Sandy's Reviews > Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
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's review
Jan 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, that-made-no-sense, weird-science, pretty-prose
Read from March 31 to April 09, 2011 , read count: 2

When I think of rating Wither, I feel so conflicted. The premise is too disturbing, the world building so muddled that I just cannot recommend this book.

But then I remember that lovely, lovely prose. If I rated this book on the prose alone, I would certainly give it five shiny stars.

Lauren DeStefano's words evoke such strong images and emotions, and within a few pages, I was hooked. (I read this book in one sitting, finishing at 3:00 a.m. It was so haunting that I ended up reading it again over the course of a few days.) I needed to let this one settle for awhile to decide how I felt about it. How did DeStefano make me care about and maybe even like Linden? How did she make me overlook the gratuitous attempts to be shocking (did she really need to make Cecily 13?) and the anemic world building? It was that beautiful, sweeping prose that drew me in and kept me reading. I became so invested in her characters that I couldn't stop reading until I knew their fates. (Strangely enough, the least developed character in the book is someone with a most important role--Gabriel. How did DeStefano make me care about Linden of all people, but she couldn't make Gabriel someone readers could connect with?)

Wither is disturbing and often gratuitous, and the science makes no sense, for which I give it one star. But, oh, that lovely prose! That exquisite prose earns five stars for sure, for an average of three stars.
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Reading Progress

04/04/2011 page 215
60.0% "This is a seriously disturbing book...." 1 comment
08/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I adored this book(:

message 2: by Nomes (new)

Nomes most of my trusted good reads buddies gave this one star :/

i liked reading your review :) i don't think it's the book for me. especially if the science makes no sense. i sometimes find it hard to suspend my disbelief and then it wrecks my ability to get into the story.

the cover is gorgeous though...

Morgan F I agree for the most part, Sandy.

I loved the prose and the characters. And the cover is absolutely beautiful.

The science and worldbuilding, however, sucks ass.

Sandy @Nomes: Yeah, the science seems so arbitrary: women die at 20 and men at 25 from some strange virus. Read Morgan's excellent review for an in-depth look at the strange, muddled world building. I definitely can't recommend this book. I'd skip it if you're in doubt. I just think DeStefano has beautiful prose, and if she writes about a different subject matter, I'd love to read it.

@Morgan: Loved your review. Thanks for taking the time to point out all those plot chasms in the world building.

Morgan F Thanks, Sandy! And there was still stuff I was leaving out! So...much...pseudo-science...

Angela Seems we felt very similarly on this one. I gave it 3.5 stars b/c of the prose and b/c I actually liked that the author was willing to take it into disturbing areas. The worldbuilding and the science, though, made it not stand out as much as it could have.

message 7: by Vinaya (last edited Apr 13, 2011 01:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vinaya I gave it five shiny stars, mostly for the prose, I admit, but also because I thought her characterizations were very, very strong. The world building admittedly sucked, but I actually didn't think she was gratuitously shocking. I think it's a culture thing... D:

Michele (Reading Lark/CanadianTwiMom) I agree with you on everything! I had the same troubles but I still felt addicted to it... and I think it was the writing style. I also wished Gabriel was more developed... perhaps in the sequel??

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