AUTHOR: Lauren Destefano
SERIES: Chemical Garden #1
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 358 (Hardcover)
I've been waiting to read Wither for months, and now that i actually have it feels slightly surreal. This book has been getting a massive hype, and i must admit, it's not entirely for all the wrong reasons.As many of my fellow bloggers have already pointed out, the world building in Wither really is crap. Ms. Stefano gave no real reason that i could see for why North America was the only continent left, and i only found out what Rhine herself looked like after the 50th+ page, and even now all i know is that she has blond hair and mismatched eyes. It was even worse with Gabriel, the only info i got was his hair and eyes aswell and that took even longer to receive.
Also, i have conflicted feeling over the choices the author made in this book especially *CASUAL SPOILER* like letting a 21 year old have sex with a 13 year old and get her pregnant. I don't care if she wanted it, i would never have wished that upon myself at that age.
Jenna and Linden's relationship was another confuzzler, she didn't mind doing the dirty with him, but she absolutely hated him aswell, hmmmm...might have to rethink that one. Rhine's wish to run away and her 'love' for Linden also confused me, if she truly loved him, she wouldn't want to leave him and run away with another dude!
Anyways, moving away from the negatives, Wither did have lots of positives. First, whilst dystopians are being butchered left right and centre, the author manages to keep a sliver of originality in her book. Not many writers would go near the subject of humans being ticking time bombs, due to the difficulty of creating up some miraculous 'cure'. However, the idea is a clever one, and i can't wait to see where she goes with it.
Her use of Housemaster Vaughn as the villain of the story also helped create more positive feelings for Linden, and gave us someone to despise instead of him. In Linden's credit, he wasn't half bad, it was just that he would do something sweet or get somewhere with Rhine and then five minutes later she'd find him doing one of her sister wives, it was a bit confusing.
The idea of sisterwives might be a bit strange, but i think Jenna and Cecily were one of the highlights of the book, even with Cecily's constant whining. They were both loyal, and the bonds between the three girls really were something special to read about.
Wither had a bit of action, but not so much as to ruin it, and a sufficient amount of mystery and a cause that i could get behind, even if it isn't entirely clear yet. Rhine's romance with Gabriel was cute, and i'm glad it took a bit of a backseat to the plot, she'll have plenty of time to develop it more later. Rose also, whilst a shortlived character, added something more to the book, and i think Ms. Stefano made a good decision bringing her into the novel.
Right, now that i've bored you to death, congrats on making it this far btw, my overall opinion of this book is generally positive. It may not be the standalone best book of the year, but it is a good start to the trilogy and promises of better things to come.