Book Review: Wither

Wither (Chemical Garden Trilogy : 1) by Lauren DeStefano. 2011.

Imagine a world completely changed from what we comprehend at the present. World War III has obliterated every continent except North America. An unforeseen anomaly in genetic engineering has occurred which causes males to live until age twenty-five, and females barely live until age twenty. Women are abducted, then forced into polygamous marriages in an effort to keep the species thriving. You have now entered the world of Wither in which the world is a very different place.

Rhine is a sixteen-year-old girl who enters a world of prosperity and opportunity when she is married off to Governor Linden. Although she lives in a mansion and is doted on by her own personal attendant, she feels more like a caged bird than a doting wife. She and her sister wives, Jenna and Cecily, are continuously under the watchful eye of both their husband and his father, Housemaster Vaughn. The one person she can count on in her imprisonment is her servant Gabriel, whom she has developed intense feelings for. Can Rhine escape her shackles of marriage to pursue freedom and true love?

Wither is one of those novels that grasps you from the very first sentence. Lauren DeStefano does an incredible job at crafting a story that keeps the reader engrossed with the characters. I cannot wait to see what DeStefano has in store for the rest of the “Chemical Garden Trilogy”, since Wither is the first in the series. Besides the initial fascinating story of Rhine and her life in the mansion, I really enjoyed the unexpected twists and turns that happened throughout the novel. I found some scenes eerie and others shocking, so I would definitely say that ages 14 and up should be considered in terms of content. If you can get past some of the themes in this novel, you will find that the driving force is Rhine. Her quest for freedom is what intrigued and motivated me to follow her to the end of the story.

If you are interested in reading an excerpt from Fever, the 2nd book in the “Chemical Garden Trilogy” here!

Here are some other novels in the same vein as Wither that might interest you:

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