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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) (edition 2011)

by Lauren DeStefano

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1,6352394,433 (3.85)63
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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Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
You can see more reviews on my blog, Boricuan Bookworms.

I got fooled into thinking this book was head over heels amazing – twice.

The beautiful cover reeled me in, and with the premise, I was hoping to read one of the most amazing dystopians I’ve ever read. Didn’t happen.

What really disappointed me from the book was the world building.

Rhine Ellery lives in North America, the only continent left after some huge war.
“All we were taught of geography was that the world had once been made up of seven continents and several countries, but a third world war demolished all but North America, the continent with all the most advanced technology”



How does a war destroy 6 continents? HOW? Also, I think this was poor world building. I mean, it’s like the author thought “Let’s just destroy the whole world, so I don’t need to worry about what happens anywhere else except in Rhine’s life”. It was a totally drastic way to explain what happened to the rest of the world.

Other than the world building, I thought the storyline was weak.

Instead of shedding some more light on the disease that’s killing everyone, all that we see in the book is Rhine’s married life, and how she reacts to it.

I wanted to know what was happening with the disease, and how they were searching for a cure, but it looked as if no one gave a damn about that, and all they wanted to do was kidnap women to make them wives. The women that couldn’t be wives got killed, even though it’s been established that human life in this world is a rare and precious thing.

I couldn’t bring myself to like any of the characters, except maybe Jenna. Jenna was the only character in this book with common sense.

The supposed antagonist, Linden Ashby, was too nice to be hated, and I honestly like him much more than Gabriel. Vaughn is the true antagonist, but it’s difficult to even feel some fear for him.

The end of the book left me completely unsatisfied. I felt as if after writing 348 pages, the author thought “Well…maybe I should end the book now”, and in the last 10 pages made a hasty ending to introduce the second book.

I guess what I did like about the book was the prose. It was poetic and emotional, and the words did captivate you to a point.
“Love is natural. Even the human race can’t claim to be natural anymore. We are fake, dying things.”

Overall, the poor world building and storyline didn’t make me enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I may read the next books in the series, if they’re available in a library or something like that.

2.5 stars ( )
  | Jul 1, 2015 | edit |
This book had such a unique and sad portrait of what life might have been like. I loved it. I can't stand to think I have to wait another year to read the sequal! ( )
  PrescottKris | Jan 26, 2015 |
READ IN DUTCH

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 | Jan 4, 2015 |
I just LOVED this book! It had a unique & interesting premise (see synopsis). The plot moved along at just the right pace & the characters were very well written and developed. Can't wait for the sequel! ( )
  Kelly_Mills | Dec 13, 2014 |
Dystopian YA trilogy, there are so many of them!!! After a while they all blur together and honestly this one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. After reading quite a few heavy books I was in the mood for something quick and fun and this one worked well.

The first book in the series sucks you in from the first page. Rhine, a teenager with wild hair and different colored eyes, is kidnapped from Manhattan where she lived with her twin brother Rowan. She, along with two other girls, is taken to become a child bride to a rich man, Linden. Even though she’s only 16-years-old, this practice is completely normal in the twisted society the world has become.

Decades earlier geneticists found a cure for cancer, but in doing so they destroyed the human race. The “cured” generation seems almost immortal, but their children only live to be 20 if they are female and 25 if they are male. The world has been like this for years and the ensuing chaos and overwhelming number of orphans is heartbreaking.
The two other brides, the aloof Jenna and ditzy Cecily live with Rhine in a mansion that’s more prison than paradise. As Rhine plans her escape she tries to understand the world around her. Although it seems almost harmless on the surface, her father-in-law, Vaughn, runs a darker world behind the scenes in the mansion. An attendant named Gabriel provides a source of comfort in the midst of her loneliness.

BOTTOM LINE: The trilogy was just what I wanted, fast reads with enthralling plots. There are definitely pieces that feel like they come straight from another dystopian trilogy, like the constant primping of the girls by attendants (Hunger Games) or the brother who becomes a supporter of the villains’ plans (Divergent), but overall I was entertained. I didn’t like them enough to ever re-read them. The characters were often too wooden, the plot too predictable, but they are great for a reading break when you need one. ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 5, 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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