Review (YA Fiction): Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1) by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1)
by Lauren DeStefano
Copyright 2011
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
358 pages
ISBN: 9781442409057

From the publisher:
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?

My Review:
~4.5 stars~
Tired of the same ol' same ol' when it comes to YA fiction? I definitely suggest Wither if you're looking for a change. I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this book and it was really amazing! It wasn't all about the heroine making cow eyes at the hero the entire time in fact I'm not even sure there is a hero in this book although I have the feeling that we're going to feel Gabriel's presence a lot more in the next book. This book really has it all though, a unique dystopian world where women die at age 20 and men at age 25 due to a genetics issue, great characters and conflict. I have to say that it didn't read like a young adult novel even though Rhine is only 16. I suppose since females only lived 20 years they grew up fast. Wither is definitely going on my keeper shelf and I'm anxiously awaiting book 2, Fever because the conclusion of Wither really makes you wonder!

Note: Some sexual references and mild language

To learn more about the author and her books visit:

*I purchased this book for myself and was under no obligation to provide a review.*



  1. I've been waiting to see what you thought! This is one I couldn't decide if I wanted to read or not. I'm thinking I'll probably try it out. :)

  2. I enjoyed this one. I too am looking forward to the next one.

  3. Renee, this does sound interesting and worth reading. Your review makes me want to read the book.

  4. *Sigh* another one to add to my wishlist. I'm a junkie and you're my enabler. :)

  5. LOL Joy glad I could be of assistance. ;-)

    Suko- Thanks so much!

    Linda- Wasn't it great though? I love finding new "must read" authors.

    Bluerose- This is definitely different from a lot of the other YA and I really liked it. I know you're a fan of YA too and I think you'll like this.

    Juju- Thank you!

    XOXO~ Renee


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