Jun 16, 2011

Review: Lauren DeStefano - Wither

Lauren DeStefano – Wither

Pub. Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Format: Ebook 243 pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian fantasy

Wither is the kind of book that will hook you within the first few pages and never, ever let go. This is the kind of book that will keep me thinking long after the series ends, wondering, "Man, could this happen? How far off is this?" It's a truly original take of the dystopian fantasy genre, and I enjoyed it to the last page.

It starts out in such a creepy and dark manner that you have no choice but to keep reading. You HAVE to know what the deal is! And this is what happened: a third world war broke out, and only North America survived (the reason why made me giggle.. yeah right!). Also, scientists have genetically altered the human race to completely obliterate all health issues, ranging from cancer to STDs to the common cold and flu. One flaw? New generations only make it twenty-five years, and that's only if you're male.

Rhine Ellery is sixteen, living with her twin brother, trying to get by as orphans. That is until she's snatched up by Gatherers - ones who make a living by capturing young females to marry wealthy males and keep the race alive. Rhine is taken to a mansion with limited access and two sister wives. She is bound and determined to escape and go back home to Manhattan and her brother. She makes friends and enemies, learns about herself, and keeps hope. But is it enough? Will she be able to escape before her time is up? READ THIS BOOK!

And also, the author’s name is pronounced de-STEFF-ano, just as an FYI. I didn’t know, so I’m glad I found out!

What I liked:

  • The language. This book is so elegant and creepy at the same time. And some of the lines in this book were like poetry! I can’t say enough good things. If you haven’t read the book, maybe you shouldn’t read some of these quotes as they are a bit spoilery, but check them out on Goodreads. It’s wonderful!
  • The originality. This is unlike anything I’ve read. I’ve read dystopian, I’ve read YA, I’ve read some fantasty, and this is a mash-up of all of these genres. It’s an ‘outside the box’ kind of read, and I appreciated that.
  • The characters. I liked Rhine’s determination. I enjoyed Jenna’s detachment. Cecily was like a little sister. Linden is so innocent that you want to like him. Gabriel is, well, Gabriel (and that’s GOOD). And you can hate Vaughn so easily!

What I didn’t like:

  • The creep factor. I’m sorry, but even in this possible future it is still gross to sleep with a 13-year-old. I don’t care what age people are living to. That’s just wrong. And Linden doesn’t seem to have a problem with that! Yuck. Also, the whole sister wives thing has to suck.
  • Mysterious parts. **SPOILER ALERT** What is Vaughn really doing in the basement? What really happened to Rose’s body? Is Vaughn using Jenna too? I thought we’d find some of these answers. And I wish there would have been a little bit more detail into getting the help. How come they’re “the help” and not sold as brides too? AND how were they still making movies?? Why were some people actresses and not sold as brides? I’m confused.. lol.

Bottom line: This is a fantastic read. It’s so original and different. I can’t wait for the second one!


4 star4/5 book sharks


  1. I loved this book and your review is spot-on! It was a great read but creepy all the same. :)

  2. I like the way you've reviewed this book. Easy to follow and figure out if it is something I'd like. Thanks!

  3. Jen - Glad you liked it!! I did too :o) Great read!

    Dana - I hope you like this book :o) Thanks for the compliments!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment! It means a lot!! Happy Reading!!