It’s release day for Wither (Chemical Garden Trilogy # 1) ~ by Lauren DeStefano (reviewed by Shellie)
With a gorgeous and perfectly fitting cover, Wither is a dark young adult dystopian novel for older teens.
About: Set in a horrific future where young people die in their early 20s due to some unknown genetic disease, our heroine Rhine is 16 years old and has 4 years to go. She is strong, smart, and of course pretty, but what marks her as special is an unusual characteristic. It is a visible genetic anomaly which makes her even more attractive.
Rhine is left with her twin brother in a crazed urban environment in a vaguely recognizable United States. As they struggle to get by, Rhine answers an illegitimate ad for a job, which takes her on a terrible trip inside a different type of social structure. She finds herself in an arena where she is matched for procreation purposes with a young man, in an attempt to find a solution for the deaths. But the question is how far will those in power go in their attempt to find a cure?
Thoughts: As with all dystopian novels the society has become twisted, so Wither has a number of scary themes such as a creepy father in law (rather than the so prevalent “evil stepmother”), polygamy, childbirth, abuse and death. We also have just enough politics and science to lead young women to think about things like genetics and what could happen if our social structure where to suddenly be irrevocably changed.
It is Lauren DeStefano’s debut novel, is the first of a trilogy, and has all the elements older teens are going to love - romance, terror, amazing clothes, hair and makeup. We also have an incredible strong character - my favorite kind – one who thinks and plans, and is not of a victim mentality; an excellent role model in my opinion.
Although it has no bad language, it has some very adult themes and sexual references. The Simon and Schuster website recommends it for 14 and up and I would agree. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, and hope to answer the questions I still have about this genetically based science fiction story. I am so hoping to get some realistic science in this series. I enjoyed this novel at 3.5 stars
Hard Cover and ebook; Young Adult; 368 pages; Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; (March 22, 2011) US|UK|Canada. For more information on Wither link to Layers of Thought’s preview for the book.
Author Bio: Lauren DeStefano earned her BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut in 2007. Wither is her first novel.
This book will be included in a variety of challenges we are involved in – Dystopian, Sci Fi and others to be determined.
Thanks for reading.