Wither – Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden, Book 1)
Genre: YA; Dystopia
Summary: Set on the backdrop of a dystopian society, Rhine, a 16-year-old girl, only has four more years to live. How does she know? It’s because every female in the society must die at the age of 20, and males follow suit at the age of 25, all because an experiment to create a “perfect” society went horribly wrong. Can Rhine somehow defy the odds and survive?
Review: First, I would like to pause and drool over this pretty cover. Isn’t it fabulous? Okay, now that that’s out of my system, onward!
Overall, Wither was an intriguing, albeit terrifying, book that made me glad I don’t live in the world that DeStefano imagined. I devoured the entire thing in one sitting, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
The subject matter within was quite heavy, but extremely fascinating. Some of the issues presented in the book included human trafficking, gender, and death, so while it obviously wasn’t the happiest book, it was definitely a worthy read. The plot was terrifying, and I often put myself into the characters’ shoes to see how I would react in their given situation. For example, what would I have done if, at 16, I knew I was only going to live until the age of 20? What would I have done if a rich man decided to make me one of his many wives? Would I try to escape? If anything, Wither will make you think about what can happen in a society that goes completely out of control.
My favorite character was definitely the narrator, Rhine. She was strong and interesting, and I appreciated that she didn’t just go along with things without question. In fact, she was constantly scheming about how she could escape from such a repressive environment, and if I was in the same situation, I hope I would do the same thing.
I’m very excited that there are multiple books in this series, and I was lucky enough to borrow the next book, Fever, from my friend, Christina (thanks again!). If you like dystopias, especially the ones listed below, there is a very real chance that you’ll also thoroughly enjoy Wither.
Read-Alikes – XVI – Julia Karr, Matched – Ally Condie, The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood