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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by…
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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) (edition 2011)

by Lauren DeStefano

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1,5892374,586 (3.86)61
Member:liezkl
Title:Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Authors:Lauren DeStefano
Info:Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (2011), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:***
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Wither by Lauren DeStefano

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Another Dystopian YA that hit the bookshops and my library after the success of The Hunger Games.



I had some problems with the genetics part of this book, as a training Biomedical Scientist. With advancing technology a way is found to cure people from all diseases. The only downside to this wonderful plan is that the offspring of this improved people happen to die at the age of 20 or 25 for females and males respectively. It's a strange disease, just kicking in after said birthday, and you will wither. (But no explanation on what kind of disease this is supposed to be, did they create a gene that can actually read a calender or count the candles on your birthday cake?)

Making sure you don't get diseases is a serious threat to your offspring it would seem, as this is also has a similar effect in TV-series Spellbinder which I liked to watch as a child.

The problem is set to be genetic, so why are they trying to make an antidote? Should another genetic manipulation not suffice? This is always my problem with books where genetic experiments have gone wrong. If you have the technology, why don't you just reverse the experiment. See, I'm not even graduated yet, but I can see the solution for this problem.



As especially women die young, their wombs are extremely important. Probably to make sure humans don't extinct or something, I can't really think about why people would like to have children that will grow up orphans (if they need kids for some reason or another, why don't they just take the orphans?) So important that everyone who doesn't get chosen by wealthy men, gets shot. That makes perfect sense of course?!



Those things said, I quite liked to read this book. It's not something you should analyse too much (see evidence above) but it's enjoyable. I liked the story in the mansion with the sisterwives, and the eminent feeling something is wrong there. It's a nice quick read, so I also planned to read the second book in this series. ( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
I honestly don’t know what to feel about Wither. All I know is I was hoping that Rhine would not fall in love with Linden. I didn’t like him nor did I think he deserved it, even though he’s supposedly innocent of everything. I want her and Gabriel to be together if anything. I also didn’t get exactly how people would die so young. There was a very brief explanation, but not one that really made me buy into the whole deal. And Linden, just..ugh. How could he not know? He seemed so sheltered. He would have to know something was up with his father. ( )
  CinaChilders | Sep 10, 2014 |
Can I just start by saying that this book was fantastic? Because it was. It really, really was.

When I opened the book and read the first chapter, I knew that this was going to be a great book. The plot can be summed up in two sentences. *ahem* Rhine is captured and is bought by a Housemaster who marries her, along with two other girls. She wants to go back to her brother, but must play by the rules in order to find the perfect moment to escape.

From this summary, you will probably realize one thing. This book, mostly takes place in a house. A rich house. Despite this being a dystopian novel we don't really get a sense of this, because of the location. There are hints, for example the first chapter when the Gatherers show up, when certain characters die, despite their young age, and when Rhine tells us about how Rowan and her survived out in Manhattan. Other than this, not so much is shown.

So if you are looking for a heavy dystopian novel, this one might get you disappointed. But you should still give it a try.

The characters, for the most part, are fleshed out nicely. I do think Rhine was slightly naive about her situation, but she's young so I forgave her. I did love Rhine's sister wives, Jenna and Cecily, though. Jenna was a fantastic character, who was smart, observant, and knew how to play the game. Cecily, while naive like Rhine, did show that she's observant and can make things happen for her.

I liked the interactions between the sister wives and their husband. Linden, despite some of his problems, made for a better love interest than Gabriel.

I really loved this book. So much so that once I finished, I went out and got Fever. Yay! In terms of dystopian novels, this is different, but it does have a good premise and an interesting story.

A solid 4.5 ( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
I was reluctant to read this novel for a while after reading a few mixed reviews. However, I am glad I did - Wither is not perfect, but it does incorporate some of the best elements of fiction and dystopia to create its story. In a futuristic society in which disease has been cured at the cost of men dying at 25 and women at 20, the 16-year-old Rhine is kidnapped to be a sister-wife to a wealthy young man. Good reading, recommended for anyone who enjoys YA dystopian novels! ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Aug 24, 2014 |
In a world where men die at 25 and women at 20, the latest miracle to humankind turns out to be anything but. There were a few hints but not a whole lot of depth to the world building to give it a dystopian feeling that I was craving. The best parts of it I saw through Rhine's memories alone.

I didn't start off liking Rhine too much, as although the air of the book is depressing and more or less stays that way, I felt that that she could have snuck a few more emotions in between it all. Even if she is kidnapped, imprisoned, forced to marry and eventually bear children, in a house where the fairy tale-like setting is solely upstairs. I also felt the bond between her and Gabriel was just too sparse apart to create the feelings between them that was supposed to be there. The ending left me somewhat unfulfilled as well.

Overall a good read, but certainly not a cheerful one, and I will be looking into the sequel to see where Rhine goes next. ( )
  Musefall | Jul 29, 2014 |
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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang. But a whimper. ~T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"
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For my dad, who turned to me and said, "one day kid, you'll do great things."
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I wait.  They keep us in the dark so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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After modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age twenty-five and women dying at age twenty, girls are kidnapped and married off in order to repopulate the world.

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