I first read Wither almost two years ago. I picked it up off of the “New” shelf at my local library, read it within a few days, and positively loved it. So I was oh-so-happy to find out that I needed to re-read it for our TBF blog.
Rhine is sixteen, only four years away from the certain death that genetic experiments brought upon humans a generation ago. Now all women die at age twenty, and men at twenty-five. Rhine, like many other teenagers, has been kidnapped by Gatherers and sold to a rich family in order to marry its heir and produce children. Rhine finds herself in a totally new world, filled with luxuries and excess, so different from the hunger and fear that she and her twin brother were familiar with. But this new world also denies her freedom. All Rhine wants to do is to escape this prison and be reunited with her brother, and Gabriel, one of the servants whom she forms an attachment to, might be able to help her. But even with his help, how will they manage to escape?
Wither is a scary, awesome (as well as scarily awesome) book. I personally loved it, precisely because it deals with such a terrifying idea. Although our world probably won’t end up like Rhine’s did, it’s still a harrowing possibility to think about. Wither was such a great book not only because it imagined such a horrible world (especially, I think, for female readers), but also because this book is also literary. The first time I read it, Wither seemed to be just another dystopian sci-fi book. After reading it again, the themes (especially of freedom) really hit home with me. Rhine is also incredibly strong and beautiful in her thoughts, and is extremely capable of being profound.She's the kind of heroine I really like, precisely because she thinks, and the reader can see her thinking as the story goes on.
Wither is the first book in the Chemical Garden trilogy. The second book, Fever, is already out and the third book, Sever, comes out early next year. (Check back in a while to see our reviews of them!) This is Lauren DeStefano’s first time at TBF, and you can find her on the web at www.laurendestefano.com/ . I hope you’ll come hear her speak in May!