Caitlin's Reviews > Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
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Oct 02, 2010

really liked it
Read from December 04 to 12, 2010

Edit: After reading a bunch of reviews, ones that on the lower side of the rating scale (1 or 2 stars, all with great points) I forgot to mention how dark this book is. I always get consumed in the making and structure of the book and forget the rest. This book is dark. Not in a gory sense, but in a hopeless sense. A 13 year old gets preggers. Young people die "naturally." It's one of those books that takes in on a journey to find hope, but there's very little to find. Anyways, if you're not into the dark genres, this may not be the right fit for you.

When I first read the description, I honestly thought, "Well, I'll probably have to push myself through this one." The idea is not original and the love triangle is in no way surprising, but I found myself submerged in the characters, there relationships and the development overall.

I'm a sucker for development. Whether it's character development or a nice steady relationship development. As long as it's paced well and makes sense (which is such a difficult thing to do, in my opinion), then the book is already qualified as "good." DeStefano does an amazing job at creating characters and slowly revealing there layers. Not once did I think, "Wait they're friends now?" or "Why is she doing that?" It just happened naturally, and me, who is always a stickler in the development department, hardly took notice in the changes.

Now, the whole development thing is really important in the novel due to the lack of plain old action. They are no huge explosions, wars, bloody deaths. It's all basic conflicts. Man vs man (Rhine (Wives) vs Vaughn). Man vs. Nature (Generations vs. The Virus). Man vs. Self (Rhine vs. Well, herself). In fact, the last one can be applied to almost every character, even the villain. Like I said, there isn't a super hero nor super villain. But even without the special effects, DeStefano is still able to pull you in just by the tension and desperation Rhine suffers from. Her observations of her sister wives, husband and father-in-law are interesting and mysterious. You can't help but continue reading and reading and reading. Just when you start to think things are slowing down, something happens. Something that changes Rhine's plans of escape or causes more conflict within her and among her sister wives. Honestly, I haven't read a book with such great development overall.

So why is it getting four stars out of five? The narrative is a tad weird. It reminds me of Katniss from The Hunger Games, except Rhine isn't "willing to kill to survive" type of girl. She's more of a "I'm smart and I'm willing to do anything, even kiss up to a stranger, to get out of here" but not like Katniss who at times is completely worn around the edges. Rhine's inner narrative is too formal at times. Lots of "It is" "He is" "are not"s. I know it's an arc so it's still subject to change, but I found myself not quite interested in the story until other characters came into light. Rhine herself is boring. Nothing too interesting about her. Even the few humorous lines she mentions fall flat. She mostly gets nostagia thinking about her brother and her life outside the mansion. At times I found myself thinking, "Okay, okay we get it. You hate this place you wanna go home. Stop crying so much and do something." But other times I enjoyed hearing about what her life use to involve and how her brother and her survived.

To summarize it all, Wither is great book. Great characters with great development. Sure Rhine can get under your skin at times, but what lead character doesn't? My only worries for this book is, it's a trilogy. The book ended pretty nicely. One loose end, but not big enough to need an answer (Brother where art thou?). But my point is, where is this going? What can DeStefano possibly drag out for two more novels and make it equally as good? Well, I'm willing to take my chances.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah M Great Review. I cant wait to pick this one up ! :)

Griffin I thought the same thing at the end, that it can't really go anywhere from here. Still a good read though

Jade I like your mention of character development. I couldn't quite find the words for what I wanted to say when I wrote my review. I agree about the slowly developed relationships. There are so many books that i read where the the couple just magically winds up in love and I'm just groaning at how unrealistic it is. Good analysis. :)

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