Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Rating: StarStar


What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

***** ***** *****

Fate, I think, is a thief.

i really, really want to like this book, but… it has no spunk for me. for a dystopian read, it is very bland.

Rhine was kidnapped by the gatherers at the start of the book. Together with other kidnapped girls inside the van, her worst nightmare has come true: she was taken from her twin brother, Rowan, to be an unwilling bride. Even if her life was easy and luxurious, she longed for only one thing: freedom.

Rhine was not a strong character for me (i’m more attuned to Jenna’s character). or maybe because her strategy to escape does not appeal to me? she lies and fakes her way to Linden, her sister wives, and her domestic to earn their trust so that she can be allowed outside. maybe then, she can plan her escape.

i also found her unfaithful to her feelings. i’m confused, who does she really want: Linden, her husband or Gabriel, the servant? one moment she was pining for Gabriel, the next she’s cuddling with Linden. i thought it was unfair for both guys.

i’m all for Gabriel, what with him being the powerless one, he’s only a servant. but when the author established Rhine’s budding romance with him, Rhine and Linden spends more time together and i can see that Rhine might be falling for Linden.

i also don’t like Linden when portrayed as the husband with three wives. he got Cecily pregnant (she was thirteen!), Jenna is his bootie call (Jenna hates him), and Rhine… well, let’s just say that often he wants to get in her pants. Linden really supports the idea that population should not die out.

the love triangle just seemed too complicated for me. when Gabriel is with Rhine, i’m team Gabriel. but when she is with Linden, i can’t help but cheer for him, too. Maybe i was the one falling for Linden…? hahaha!

three words for House Master Vaughn: dirty. old. man.

there’s this one scene that i like: Rhine’s and Gabriel’s first kiss. i wasn’t expecting it, what with the big chance of getting caught and Gabriel getting beat up again. but it happened, and i was like, nooo! somebody might see you! and yet, i found it sweet. 🙂

Most House Governors have at least three wives, sometimes seven-one for every day of the week.

on the other hand, there’s also this one scene that i really, really hate: Linden and his three wives Cecily, Rhine, and Jenna were all together in a couch. Linden has one arm around Rhine, while his other hand is tracing circles on Jenna’s thigh, and then Cecily is sitting in his lap. I find it really DISTURBING. it’s like TEENAGE ORGY in the making.

He kept asking if I was okay. Like he thought i’d break or something.

If i was going to break, he wouldn’t be the one to do it.

and the ending, oh my. it was painful enough to finish this book, but the ending was as bland as it was in the beginning. THEY WERE JUST GONE LIKE THAT? NO CONFILICT? NO CONFRONTATION?  sheesh.

the author is just too kind to the characters to let them go just like that. this was supposed to be scary and suspenseful.

there was almost no heart-stopping action, and that is what i expected since this is a dystopian read. But the eerie and scary world the author painted is there.

ok, enough of my ranting. but i’ll think twice if i’ll read the second book.

i hold on because you never know in this place when something good will be taken away.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”


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