Lisa Reviews: Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I absolutely love these covers! They’re so detailed and intricate and truly represent the story. They’re beautiful and really pull in the readers.
This book was released almost three years. I remember the day it came out and how excited I was to read it. And then it took me three entire years to finally get to it!
When it was first released, you couldn’t hear enough amazing things about the story, but over the years reviews started to outline a few negative points. I still went into reading Wither excited and with very high hopes!
Wither takes place in a world where men are dying at the age of 25 and women at the age of 20. After World War 3, a cure was found to heal any and all diseases that threaten lives. The people who received this cure had a much longer life span. While this seemed to be a step forward for the human race, things change when the first of the next generation dies and no one knows why or how to stop it.
Now society fears that the entire human race is dying. Upper-class men are paying to have girls kidnapped to marry them and have children. Rhine has known about this for a while, and has taken precautions to stay safe.
Before she was kidnapped, Rhine was living with her twin brother in poverty, hiding and keeping watch at night. When she is abducted and dragged into a van, she sees that she is with many other girls. Rhine is then sorted and realizes that she is a chosen one when the other group of girls are taken away and shot.
Rhine (16) and two others—Jenna (18) and Cecily (13)—are chosen to wed a man named Linden. Wither mainly revolves around Rhine’s stay at Linden’s house and her constant attempts to remind herself that she is a prisoner and that she needs to escape.
I found the characters in Wither to be pretty interesting. Rhine is smart and doesn’t make any dumb or quick decisions. Instead of trying to escape, she’s trying to gain Linden’s trust to improve her chances of getting out.
The only thing that truly bothered me was that Linden was so absolutely clueless. Did he really think that these young girls came here on their free will to marry him, please him, and have his children? Come on! Open your eyes!
Jenna, the oldest of the three girls, is mysterious and has already been through so much that living with Linden seems to be better than whatever she was dealing with before. Cecily, on the other hand, is too young to understand what’s going on. She just wants to please Linden and make him happy like she’s been told to do. She doesn’t understand all the wrongs going on around her.
I did feel that it was strange that, in the one year that Rhine is with him, Linden never forced her to bear his child.
I also do have to say that I felt there was something missing. There are so many heavy topics in this book (polygamy, kidnapping, child marriage, rape etc.), but DeStefano only glances over them. I felt that the topics were major elements and that the story could have been much more interesting, and had more substance, if she had dealt with them in more detail.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I feel that though there were some things missing in this first instalment, they could well be included in the second book. To be honest, I’ve already bought the second and the third book!