October Releases

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Author: Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden
Number in Series: 1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 358
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Genre:Young Adult/Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance

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Synopsis from Goodreads

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. Editor's recommendation.

         Wither is about a dystopian world where advances in science have ruined the future. Due to the children born with the help of science to create the perfect child in order to stop cancer and other various diseases; those children can’t live past their 20s. Girls live up to the age of 20, boys live up to the age of 25. So, of course, there are scientists trying to figure out the problem. But there are those that believe this is the way how things should be. And there are those that are taking advantage of the situation. They are called Gatherers. Since most children now are orphans, they kidnap little girls to sell to their potential husbands to stop the world from dying out or they just kill them. This is where we meet our main character, Rhine. She and three other girls have been kidnapped and taken to a luxurious home in an unfamiliar area. She is on a mission to escape so she can go back to her twin brother, Rowan. Their husband may not be the monster she thought he was, but his father may be a bigger monster than they all thought.

          That synopsis was a lot longer than I thought it would be, but that just shows how complex this book was. I loved this book. It was amazing from beginning to end. I love dystopian stories and this was amazing. I loved that we got a sense of all the characters in the book and it made me care for them all (well most anyway). Rhine was a smart girl; she knew she had to be careful in order to escape. She didn’t do the act first-think later thing. If she did, this book would have been cut very short. I wish we got more of Gabriel. He is the first person she meets in the mansion and tries to help her even though he would get punished for it. They both go out of their way to help each other. Jenna was the oldest of the girls; she is eighteen which means she doesn’t have long. Cecily annoyed me. She is easily manipulated and has caught the eye of the real enemy, Linden’s dad, Vaughn. He has her believing she is safe at the house and there is nowhere else should would rather be. And she refuses to think otherwise because she is in love with the luxury.
I liked Linden because he wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, it seems that due to his dad, he is as big a prisoner as the girls. We see how he acts after his First Wife, Rose, dies. He is crushed; he doesn’t act like she is easily replaceable. It is here something grows between him and Rhine and it actually had me cheering him on a bit. I really can’t wait to see more of him.

            But as I said, the real villain is Daddy Dearest Vaughn.  After Rose (the original First wife and Rhine’s only friend in the house besides Gabriel) dies, Rhine goes snooping when she shouldn’t and discovers what Vaughn is really up to in his creepy basement. And Vaughn is a very smart man, he knows Rhine is up to something and knows Gabriel, the simple busboy, is helping her somehow. He takes matters into his own hands. And as the book goes on, you can see this is all an experiment to him, everyone is his lab rat of sorts.

            I loved the plot of this book. The suspense had me losing my mind. Rhine could be caught doing a whole bunch of things she shouldn’t and you wonder what we happen to her. I desperately wanted more romance between her and Gabriel, there was chemistry from the start. But given their situations, I understand why DeStafano  There were some things that happened in the house that were unexplainable that I have no doubt Vaughn had a hand in, but we aren’t given a complete picture. Thank God, because the sequel is coming out in February and intend on getting my copy first thing.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. I am not sure how this review is looking because it is hard not to spoil with this one. It is even harder to write a review about a book worth raving about. I swear to you, this is not even half of the amazing stuff I wanted to talk about in this book. This is amazing debut by DeStefano. Suspenseful, well written and thrilling, this book will not bore you for sure. This is also an amazing YA book. Although please take note that some will need an open mind with this one. Remember, 20-25 years is the end, so there are instances of sex at a young age. But it is only hinted at, we aren’t shown anything. I just have to make sure I put that in there since this book focuses on the end of the human population and end of old age, that this is the way it is handled. Okay, I am stopping now. Read this!



  1. After Hunger Games I haven't really picked up another dystopian book. will have to read up on that genre, I love fantasy/sci-fi but "futuristic" stuff scares me a bit lol

  2. @Braine - Oh you will like this one. I love dystopians and this one is definitely dark and creepy. It is especially creepy, but this type of stuff is taking place now with the genetic babies and stuff. This book should be a lesson LOL! Thanks for the comment hon :)

  3. I am so glad to see you enjoyed this book so much. It has many great sounds to it, but it just doesn't yell at me. But I'm happy to see you loved it. :) Thank you for the wonderful review.

  4. I've heard of this one before, but haven't picked it up yet. Definitely sounds like something I'd read. Thanks for the review! :)

  5. Ooh Diana there you go again. Now I'm off to goodreads to add to my reading list. LOL! Day by day it gets longer.
    Just love your reviews hon! This book sounds great.

  6. @Melissa - I have heard so many great things about it, I just had to give it a go. I am glad I did. I hope you give it a go though hon. You are welcome for the review :)

    @SacredmOOn - Hope you like it hon. It is a great read. Happy to put some weight on your Goodreads list LOL! Can't wait ti hear what you think of it.

    Thank you guys for the comments :)

  7. Oh man, crack me up! That's exactly how I get when I write a review over a book I absolutely love I'm afraid I'll give stuff away and not make it sound awesome enough! I've had this book on my TBR list for a little bit now but I realize that I might need to move it up a bit on my reading list and read it sooner than later. :-D


Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D