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Monday, February 28, 2011

My Thoughts: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

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.

I was ecstatic when I received an ARC of Wither by Lauren DeStefano from Simon and Schuster Canada. I had been coveting this book for a while and wasn’t sure if I could wait till release day (March 22nd 2011). Generally I don’t like dystopian novels. There is something terribly hopeless about them, very rarely is there a happy ending. Granted when I think of dystopian novels I think A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and 1984 by George Orwell. Wither is the first Young Adult dystopian that I’ve read, and I totally loved it! I am still in awe of how amazing this book.
I was little nervous to start reading this. The cover is gorgeous, really beautiful and the synopsis totally intrigued me. I was however a little scared it was going to be a little to Flowers in the Attic for me, and I am not a fan of VC Andrews. So Wither sat on my shelf for a couple weeks looking pretty.

I did not get into the story right away. I don’t know that it’s because it was slow in the beginning or if I was still under the impression that dystopian novels mean a great deal of sadness that are supposed to teach me a moral lesson that I never seem to understand. But for whatever reason it took me about 50 pages to be fully engrossed in the story, but after that I could not put the book down, not until I was done.

DeStafano is an amazing writer. I don’t say that lightly. Wither is her first novel to be published and the writing is flawless. The story ran smoothly, there were no bumps or plot holes, events and situations tied together beautifully. The writing was authentic and real. What really amazed me about Wither was how I forgot I was reading a YA novel. Because of the state of the world, men die at 25 and women at 20, kids are forced to grow up quickly, so all the characters in this story have an air of maturity about them.

Rhine the female protagonist is a lovely character. She is strong and determined to get free of this marriage she was forced into. She will do whatever it takes to get free. She is not heartless though, and finds herself starting to care for her sister wives and even her husband Linden. Linden is portrayed as this weak man who is so naive it’s painful. He comes off needy and dependent. I wonder if we will see that change in future books. Linden’s character grows and develops more personality through the novel, due mostly to the attention Rhine gives him in an attempt to become first wife and earn his trust. Of the two sister wives, Jenna and Cecily, Cecily is my favourite, she’s a child bride and the most eager of the three for their husband’s attention. Rhine’s “love interest” Gabriel was a little underdeveloped. I liked him and I liked the interactions between him and Rhine, however I think that he was a bit stale. We did not see much of him and when he disappeared halfway through the book I did not feel that him being gone took away from the story (I did not want him to be hurt or dead) I guess I just did not believe that there really was any romance between him and Rhine. We should be seeing more of him in books to come so maybe he’ll grow on me.

I really enjoyed reading this book and when I was done I was really eager to know what was going to happen to all the characters. I look forward to the sequels.

Happy Reading Everyone!


** I am giving away a Copy of Choker
By Elizabeth Woods. Check it out here.**

20 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read this! March 22nd is so far away. =( Great review!

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  2. Interesting, sounds good, but for some reason it hasn't really caught my attention. Maybe is the dystopia thing, :D

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  3. Oh, yay! I'm so glad you loved this one. I'm hoping to be able to get to it soon. I imagine I'll probably love it because I love dystopians, unlike you :)

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  4. I adore this book so much <3 The writing is just so beautiful. And, while I love the sprawling dystopians that have the characters traversing difficult and interesting terrains, there's something to be said for a confined setting like the House.

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  5. I'm so glad I picked this up at Books a million for 3 bucks. Can't wait to read this!

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  6. Great review! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds great!

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  7. Rebecca HipworthJuly 19, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    I've read an excerpt of this on Amazon and the writing style is just gorgeous. I adore dystopians so I'm sure I'll love this too. :)

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  8. Wither is an amazing read!

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  9. I heard good things about this book but I haven't read it yet. I saw the second book at a bookstore here and I'm thinking of buying it. Unfortunately I can't find a copy of the first one. ;(

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  10. I haven't heard of this book before, but it looks really good! It's not that high up on my tbr list though, so I don't know if I'll be reading it.

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  11. This sounds like a book I could definitely get into! I can't believe I've never heard of it!

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  12. Ah I've seen this book around so much that I don't know how I haven't read it already. I must read it cause you also like it! BTW I love dystopian novels!! :)

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  13. This book was pretty good. I like how Rhine was strong yet still had a lot of heart in her as well.

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  14. I love the cover of this book and at first it was a must have book but after seeing so many mixed reviews and a dystopian binge that made me distance myself from the genre for a while, I've been resisting it for months. I'm still unsure if I want to read it, maybe when I decrease my TBR I'll give it a try. :D

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  16. Gosh! This book has been on my TBR list for months. I haven't got the urge to read it yet. Maybe because of the mixed reviews. Btw, great review!

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  17. Dystopian novels can be frightening or hopeful. This sounds a little of both. I'm putting it on my TBR list for sure.

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  18. This is another book I like but don't like at the same time. I guess I don't like how slow this book is that sometimes I really want to throw it but when reading the beautiful proses you get sucked in again. But really it was very slow which is a total fail for me.

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  19. I really enjoyed Wither, more than I thought I would. I liked the writing and I did enjoy the story. I can't wait to read the next book, Fever.

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  20. Great review! I agree with you that this did not feel like a debut author's novel because it was so well written! I love that Rhine is strong but has so much compassion and understanding for those around her. I loved this book!

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