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Wither by Lauren DeStefano (final thoughts)

May 11, 2011

From the author’s website:
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.

I had wanted to read Wither pretty much the moment I saw the cover. And then when I heard what it was about, I knew it had to be part of my 2011 reading list. So when the library sent me a nice email saying Wither was ready for me to pick up, I was pretty excited. Also because I had absolutely no recollection of putting it on hold. None whatsoever. Usually I remember these things, because I check their progress obsessively. Maybe I did it in my sleep? I guess that’s possible, it could be a danger of memorizing one’s library card number. Either way, I wasn’t going to complain, I was just going pick Wither up asap.

While the idea behind Wither intrigued me, I wasn’t totally blown away by the story. I think this was a case of Too High Expectations. I mean, it was a good book and I enjoyed reading it, I just didn’t love it as much as others have. I did like Rhine, though. I liked that she was a strong, determined character, that she wasn’t going give up and become complacent. I also liked the world that DeStefano created. While it was obviously set in the future, there were still enough references to our current world to make it seem like an eerily possible near future.

There was a small quibble I had with Wither. There were a couple truths about Rhine’s new world that appeared to be obvious to me (ie. the role her husband had in obtaining new brides), but that Rhine seemed to be completely oblivious to. I wasn’t sure if she just didn’t get it or if she was so determined to hold on to the beliefs she had coming into the house that she chose to ignore the signs until they were spelt out to her. Like I said, that was a small quibble and while it annoyed me at times, it didn’t take away much from my overall enjoyment of the book.

I will definitely read the next book in the series. Wither seemed to be setting the stage for the rest of the series and I’m looking forward to seeing how Rhine’s decisions in book 1 play out in book 2.

My rating: 7/10

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 11:29 am

    I’ve heard so many good and bad reviews on this one. I think I’ll have to wait til the whole series is out on this one so I can just dig in and finish it! Great review. Yours seems to be a middle road, you liked it but didn’t love it. But the cover is gorgeous!

  2. May 11, 2011 12:23 pm

    I’ve found that whenever I’m very excited about & expecting a book to be fantastic, it rarely meets my expectations. Sort of like Christmas morning when I was a little girl! It’s such a letdown. I’m sorry you were disappointed. I think it’s great you were able to find some real positives in the story and already know you’ll read the next book in the series. I hope you enjoy the next book even more!

  3. May 11, 2011 6:08 pm

    Oh, bummer that it wasn’t as good as they hype was! :( I’ve got a copy of it, and am still planning to read it. Maybe I’ll wait a bit until I pick it up. That’s my plan with Room by Emma Donahue as well. Wait until the dust settles and then read it.

  4. May 12, 2011 8:17 am

    I’m always scared to pick up books that have a lot of hype because I’m afraid I’m not going to enjoy it as much as others. Now I’m not sure if I want to read it or not. My tbr pile is so insane right now that I could probably pass up on this one and not even realize it.

  5. justbookreading permalink
    May 15, 2011 8:38 am

    A case of when hype out hypes the book. This happens to me too. I’ve read some good and bad things about this one and while it’s on my list I’m waiting on it.

  6. May 15, 2011 8:14 pm

    Thanks for the review – I know people who have LOVED this and probably more who have not… I am still not sure if I will read it, but if I ever have the opportunity to pick it up I probably would.

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