Review : Wither, Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden Trilogy #1)

March, 22nd 2011 (US)
Simon & Schuster


What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

My review

This book was personally recommended to me by Maggie Stiefvater.

In Rhine’s world, young people die at 20 years old for girls, and at 25 years old for boys. Rhine is a 16 years old girl which has been kidnapped with 2 other girls to become the Governor’s wives. However, her only goal is to escape and to find her twin brother. As she is attracted to Gabriel, a servant, she has to gain Linden’s confidence, risking having affection for him.

The plot is very creepy and makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a girl or what, but it’s more intriguing than every dystopian novel I’ve ever read. The sexual content is soft but present in the book. In spite of Rhine’s revolt and disapproval, there is a somber resignation about this system which looks like an other era. Even if there is one luck to escape from the polygamous marriages, there is always the problem of the virus which kills people at a fixed age. It’s a very important and necessary question which is not answered or even approached in this first book.

Linden is a very pathetic character. I don’t have any sympathy to him even if I have pity for him, particularly because of his past with his first wife. However, he is very naïve and he doesn’t guess what is at stake with his behavior, his whole life and his father. I was very uncomfortable about the relationship between Linden and Cecily. For God’s sake, she is only 13 years old!

The story is entertaining but the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel is under developed unfortunately, their love for each other is not shown very well, compared for example to Linden and his first wife. I don’t really feel the feelings between the two characters.

Rhine’s twin brother is not present in the book, only except thanks to Rhine’s thoughts and memories, and I can’t wait for meeting him in the sequel. It could be interesting to know what’s happening for him while Rhine lived with Linden.

The Chemical Garden is a trilogy so we have to wait the sequels for knowing the end.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sillyhay
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 11:52:50

    bon ben je pense pas le lire dans un avenir proche alors vu ta critique ^^


    • Francesca
      Jan 12, 2011 @ 11:56:37

      Je me rends compte que j’ai parlé que des points négatifs du livre. lol Et il y en a beaucoup c’est vrai, même si j’ai eu une lecture assez rapide du livre finalement. Je pensais pas que ce livre me mettrait autant mal à l’aise, je pense que ce sentiment a occulté tous les autres et ne m’a pas rendu les personnages très sympathiques.


  2. Pisinat
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 21:54:24

    Mmmm… I didn’t think it was so creepy… I’m not sure I’m still so enthusiast to read it now! … … Well, I’m maybe not so eager anymore, but I’m still curious lol


  3. Alizea
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 00:51:31

    Oh My Gosh!! I can’t wait for this one….already on my To-Read-List-For-The DAC!!!
    I do not think it’s creepy, but more eery and intriguing….and I like that….well, wait and see for the release!! 🙂


  4. Missy
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 09:17:46

    Definitively isn’t a book for me lol


  5. Lisa
    Jan 23, 2011 @ 03:21:07

    I was sure that this book was frightening, now it’s confirmed !^^ That’s a pity because I wanted to read it… But I think that I should not. :p


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