Book: Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: 3/22/2011
Date Read: 2/23/2011
Wow! Just WOW! I didn't know what to expect from this book and I was completely taken in by the story and the characters. In fact, I finished this book a week ago and have still been thinking about it. This has to be my new favorite dystopian novel. How did Lauren Destefano win me over, I'll tell you...
1. Relatable, yet very deep characters
Rhine is a strong, compassionate girl who can't help but be taken in by the nice new life her husband has set up for her. If she didn't know what else was out there outside her imprisonment of a marriage, she would be content to live the last four years of her life in Linden's manor. But she has a twin brother out there, anxiously wondering what happened to her.
She and her sister wives, yes sister wives, grow to become a real family. Even Linden, grew on me towards the end so much so I began to pity him. None of the characters are perfect, they all have their flaws and that what made the story even more real for me.
2. Thought-provoking themes and a realistically cruel world
This novel is about many things: life, death, humanity, science, genetics, wealth, love, family.... it touches so much and paints a picture of real life issues in this drastically different world than what we live in. Time, there is so little of it for these people growing up in this world where almost everyone is an orphan and the rich treat people like property. I don't know how to explain how well Lauren creates this world, so realistic and genuine despite never having dealt with anything like this ourselves. I almost felt like out there somewhere this was really happening and I wanted to go and do something about it.
3. Mystery and Suspense
Is there or will there ever be a cure for this disease? Is Linden genuinely loving or a tyrant captivator? Will Rhine ever escape? Lauren keeps the reader intrigued the whole time with mysteries and suspense galore. Even though it is a long book, I only stopped reading once.
4. Heartbreak and Hope
Throughout the novel you'll come across these two more than once. Just prepare yourself to tear up and feel for these characters. Tragic lives, with hopeful hearts.
5. A satisfying, yet open-ended conclusion that makes the reader wonder... What comes next??
I loved everything about this book, even it's design -which I was able to see in e-reader format- and I can't wait to see what comes next. Not just for Rhine, but for Linden and other characters as well.
Writing Style: 5/5