Review: Wither (Chemical Garden 1) by Lauren DeStefano

Simon & Schuster
March 22, 2011

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 limted time she has left.

was one of my most anticipated books of 2011 so when the absolutely awesome Brianna from Bree's Books mailed me a copy I flipped out! The cover is just gorgeous and the plot is totally unique. I was so worried that Wither wouldn't live up to my high expectations of the book, but luckily it went above and beyond everything that I had hoped for. The whole idea of an entire generation's children only living a short amount of time is simply amazing!

Rhine was such a great female lead. Her voice was incredibly strong which made it effortless to be transported into her shoes. She was a strong willed and driven character that I found myself liking from the beginning. I adored how much she loved her brother, Rowan, and how she would do anything to get to him.

My favorite part of Wither was the Sister Wives. Jenna was strong yet graceful while Cicely was annoying yet naive and Rhine was loving and persistent. The mixture of these three made up one kick butt trio! They are definitely some of my all time favorite characters because of how much they grew throughout the story.

I loved how DeStefano characterized Linden. He was a character that I wanted to hit in the face, then ice his wounds because he's so innocent. I love that he was likable even though there is such a strong reason to completely hate him. Gabriel was the perfect guy for Rhine in my eyes. He's strong and warm-hearted. The only problem was that I wish there was more of him in the story. He felt like he was only a passerby. Although the glimpses we did get of him, I highly enjoyed!

Although the ending wasn't everything that I had hoped for, it is a great lead in for book two. It was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was going to happen next.

Amazing Quote:
"I'll tell you something about true love. It's no science to it. It's as natural as the sky."

Characters: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Voice: 4/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Impact: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5

Wither is such an amazing book. I loved going through this journey with Rhine and I truly can't wait to spend more time in her world. You definitely need to pick this up when it's released on March 22nd.

Crazy Katie


  1. Great review! I am actually looking forward to this book! I have an eGalley for it, but haven't found the time to read it yet. :(

  2. Great review katie! It looks so good! And the concept seems kinda scary! And I agree, the cover is gorgeous!

  3. Love your review! You always seem to find the BEST quotes-I love that one! :)

    And I cannot wait to get a finished copy! This cover is still one of my favorites and, I STILL WANT THAT DRESS.

  4. Your quote - go listen to The Script: Science and Faith! That song immediately popped into my mind when I came across that quote! *__* Awesome review, btw!

  5. Great Review. So jealous that you got to read Wither early :)
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Great review and I love the quote you chose :)

  7. I love strong female leads but that makes me want to read this one that much sooner!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  8. Great review! I am really looking forward to reading this one.

  9. I just finished reading Wither, and I loved it, too! It's truly an amazing book. I have to agree w/ you about Gabriel, though-- he just wasn't in the story enough. Hopefully he'll have a much bigger part in the sequel. (The first book hasn't even been released yet and I'm already counting until the next book, oh no.) Great review. :)

  10. Thanks you Ivy! I hope when you have time to read it that you love it as much as I did! :)
    Hey Kreag! Thanks! It is a scary concept! Totally awesome though!
    Hi Briana!! Thank you so much! LOL! I want that dress too! So beautiful!
    Hey Momo! Going to go listen to the song right now! Thank you!!
    Thanks Rachel! :)
    Thank you Juju!
    Hi Brandi! Ooo I'm so with you! Strong female leads are the greatest!
    Thanks Two Readers Review!
    Hey Kat! Haha I'm with you on dying to get the sequel and the first one not even being out yet! lol and yes PLEASE more Gabriel! Thanks! :)

  11. this was a really fun review to read! I cannot wait for this book! Thanks Katie!

  12. Loved your review of Wither, Katie. After reading your review I now I have to own Wither, even thou it's not paranormal or is it? Thanks Katie for the review.

    Would love it if you checked out my recent review, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.

    -Hale ( Hale & Salvatore Supernatural Must Reads)

  13. Great review! I have this one on TBR list and was wondering if it would live up to the hype.

    Andrea @ Reading Lark