Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 358
Received: Purchased
Rating: 3 out of 5 Books

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.

What did I think of Wither. Hmm...that's a tough one. :-/

DeStefano can write. Her prose is flawless and it's an easy read. You can definitely tell she has a degree in English. Gabriel is simply one of the sweetest guys I've read about, and it makes me sad we didn't really get to know him. Hopefully in the second book his character is more fleshed out.

This book was bad, not at all. It's just the idea of this being a YA book and the context of it war with me. The Hunger Games was much more violent, much darker, but it still felt YA. This felt very adult, and it was hard for me to envision the world the way she painted it. I could see it, sure, I just couldn't swallow it...and that's totally me, not the book. So, I guess really I didn't find the book bad, it just wasn't what I'd imagined it'd be when I picked it up...and that's totally okay, too.

It's not that I didn't enjoy's didn't feel YA. The tones and the storyline felt much more adult. The fact that Linden impregnates a 13-year-old and there is no feeling of shame or loss of childhood, save for Rhine's inner thoughts, feels off. I hate to even imagine a world where that would be necessary makes me kind of ill. The fact that the wives talk about sexual positions in order to find a way to become pregnant seems much more of an adult book than YA. It's not that sex doesn't belong in YA. I'm pretty sure YA can be just about anything, including sex. It's just this didn't feel YA. Polygamy, especially at the age of 13, 16, and 18 seems a bit stretched. The fact that Linden was completely oblivious to everything made me annoyed, but not as much as the fact that Rhine felt it was okay to not inform him. She chastised him internally and felt bad for him not having the knowledge, but didn't make any attempt to make him aware. I guess I just kept questioning the characters. I identified the most with Jenna, and she was sadly, one of the shortest-lived characters in the book.

Overall, I didn't not like the book, it just didn't feel right. And that's okay. Actually, that's great, because not every book is for everyone. I will definitely read the second to see what DeStefano brings to the plate in the future, I just wouldn't jump up and down and write home about this book, either. DeStefano is a strong writer and I look forward to reading her subsequent books.

"And then there's another voice, and my eyes fly open so fast that the room spins. 'Rhine?' Gabriel's voice can reach me anywhere. Even in a hurricane."
"I always knew I was an excellent liar; I just didn't know I had it in me to fool myself."

RATING: 3 Books

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