Saturday, October 13, 2012
Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
by Lauren DeStefano
Published: 3.22.11 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?
Inky's Blurbings:
Hmm. I'm not quite sure where to start on this. I enjoyed it, but I didn't. It was a great read, but it had some flaws. It took me a long time to decide that I was going to read this book. I added it, then took it off, then added it again on my to-reads list. It was an interesting futuristic idea but I wasn't sure I liked the whole polygamous topic it surrounded. But after hearing just raving reviews of Fever, book two, I decided to give it shot. Let me just say that this wasn't everything I had expected or wanted. 

The first thing that really got to me was the society development. There were hints at changes in society  and the way things were done, OBV, but like for one thing I never even got the DATE! What year is it? How far into the future? They kept referencing the 20th and 21st centuries, but that led me to question even more what was going on. Branching from that we have the government structure. I wanted to know how the place got the way they did. So I was disappointed by the lack of world building in that respect. For the most part the structure was the household and how things were done in the regard of the marriages.

Now coming to that topic I felt like that was interesting and pretty laid out there on the table. Nothing complex or confusing to worry about. The sister wives were your basic characters. I wasn't really drawn to them in any particular way. I felt pity for them sure, they're in this crappy situation, but I didn't connect. Linden - the husband- was talked about alot by Rhine and Jenna as terrible. Like there were a couple times Rhine acknowledged how ignorant he was, but for the most part it was flat out hate. He knows NOTHING. He's not even the bad guy. I felt totally bad for him.

Speaking of bad guys, we have Linden's dad, VAUGHN. The word just oozes creepiness. He's the "evil overlord" of the house and for some reason he's always threatening, hating Rhine. He needs complete control. Oh he was an effective bad guy, but what I really wanted is the inside scoop. I'm hoping that will come later because all we have is a list of questions and no answers, okay there might have been a couple, but there's still a lot left open for him. More villainous development. 

Rhine herself was an interesting character. Thought I'm still trying to figure out her name.... She had a good voice. She's a very independent girl. I could see where things were coming from and I was glad that we got flashbacks and memories to help us understand where she was coming from. So I couldn't say she was one of the best characters,and one that I loved, she was nice despite the whole cliche aspects of her. Starting with the beginning of the book it's all hate of situation and people that put her there and vows of escape. But she doesn't DO anything about escaping till like 3/4ths in. And then it felt like it was way to easy and the bad guy didn't do much to stop her. Too smooth.

The romance was one side of the book that I liked. I liked Gabriel, even though he's in the bookmaybe one-third of the time. He seems like a genuine guy, and they actually got to know each other well. I was happy it was Love-you-can't-be-without-you in this book. That would have been way wrong. But this book sets up a good base for a good romance in the following books. So I have to give Lauren a thumbs up for that. 

So yes, I had complaints. I want more details and information. And honestly, more action. It was really relaxed with a threat every couple hundred pages. I've heard good things about Fever, the second installment, so I'm hoping that it will live to my expectations and give me a good ride. 

Content: Moderate
(A few instances of light language. Girls forced into polygamous marriages. Innuendo, talk of pregnancy, sex. Husband has sex w/13-yr old wife and impregnates her. Birth (some details, not overly graphic) It's know he has sex with another wife a few times. He sleeps *no sex* in bed with MC. Kisses.)
3 Stars - Cool Beans
(Great in a salad, mashed, or re-fried. A very nice appetizer, but I'm still hungry)

Have you read Wither? Fever? Did you like it better than me? Do you want to read this book? What are YOUR thoughts? XOXO,


  1. I liked this book, though I found to world-building kind of...weird as well. I think it takes place in the early/mid 22nd century based on some hints dropped, but I may be mistaken as I read it a while ago. Anyway, great review!

  2. I agree that the book could have used more action. I dubbed it 80% inner monologue, which only goes out to a select few books ;) I actually liked Wither, but if you're looking for more action then you may have a better time with Fever. Although I wasn't much into the romance. Great review!

    1. Totally. That's so true. I like those books, I like things to happen with it. I'll take your word for it! Thanks so much Krista!

  3. Vaughn was definitely creepy-I don't think he was even in the book that much and he still creeped me out. Very effective! I had more mixed feelings about Fever but I definitely want to read Sever because cliffhanger.

    1. Cliff-hanger?! What?! Noo! I hate those! Grr.

  4. I really love this series! It is definitely... different. I did end up loving Fever a bit more, except for the beginning of it which I was kind of EH about. I'm looking forward to the last book. Great review! I love hearing what people like and didn't like. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    1. Glad to hear that you thought it was better. I'm hoping so. Thanks Sara!


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