Monday, 16 April 2012

#89 Book Review: Wither

Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Release Date: March 22nd 2011
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Amazon & The Book Depository
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
My review:

The cover is GORGEOUS. It's so pretty and I can stare at it for hours. The girl in the cover looks just like how I imagined Rhine. I like the dress, the circles in the cover and the bird in the cage which seems to symbolize the idea of being trapped and freedom. I think it's perfect for the book!
5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for the cover!

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Wow, Wither absolutely surprised me. I was unable to stop reading and stayed up late to finish this book. It was such a heart-felt beautifully written story that completely enthralled and entranced me. Lauren DeStefano's writing captures me within every single page of the book. Her vivid descriptions of the things happening in this book makes me shiver. Her idea of Wither itself is brilliant. Can you imagine living a world where girls can only live up to 20 and boys can only live up to 25? Books like this makes me wonder how authors are so creative in coming up with ideas for their book. I was hooked from the very first page. Written from Rhine's POV, this book is gorgeous and enthralling. I remember reading the first chapter of this book when I saw it in the library last year but was never interested. Now I feel so stupid for not reading this book earlier. Wither is a sad yet gorgeous story. I love reading Rhine's story and the way she sees her life after being kidnapped to live in this unknown house and to marry a man she never knows in her life before. The ending pleased me and it made me start Fever directly because I can't wait to see how the story develops in the sequel.

One thing I adore about Wither besides Lauren DeStefano's beautiful writing is her characters. They were so real, so different and so well-written. Lauren DeStefano perfectly captures Rhine's voice in this book and I can completely understand her pain of living in this mansion and the feeling of being trapped in the mansion. I also want eyes like Rhine's! Her left eye's colour is different compared to her right one! I can't imagine living Rhine's life and I feel sad that she is separated from her twin brother. I can also understand how she nearly falls into this luxurious world where she can wear gorgeous dresses, have attendants to serve her and attend parties whereas the life she has lived before she was kidnapped was a poor life.

I also enjoyed reading her sister wives : Jenna and Cecily. Cecily is an annoying girl who is still 13 (and she's pregnant, poor girl) and Jenna is a quiet girl who always notices things around her. I like how Rhine bonded with her sister wives. Linden is a very innocent character. He doesn't know the truth behind what his father is doing and simply obeys him. He is quite sweet and a loving character. He does intrigue me but I love what Rhine and Gabriel shared in this book. Their relationship is so romantic in a way that it's not full of kisses and touching but just talking and sharing their past. I can feel lost in Gabriel's gorgeous blue eyes. I absolutely hated Housemaster Vaughn, Linden's father and I cannot see how this man is the father of Linden. He is a perfect antagonist because he may seem kind at first but deep down is a true evil man!

Lauren DeStefano delivers a brilliant concept and a beautifully written story through Wither. Beneath this book's beautiful cover is a gorgeous and enthralling story that will leave you breathless and wanting for more. Definitely a book I recommend buying for its pretty cover and amazing story! Wither completely blew me away.
5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Wither!
Thank you Harper Collins Australia for the review copy!

Check out the GORGEOUS book trailer!


  1. I also read the first chapter of Wither a while ago and it didn't really catch my attention... But seeing your review, I think I may have to give it a chance!

    I'm kind of intrigued about the characters, too. I'd love to read about the bond you mentioned the wives share. And Linden. And... Gabriel? Okay, okay, I need to read it.

    Nice review! Have a great start of the week, Celine! ♥

  2. I really enjoyed this book too! It has one of my favourite covers and the writing was great for me. Awesome review, Celine! It's great to hear it had you staying up late to finish it. :D I still need to read Fever but I can't wait to get round to it soon. :)

  3. Brilliant review Celine, I'm so glad you've been having so much luck with great books! I agree the cover to this is gorgeous! I think I've seen the second book to this Fever in the book store the other day I bet you can't wait to read it! :)

  4. YAY!! <3 Oh my gosh, I know that this is one of those books that kind of splits the blogosphere in half, but Wither has always been one of my favourite books ever so I'm REALLY happy that it surprised you in a good way! :) Besides Lauren DeStefano's beautiful writing, my favourite thing had to be how realistic the characters were too! Except Rhine was probably a whole lot stronger than me LOL since if I was kidnapped like her, I'd have no clue what to do x)

    Amazingly beautiful review, Celine! Now we can hate Vaughn, love Gabriel, adore Linden, and ogle the cover together! ;) I can't wait until you get to Fever too! ♥

  5. Celine! I adore your review as much as the book. Everything you said is spot on, it's such a beautifully written, yet haunting tale. And yes! Exactly what you said about Gabriel and Rhine's relationship. That they shared words and secrets a few stolen kisses, rather than be heavy on the physical, yet it was still so touching and sweet <3 I really want to see Linden crack out of his protective shelf and see the truths of the world he is living in, hopefully we might see this in Fever. Cannot wait to read your review for that!

    So happy you loved this!! <3

  6. I'm glad that you liked this book as much as I did! I can't wait to read Fever. Her writing style completely got me hooked. I felt sad for Cecily sometimes, but she can be quite annoying..

    Nice review! :D

  7. I absolutely loved Wither, for the characters. I read a lot of people complaining about the lack of action, but the extremely well-developed characters had me so enamoured, I didn't care that most of their time was spent in the same location. Beautiful review - I think you really captured why I loved Wither :)

    I think it's also why I disliked Fever, because the characters I loved from Wither were mostly absent, and the new characters that were introduced were not nearly as developed as those from Wither.

  8. Amazing review, Celine! I adored this book so, so much and it was one of those rare reads from last year that I couldn't help but fall for instantly. Anyway I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel . . . hope it measures up to this little beauty!

  9. I'm not really sure why, but I was always reluctant to pick this book up. I think the topic may be just a little bit outside my comfort zone and I'm pretty sure I'd end up not liking it for all the wrong reason. In short, I'm a coward. All my friends, you included, obviously, really liked it and there's no real reason for me not to read it. You might have just pushed me over the edge, Celine. Wonderful review!

  10. Oh, what a lovely review, Celine! I didn't expect that I would enjoy this book so much - the idea of freedom is just too much for me sometimes. So when I ended up loving this book, it's such a pleasant surprise! I love, love your review - you capture perfectly the atmosphere in this book! <3

    I kind of like Linden actually. He's so innocent and I don't think that it's his fault for being so clueless about the harsh world. I think in some ways, Housemaster Vaughn loves Linden. He doesn't want Rhine to leave the house because he wants Linden to be happy. The characters in this book are very real. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book very much! <3

  11. Yay Celine! This was one of my favorite reads last year - it was just so beautifully horrifying in a kind of understated way. I can't imagine living in Rhine's world and I was utterly fascinated the entire time I was reading. I loved Jenna and Cecily as well, and I found Linden really intriguing - I was never quite sure if he was actually as innocent as he appeared to be and that made things interesting. Beautiful review!

  12. I loved this as well!! Like you say, the writing was so beautiful and I LOVED how much character development there was! All the characters felt unique and real. I think Jenna was my favourite. I wasn't a huuuge fan of Gabriel though to be honest. I still haven't read the sequel but I really need to.

    The Cait Files

  13. this one is high on my wishlist tnx for the awesome review celine

  14. Wow, really interesting concept. I'm finding more and more redundancy in books these days, especially fantasy/ dystopian novels like this one. Great review! Will be adding this to my towering must read list.

  15. This is too funny. Today, I also posted a review of Wither on my blog! Great minds think alike, they say! ;) Our feelings are very similar. I couldn’t agree more about the connection you feel with the characters. I loved how detailed and realistic they all felt. I wanted to hate Linden half the time, but I just couldn’t. Same with Cecily. I think I agree with Rhine when she says that Cecily and Linden are perfect for each other. Nice to hear your thoughts on this!

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

  16. From what you're saying, it sounds as if I'll get a hard case of the Dazzled Eyes and Dreamy Sighs with Gabriel. But, truth be told, I'm too chicken to pick up this series. I'm a McWimpy. The whole dying young thing scares the snot out of me and I feel like I wouldn't appreciate this book the same way. Still, what a wonderful review, Celine! You've tempted me... <33

  17. I read this book and it was okay I guess. I definitely didn't enjoy this book that much, but I do like the whole idea behind it! It was beautifully written and all, but frankly I didn't enjoy it that much if you know what I mean. I'm glad you liked it though. Unfortunately this wasn't the book for me! :(

  18. Eep this is the second review I've read of Wither today! Gosh, I really wish I could will myself to read it because everyone says it's absolutely lovely but it doesn't really appeal to me. I have to get through that notion!! Lauren DeStefano's writing does sound beautiful and I love that Rhine is close to her sister wives. Yay for friendship? Hopefully I will force myself to read this soon! :)

  19. I always feel like the odd one out when it comes to Wither, I really didn't like it even though most people I know did! Lovely review, Cel, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  20. CELLLLIIIIIIIIIINE! I've not read it Wither, but you make it sounds AMAZING!

    Ugh, I nearly bought Wither a few months ago, for like, $4... kicking myself I didn't. SO looking forward to it now, but I'm sure it's going to break my heart :S

  21. I really enjoy this series. I reviewed "Wither" not too long ago and it was a favorable one. I'm more a Linden fan than Gabriel though. I have no idea why...maybe it's because they have more interaction? I dunno. Sometimes I just buck tradition like that. That being said, your review is spot on and gorgeous!


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