I really cannot like her. She is like that annoying little girl that gets bothering you and you just want to get away.

Jenna was a bit complicated character. I found her as a friend that Rhine needed to confide in most of the time. The only other person in the house that knows exactly what she is going through. The only other person who truly hates House Master Vaughn and Linden. By the end of the book, Jenna and Rhine had truly become sisters/friends in every sense of the word.

Gabriel was a servant that Rhine talked to most of the time, she confided in him and he really doesn't know what freedom is like, because he has been stuck in the house since he was little. He becomes someone Rhine can truly rely on. And we also have the most unliked character Vaughn. I am sure every single person who has read this book hates him. He is just such an evil character and what he does sickens you.

But now this review is getting kind of long, but overall this was an enjoyable read. I found myself scared for Rhine a lot of the time, hoping that she does succeed in her plan to break free. As soon as I finished, I was mad because I wanted more of this beautiful writing. I am excited for the sequel and will definitely be buying it when it comes out.


  1. I have this one in my review pile, and I've been hearing a lot of great things about it, so I can't wait til I get the chance to read it. I'm glad that you loved it. And seriously? Look at that cover! I'm in love with it!

  2. OMG. I was gonna comment about that on my review, but oh, well. But yea. I had trouble to stop myself from looking at the cover all the time. It is so beautiful. I am curious as to how the sequel's cover will look like XD

  3. So glad you liked this one too! I was really impressed with it, and just like you I thought for sure I was going to despise Linden, but he steadily grew on me and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in the next book:)

  4. awesome review! this looks like such a great book! I'll def check it out! =D

  5. We know he's sweet and has feelings for Rhine, but he's not given enough "screen time" for my liking, which I hope will change in the upcoming books. The sister wives were also a good addition to the story. I love the friendship that bloomed between Jenna and Rhine throughout the novel. Jenna is that girl that you definitely want on your side, and the girl who I'd say you'd want because she's a fierce friend in her own ways. Cecily... is an iffy for me. I love that she developed and matured in the story.