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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) (edition 2011)

by Lauren DeStefano

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1,5232324,841 (3.89)60
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

Recently added bysreeparna, private library, blog_gal, ladyofbadgers, Katy11, -sunny-
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Showing 1-5 of 230 (next | show all)
Why did I wait so long to read this book?



Within the first four pages, my jaw was slack and eyes wide and mind stunned with how intense this book began. I mean, if reading those first few pages isn’t enough to grab you right out of the gate, I don’t know what more you’re looking for. Because that was INSANE. (In the very best way.)



Poor Rhine! Stolen away and forced to marry into a polygamous marriage with a complete stranger, leaving her twin brother to wonder what happened to her and imagine the worst. But while she’s essentially being held as a prisoner in the mansion, she does find friends in her sister wives as well as a certain attendant–Gabriel.



Now I do love Rhine and Gabriel’s interaction with each other–I do!



Is it bad that I love Linden?



I know that his wives are all taken by force and ripped away from the lives they had, but throughout the whole book I had the feeling that he had nothing to do with that. And I was right! He’s gentle and caring and with all the time Rhine has to spend with him, I can’t help but fall for him a little bit . . . He’s a product of the sheltered life he’s been raised in and I can’t curse him for that–he’s doing what he can with what he has and what he knows.



The problem is that Linden’s creepy old dad, Housemaster Vaughn, tells him only what he wants Linden to hear. Housemaster Vaughn is the sadistic, evil old gargoyle responsible for the deaths of the girls and experimenting on dead bodies in the hope of finding a cure to the virus that’s killing off all the younger generation. His intention is admirable, being that he wants to find a cure. However, his methods are twisted and creepy and wrong.



Is it bad that his depravity made me love the story more?



Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely hate the guy and he gives me the creeps like none other. But it enhances the story, and I’m the kind of person that thrives on a creepy and chilling plot.



And way to leave me hanging, DeStefano! Good thing I was already prepared and bought all of The Chemical Garden books before I’d even read this one;) I knew this was a book I’d respond to and love. AND, on a semi-related note, if you’re on Twitter and not following @LaurenDeStefano, you’re doing it wrong;)

RATING: 4.5 ( )
  danitronmc | Jun 19, 2014 |
This book has just driven me nuts in the most polite way.

The ending felt..sort of abrupt. I don't know why. And I just can't get past the fact that she never just..told Linden about her life. About the truth. About the fact that Rhine had a brother, that Jenna's sisters were murdered, that all the girls were kidnapped and the rejects were discarded. I can't get past the fact that if he'd just known the reality that he would have made changes. That he'd have been horrified. And there was really no reason NOT to tell him. Vaughn couldn't have done anything about it once Linden knew. And that really, really bothers me. And the book took way too much suspension of disbelief -- so she's first wife but they've never consummated? O.o Really? And no details about the virus at all.

Calling this A Handmaid's Tale for kids is a good comparison, but A Handmaid's Tale took very little suspension of disbelief -- that's what made it so frightening. This was just frustrating.
( )
  lyrrael | May 18, 2014 |
I wasn't, initially, terribly interested in reading this book, because: polygamy? Really? I just wasn't feeling it. But after beginning two other books that were pretty miserably written, I decided to give Wither a try.

It's actually shockingly good. I found myself completely sucked in to De Stephano's world. The fact that Rhine's been kidnapped helps, from a reader's point of view, enormously. We have time to warm up to the whole concept, without having to swallow the notion that any woman would be overjoyed at the idea of sharing her husband.

Regarding the writing, it's clean (both language and style-wise), intelligent, emotional without being cloying, and full of rich description. DeStephano doesn't leave me with that feeling some YA authors do: that she's simply trying too hard.

Above all, Wither is interesting. There were a few small plot points I wanted explained, and having begun book 2, I can see that we're headed there already. I'm satisfied.


More and other reviews on fefferbooks.com! ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
It was good, but good Lord, it was one of the most depressing things I've read in a while. There was a combination of factors for why- one, the girls only live to twenty and the guys live to twenty five. I'm twenty four and I kept thinking, "In that world, I'd be dead." It's so horrible to think of these children, because children they are, at sixteen only having four years left. For another thing, they don't even attend school because it's a waste. Third- a thirteen year old bearing a twenty year old's child because they're searching desperately for an antidote, even while people are starting to lose hope there is one. Adding the three things together and you contribute to the overall feel of the novel.

There's the atmosphere of hopelessness. It feels hopeless that anyone will survive (people will die from Gothic novelism). It's hopeless that Rhine and Rowan will live beyond their prescribed times. It's hopeless that Rhine will ever escape, be with Gabriel, and see Rowan again. She'll always be confined, away from the people she needs, and that a grim fate awaits her with no chance for happiness before it.

Even the ending didn't feel quite like they were free. It feels like Vaughn is lingering, waiting to swoop down on them. Poor, poor Rhine and Gabriel. And Jenna.

Rhine didn't think Cecily's motives at the end were genuine, but I think she, in her twisted way, realized what she'd really done. I just wish that these children could be children.

I think that's the greatest crime of all in this series. Children have no childhood. There is no such thing as adolescence anymore and parents aren't really parents. No one survives to see their children grow.

So depressing. Just horribly depressing. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
It was good, but good Lord, it was one of the most depressing things I've read in a while. There was a combination of factors for why- one, the girls only live to twenty and the guys live to twenty five. I'm twenty four and I kept thinking, "In that world, I'd be dead." It's so horrible to think of these children, because children they are, at sixteen only having four years left. For another thing, they don't even attend school because it's a waste. Third- a thirteen year old bearing a twenty year old's child because they're searching desperately for an antidote, even while people are starting to lose hope there is one. Adding the three things together and you contribute to the overall feel of the novel.

There's the atmosphere of hopelessness. It feels hopeless that anyone will survive (people will die from Gothic novelism). It's hopeless that Rhine and Rowan will live beyond their prescribed times. It's hopeless that Rhine will ever escape, be with Gabriel, and see Rowan again. She'll always be confined, away from the people she needs, and that a grim fate awaits her with no chance for happiness before it.

Even the ending didn't feel quite like they were free. It feels like Vaughn is lingering, waiting to swoop down on them. Poor, poor Rhine and Gabriel. And Jenna.

Rhine didn't think Cecily's motives at the end were genuine, but I think she, in her twisted way, realized what she'd really done. I just wish that these children could be children.

I think that's the greatest crime of all in this series. Children have no childhood. There is no such thing as adolescence anymore and parents aren't really parents. No one survives to see their children grow.

So depressing. Just horribly depressing. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 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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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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