Book Review: Wither

Title: Wither (#1 in the Chemical Garden Trilogy)

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Length: 358 pages

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

                My Rating Scale:

                1 Star= I flat out hated it/terrible/I wanted to scratch my eyes out.

                2 Stars= I didn’t like it

                3 Stars= It was okay/I liked it

                4 Stars= I really liked it, but it wasn’t totally perfect

                5 Stars= Holy literary gods! I LOVED this book!

Favorite Quote from Book:

“Tell freedom I said hello.”

Plot Summary:

Rhine Ellery is sixteen years old and living in a world in which men die at the age of 25 and women die at the age of 20.  No one can seem to find an antidote to stop these young deaths.  In the meantime, young girls are frequently kidnapped, sold, and forced into polygamous marriages with men.  Rhine is one of these girls.  While falling for a scam, Rhine is kidnapped, bought, and married to the wealthy and prominent Linden Ashby.  While Linden is an extremely kind-hearted man who claims he can provide anything for Rhine, she discovers there are two things he can’t give her: freedom and her twin brother, Rowan.  Similarly, Rhine meets a house attendant Gabriel who also misses his freedom.  Together they make it a quest to escape the luxurious mansion and find what their hearts truly desire.


Before I read a book, I NEVER look at others’ reviews/opinions of a particular book.  However, after I read a book, I enjoy reading what other people think.  So, when I read Wither’s ratings and reviews I was totally shocked.  I understood where some people’s concerns were, but I found most people to be too nitpicky and completely harsh.  Honestly, we have to give Lauren DeStefano props for having the courage to develop, write, and publish a book.  It’s not an easy task.  So to you EXTREMELY HARSH and CRUEL Debbie Downers of this book, go write your own book to satisfy your needs.  Sorry, I had to just put that out there!

Despite some people, I really enjoyed this book.  I think the plotline was innovative, unique, and interesting.   The book was told in Rhine’s perspective, and I found her to be an extremely relatable character.  Therefore, I really felt her internal struggles.  I felt every emotion and struggle that she faced while being forced to marry Linden Ashby.  However, through her hardships, she proved to be an extremely strong character—let’s face it…protagonists who whine and pull the “woe is me card” are the most despised characters.  Overall, the pacing was great, the other characters were full of depth and well written (I absolutely adored the sister wives), and the story in general had me wanting to read more.

And, can I just mention that this cover is BEAUTIFUL!  I mean it’s totally Vogue-esque, and the symbolism and details taken into consideration for the cover are absolutely divine!

I look forward to reading the next book, Fever.  I want to know what happens so badly!      


I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy dystopian, apocalyptic, science fiction, and romance novels.

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  • 2 years ago