Tara's Reviews > Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
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's review
Jan 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, kindle, young-adult
Read from March 02 to 03, 2012

This review was originally posted on my blog, Hey, Tara.

For me, starting out with this book, it seemed very… bleak. If this were the current day world, I’d already be dead. Basically, this tells the story of what could be described as modern science’s biggest nightmare – we’ve messed around with everything so much we’ve had the opposite effect, and humans are not dying ridiculously young – with girls dying at 20 years of age, and boys at 25. Because of this, people are marrying younger, the rich have multiple marriages, and all this in the name of procreation and continuing the human gene pool.

Really, for me it was the premise of this that made it interesting. I’m not bothered by the idea of polygamous marriages, especially in a dystopian setting such as this,, but I can see why some people may have been put off by this. However, it’s never really explained that this is done because rich people want to continue their names or genetic links or whatever, and I felt like that could have been explained more.

I also have to admit, I didn’t really see why Rhine was so determined to escape – I get the idea of the gilded prison, but I could much more easily see why Jenna thought the way she did – at least it was somewhere comfortable to be, especially in light of Rhine’s seemingly fairly rough life until that point. I understand the philosophy of escape, and if you have such a short life you could be free – but she never seemed overly discontented, even if Housemaster Vaughn was a pretty nasty piece of work.

One of the most poignant parts of the book, for me, were the descriptions of Cecily – she seemed to be written extremely well, and it was easy to see the very quick change from her being (and acting like) a child, to being a grown-up in a child’s body. It was scary for me to think of a world where I would have already had a child (and died) and I’m only twenty-one, and watching her gradual realization that she would never see her son grow up was pretty realistic (I can imagine) and frightening, too.

I found myself totally drawn into this book, and whilst I don’t understand everything about the world yet, I want to know more. I read this book pretty much non-stop for two days, and was loathe to put it down. It’s the first dystopian novel I’ve read that’s been quite so apocalyptic (though The Hunger Games trilogy was almost there) and I really did enjoy it. I actually can’t wait until I have the money to pick up the next one.

I’d definitely recommend this to any dystopian fans.
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