My Life in YA

I love books. Especially Fantasy & Sci-Fi, but I need a little contemporary in between.

Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano Some novels just have you engrossed in the story from the very first page. Wither was such a novel for me. Wither opens with a beautifully written and harrowing first chapter, where a beginning is made to show the world building. You’re thrown right in the story. Unfortunately, the other chapters didn’t have that same feel and weren’t as good as that first chapter. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the writing, but the first chapter wowed me so much that the others were a little disappointing. But I guess that’s just crazy me!I very much like the characters DeStefano created. Main character Rhine’s a very strong heroine, although I can’t say I learned much about her personality, but I think that attributes to the situation she’s in. Rhine‘s sister wives are very well crafted: you’ve got the young and naïve Cecily and the silent and observant Jenna. I love how all these girls are very different from each other and that the book shows how the girls all experience it in a different way. That’s very realistic in my opinion, because all three have a different background so they naturally think very different about the situation they’re in. I understood why Cecily was so naïve. I understood why Jenna was so silent. I especially loved Jenna. She’s super smart, very observant and does everything to help. Did I already say I love her? I liked her even more than Rhine!The ‘villains’ are also very well crafted. It’s hard to hate Linden because of his naïveté. His father, on the other hand, was very easy to hate because of his actions. But yeah, he’s trying to find an antidote! He’s just going too far for what he thinks is the greater good (which is of course his son not dying at age 25). Wither also contains some very excitingly disturbing scenes. I mean this world they live in is so horrible, which made me read in awe in how they could still cope. I’ve read some criticism about this book, that the world-building was unbelievable. I can only say that I read those reviews before reading so I was a little apprehensive at first, but while reading I wasn’t bothered! DeStefano’s writing made me believe it all! I’d also like to mention that it’s a very depressing read, because of the bleak world. That’s one of the things that made my review not a 5-star. Another thing I didn’t like is the romance between Rhine and one of the servants, Gabriel. I didn’t feel it. Their romance developed way too fast for my liking and I would’ve liked some more interaction between them. Overall, I found this to be a very great read and I recommend it to all Dystopia fans out there, as well as to people who like to read character-driven stories. In my opinion it’s not just about the Dystopia world, but actually more on the character’s feelings, experiences and actions.