Review: ‘Wither’ by Lauren DeStefano

Review: ‘Wither’ by Lauren DeStefanoWither by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 22nd, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Pages: 358
Format: Hardcover
Source: bought in-store
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?

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Book OutletThe Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


In Rhine’s world society has been plagued with a deadly virus that kills women at the age of twenty years old, and women at the age of twenty-five. The population has decreased so much that teenage girls are taken at will by Gatherers to be sold to men who will take in a polygamous marriage. Rhine is one of these wives, a sister wife to Cecily and Jenna. Blond, and beautiful her eyes marked with one brown eye and one blue eye, she struggles to keep herself alive and sane while she is held prisoner at the mansion. She befriends a servant boy named Gabriel and together they plot to escape.

This world is so bleak and depressing! Imagine no cure for a virus that automatically kills you! To have strength as Rhine does makes up for most of this slow paced novel. The relationships between the sister wives were just beautiful and it felt real. All of them being imprisoned in such a place where the rest of the world is bleak and hungry made their situation less frightening.

I completely adore Rhine’s strength of character. Her strong will to get out and find her brother is what moved the story along. The writing is beautiful and Lauren DeStefano is a great writer. I look forward to reading Fever.



Love is natural. Even the human race can’t claim to be natural anymore. (119)





  1. Mary G Loki

    May 17, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    This book was ok, but it was lacking in the world building department.

  2. Jaime Lynn

    August 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    For some reason, I still haven’t read this one. I can handle disturbing, but the concept for this one is seriously disturbing, and I think maybe I could handle it better if it were adults in this situation. I don’t know if I will ever read the series, but I do know that I LOVE the covers.

  3. bhwrn1

    August 14, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    I have to say this was one of the strangest books I read. I wan’t sure if I liked it or not when I finished.

  4. Cali W.

    July 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Cool review! This book was very unique and I was surprised at a lot of things. <3

  5. Carol

    November 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    I have heard so much about this book I am for sure going to pick it up! Besides, it has a great cover and interesting storyline.

  6. Devon

    October 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    i really liked this book but i wish that the ending didnt come as quick as it did. Can’t wait to pick up Fever =)

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