karen's Reviews > Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
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's review
Aug 25, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: my-biggest-fear, teen-faves, why-yes-i-ya, from-publisher-or-author

so this is the handmaid's tale for kids. with some new details for the modern set. premise: world is basically over. only north america survives, but barely - like one step better than the road. due to genetic manipulation and subsequent oopses, there are considerably lower life expectancies: girls live to be twenty, boys to twenty-five. then - coughing, blood, expiration.

so, to keep the population going, and to provide new babies to experiment with, many young girls are kidnapped and sold into marriages where they are treated like goddesses, frankly, except they can't leave and they are expected to fulfill all those wifely duties with the highest bidder.

see, here is my problem. if the world was shitty enough that you had to live in the basement with only your twin brother for company, nailing shut the door to prevent thieves and murderers from breaking in and holding knives to your throats, and afraid to go outside unprotected because marauders would kidnap you and maybe sell you into prostitution, only one day you do get captured (this is all in the first couple of pages, so don't start putting your hands over your ears and going "lalalalalala") and they plop you in a mansion to be one of three brides to a wealthy man with a pool and a library and a bevvy of stylists who make dresses just for you and cooks who bring you whatever you want at any time. i mean - what's the big deal?? if you are going to die in four years anyway, why not live like this?? tolerate some fumbled caresses (that are all too easy to deter, anyway) and sit around reading and drinking hot cocoa until you cough yourself to death?

do i just not value my liberty??
is it because i technically have no siblings so i don't understand the family-pull??
am i just too soft and domesticated?

i could totally be a kept woman if the alternative was freezing and starving to death. i mean - you die when you are twenty in a world with very little left. what, are you going to have a career?? not likely.

me, i will be eating the chocolate covered strawberries on the trampoline, thank you very much. does this reflect poorly on my character?

and i didn't dislike the book, but i just couldn't relate to the character. the whole time, i'm like - come on, girl, it isn't that bad... but i will totally read the next two books in this trilogy, especially if ariel isn't mad at me for not loving it as much as she did.

i definitely think this book will be popular with the teens, but with more ambitious and less comfort-loving girls than me...

going to curl up now with netflix and pomegranate iced tea.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 80) (80 new)

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

yay! i hope you like!

message 2: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine I find it weird men are living longer than women.

but if your husband needs a second wife I am on your side karen, but no chocolate on my strawberries please.

karen hm. faceless ariel has no comments for me.

i worry she is cross.

message 4: by Jasmine (last edited Aug 27, 2010 09:28PM) (new)

Jasmine maybe she is asleep?

I really like the cover.

Courtney she is withering.

karen no, she is just mad at me!!

so mad!!!

karen come back, ariel!

karen ariel!!! don't make me sing that europe song under your window.

because i will.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

i am here! i was on a train! which made it hard to answer. i am not one bit cross.

karen by "train", you mean "rage-infused tantrum"

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

but of course. the fury is nearly overwhelming.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

i could totally be a kept woman if the alternative was freezing and starving to death.

i love that line.

karen hot fury!!

i'm sure there is a corresponding image on the internet, but i am still toiling away at the book factory.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

karen uuurg, i bet that is hot fury, but i can't see it here!! curses!

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

oh it's hot fury alright. red hot fury.

message 17: by karen (last edited Aug 29, 2010 07:25AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

karen oh, man, it certainly is!!

hey, is it too late for typo-detection?? can i work for you for free??

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

it is totally not too late. keep in mind that the manuscript used for the arc is NOT the final manuscript so some changes have already been found. in fact i'm right now waiting for the second pass. :) but please, email me anything you see, if you don't mind!

message 19: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Karen the Michael Rubens book sold out!!

We are the solution for authors contemplating suicide!!

karen shit, i know - i gave it to a guy last night!! i forgot to shortlist!!

Courtney Jasmine saves the day!

message 22: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine I am going to promote him so that I can pretend he is my friend!

message 23: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine also that is what I am for saving the day and becoming best friends with authors no one has ever heard of.

ah remember pia what ever happened to her

karen who???

message 25: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine famous fathers and other stories I had to look her up.

karen i think she's on table as we speak....

message 27: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine oh probably we have several copies.

I gave rabeha a book off your table about a muslim woman she said she was going to buy it.

karen which one??

message 29: by Jasmine (new)

I am so on top of the new books...


karen oh, good!! well done!

message 31: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Why wait? The Apocalypse is a foregone conclusion.

karen who will keep me??

message 33: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal I'll take you on. I've got a house full of females who have sufficiently broken my spirit. What's one more? Can't say it pays much, but you can read all you want, amuse me with your minstrel reviews and tend to the ugly basil plant in my backyard.

karen can i have milkshakes whenever i want??

message 35: by Esteban (new)

Esteban del Mal Sold!

karen this is a golden day for feminism!

message 37: by Rita (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rita Webb I love your review. I think I am going to have to read this book.

Miriam tend to the ugly basil plant in my backyard.

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message 39: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara I also had problems with the way the dystopia was written. It went from being so horrible that you have to cower in the basement with a gun to being happy with parties and movie theaters.

Ellie I agree completely. Her life sounded much better than the alternative, and her husband (Linden) sounded so sweet and innocent. I know I'd want to spend my last few years in luxury with a nice husband and friend (Cecily). At the same time, I do have a brother, and understand wanting to be with your family when you die, but Rhine made it sound like her new life was torture. I also think that Rhine was very unrelatable, since she didn't seem to have any real emotions except for hatred. Overall, I thought that the idea behind this book was interesting, but it was executed poorly.

Fang-tan You just summed up what was irking me about her constant desire to leave. Though I can understand if I were separated from my sisters. Assuming we didn't end up like Jenna's family!

karen stay put! eat candy!

message 43: by Mell (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mell i think free will lives so strongly in some people that they would rather die free, or die standing, than live life as a slave. and remember- Rhine wasn't starving to death in the streets.

karen she was nailing her door shut against marauders. just as bad.

but i take your point. but me - in a house full of books and food and only a couple of years to live anyway?? sign me up and i can "not tonight,dear, i have a headache" with the best of them...

Paperback Princess Karen I kind of understand where the Author is coming from, after all if I was dying in 4 years I would want to spend all that time with those that I love, which in her case is her twin brother. However, I truly do understand where your coming from, it's not like they were living a comfortable life and all of a sudden she's placed in a pretty ideal place, the only negative thing is that she cannot be with her twin. So I understand both sides.

Karli When Linden said I love you to her, I was like, No no no. You CAN'T leave him now!!!The only character that I absoultely hated was Vaugh. I couldn't stand that Jenna died, either. I bet she was poisoned!

message 47: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Graham Yes, I started it and it was the Handmaid's tale but not as well written (whaddya expect). I am trying to give it another chance!

message 48: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Great review. I would choose the comfortable gilded cage too. I guess I don't value my liberty either. :)

karen not as much as i value coziness and a life without marauders breaking in my door. you know, the little things.

message 50: by Rita (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rita Webb I finally got around to reading this book, and I felt like you did, karen, only for different reasons. There's something more important than having freedom, and that is taking responsibility. There were people who needed her, and she deserted them. I grew to really care about those people, and goshdarnit, I liked Linden! I was so disappointed when she left that I'm not sure I can read the next book.

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