Book Review: Wither by Lauren Destefano


ashley | I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about Lauren Destefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, even Veronica felt lukewarm about it, so I put off reading it for a little while. But I was looking for a comfort read recently and Wither called to me, so I decided to give it a shot and make my own decisions. I’m really glad I did because I loved this book. A lot. What is wrong with the rest of you? 🙂

Where do I even start. Rhine is the kind of character I love. Strong willed, determined, witty, everything I love about a female character. I’m not really surprised by that though, Destefano writes great leading characters. It was the rest of the characters that took me by surprise. I was so infatuated with Gabriel, I adored Rhine’s dependent Deirdre and her sister wives Jenna and Cecily were a strange mix of everything I would be feeling in their situations.

And Linden, well he was the most surprising of all. I wanted to hate him, I wanted to be sickened by him and his actions, but it was kind of hard to. He was charming, he seemed genuinely grieved by the loss of his first wife and he seemed to genuinely care about these new wives. It was really hard to hate him outright, until you sat down and thought about the situation. In this, I think I could easily relate to Rhine. But at the same time, how stupid was he to not have any idea what was happening to these girls? Was he really that blinded by his father or was he blissfully ignorant to the situation because it worked in his favour? That part made me want to hate him.

Despite my enjoyment, I went back and forth on the plot a bit. Sometimes the points that drove the story seemed a bit flimsy to me, like the theories for breeding more children seemed only loosely put together, not to mention how girls were being snatched and basically enslaved without anyone blinking an eye about it. There seemed to be some big holes about the logistics and how realistic things were and it wasn’t totally anything new, but overall I actually really enjoyed it. It had a futuristic Handmaids Tale vibe to it and I thought that was really interesting.

I gobbled this book up quite quickly and can’t even wait for my hardcopies of the following books to arrive so I can continue this story. That said, I don’t know where the story can possibly go and whether there really needed to be a trilogy, but I’ll read them anyway because this reminded me of everything I’ve been missing about these kinds of novels.


more information
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march 22, 2011