Tag Archives: Wither

Fever – Lauren DeStefano

22 Feb

The second book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy reveals a world as captivating—and as dangerous—as the one Rhine left behind in Wither. Rhine and Gabriel may have escaped the beautiful prison of Wither’s mansion, but they are far from escaping danger. First they’re chased for stealing a getaway boat, and then the fleeing pair ends up in the eerie den of Madame, an old woman who collects girls and sells them to the highest bidders. Worst of all, Vaughn, Rhine’s sinister father-in-law, seems to be on her trail every step of the way. Rhine remains determined to get to her brother in Manhattan—but the road they are on is long and perilous.

Now that Rhine has finally regained her freedom, what lengths will she need to go to in order to keep it?

OMG this book! I think one of my favorite things is when the second book in a trilogy is different than the first book. I found Wither a quiet book. There were moments of tension, but over all it was a calm read. More psychological than action driven. (This is actually a good thing. I LOVED Wither). Fever was a much darker, scarier book.

My heart was literally pounding through the whole book. It’s not that it was cover to cover action. It was more the fact that now that Rhine And Gabriel were out in the real world,there are more variables that they have to deal with. They run into some less than savory people and some pretty dicey situations. There were times I honestly  had no idea how they were going to survive. I felt like I was right there with them, trying to figure things out.

I find that with dystopia books, sometimes the hero or the heroine can appear larger than life. Nothing scares them and they stay on their path, come hell or high water. One of the things I love the most about Rhine is that this isn’t the case. She has moments of doubt, when she’s not only unsure of what she can do, but unsure that she’s making the right choice. This added more intensity to the book and made Rhine a realistic character.

DeStefano’s writing was wonderful and her descriptions of the various places that Rhine and Gabriel end up really drew me in. I also loved that while romance played a part in the book, it wasn’t the main focus.

I am beyond anxious to find out how this trilogy wraps up.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for the surprise review copy!


Wither by Lauren DeStefeno

22 Mar

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Released: March22, 2010
Genre: YA dystopia
For review from  publisher.

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

From Simon and Schuster Canada website.


Sigh. Can I just say “Go buy this book now because it’s awesome” and leave it at that? Really. Because Wither was the perfect balance of all things dystopia: despair, mystery, hopefulness and romance. And it made this book geek very, very happy.

The story pretty much caught my attention from the get go. Before I read Wither I heard it describe as The Handmaid’s Tale for teen and I can totally see the comparisons. But for me this book was definitely in no way a rip off or copy. It was wonderful and unique and I loved it for what it was: a damn good YA dystopia.

I think one of the things I enjoyed the most was watching the relationship between Rhine and her sister wives develop. They were all very different and had different takes on being married to Linden and it was interesting to see them interact with one another and develop a relationship. It was far from the perfect situation for any of them, but they each did their best to not only survive, but to make the situation the best that they could.

Another aspect that I thought was BRILLIANT (yes it warrants the caps, IMO) was that despite the fact that Rhine is such a strong character and from the get-go she is Hell bent to escape, the more she gets to know her husband and the longer she’s in the marriage, the more she starts to have moments of “Hey, this isn’t so bad”. In other dystopias I’ve read the heroine is either content and slowly starts to realize things aren’t what they seem, or she fights against the Big Bosses and the way things are from the beginning. It was very nice to have a heroine that was pretty sure she wanted to escape, but had moments of doubt.

This was definitely a character driven dystopia and wasn’t filled with constant action and danger. It was a quiet book, which was perfect for the plot and the characters. Wither is the first in DeStefano’s The Chemical Garden Trilogy and I so can’t wait for the next book to come out.

Take a peek inside Wither and see how awesome it is.