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 limited time she has left. from goodreads.com
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Beth says 4 Stars…
I love the concept of this book. I’m all for the surge in dystopian fiction being offered post-Hunger Games because I happen to be a huge fan of the genre. I found the concept of the consequences of science absolutely fascinating because of my love of science. Genetic engineering, its limits, and the morality that comes with it capture my attention and initially helped draw me into the novel. However, there really were only hints at the interesting bits, with more of the science focus being on some possibly unpleasant and secret experiments done by a single individual. I do understand that this makes no real scientific sense, but maybe DeStefano will find some way to make it logical. If not, I hope she at least delves into the consequences of emerging technology. I hope the rest of the series will expand upon the scientific aspects of the world. I will say that the world building needs improvement; everything was in the same vein as the scientific set up. There are hints of a fantastically interesting world – it has a lot of potential. However, quite a bit was either illogical or poorly explained, which really hurt the engrossing power of the story. A huge reason this book rates so highly is the absolute beauty of the prose. It’s so pretty (that was my mature definition)! I got enraptured by the lovely writing, which absolutely sucked me in. This is partly why I think the series has so much potential; this book is a debut, and this caliber of writing right off the bat bodes well for improvement in other aspect of the novels.
Another reason the book was good were the character descriptions. I really felt for all of them, even those who readers didn’t necessarily need to bond with. Rhine had enough spunk to keep me happy and interested, but she was so much more than that. She was fragile without ever breaking and tough without being impervious. I felt as though I had a good feel for what she thought and how she ticked, so it was interesting to see her develop and reveal more about herself as time went on. I loved her relationship with Gabriel and how it defies a good deal of the current conventions of YA lit. So often the two characters meet and a week later are passionately in love, knowing that they’re soulmates. Here they actually build a relationship in what could be seen as a relatively healthy way (considering that one of them is in a polygamous marriage). I also found the polygamy very interesting because it allowed exploration of very different relationships than normal. The wives could have their own unique marriage to Linden within the larger family frame. I also thought that the interactions between the sister wives themselves showed a great deal about the characters’ personalities. I became deeply invested in all of the characters, whether I liked them or not.
Wither is a novel that is both deeply flawed and magnificent. I think that the series has a lot of potential and could be unbelievable, but DeStefano has some things she needs to work on. The main concern is to improve the world building, but if she can do that with her strong writing foundation there could be a gold mine here. I’m excited to see where this story goes and how things develop and look forward to being wrapped in her beautiful prose and intense characters once more. Book from Publisher
We are more than happy to review YA novels, however we prefer either physical copies or e-books via Netgalley or Edelweiss. If you would like us to review a book please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Here is our rating system: One Star - Use as doorstop Two Stars - Bearable while on pain medication Three Stars - Read once, do not repeat Four Stars - Definitely keep it on your shelf Five Stars - Use as altar
So we've decided to join the challenge! This is just a preliminary list, and is definitely subject to change (we'll be doing a lot of adding as books begin to be released in order to get to the 12 we need!). Also, this is no order whatsoever. (if the book is in a color, it means one of us has read it!)
1. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
2. Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
3. Like Madarin by Kirsten Hubbard
4. The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens
5. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
6. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
7. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
8. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
11. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
12. Possession by Elana Johnson
Fantasy Reading Challenge
1. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 2. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal 3. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin 4. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher 5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black 7. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce 8. Entice by Carrie Jones 9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire 10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano 11. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr 12. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 13. Matched by Ally Condie 14. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Claire 15. Entwined by Heather Dixon 16. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney 17. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst 18. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan 19. Possession by Elana Johnson 20. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford 21. So Silver Bright by Lisa Manchev
Welcome to "in BetweeN the pages." This is a little project that we've started and we hope that it will allow us to engage in some lovely book talk. Here's a little about us-
Beth~ I have a feeling that I may have a problem. I adore books. I read whenever I can, and most of the time feel that reading a good book would be a much better use of my time than working on anything else. I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in chemistry and love science! I'm currently living in Finland while doing some research as a Fulbright before embarking on my PhD. Hopefully you will enjoy what I say... but I tend to ramble.
Nathan~ For me, reading is the ultimate escape. A good book is so much better than any therapist can ever be. I am, what many might call, a book addict. It may be wrong, but it feels so right to blow off my homework and sit curled up with a novel. It's the ultimate relaxation. Books have gotten me through school and all the drama that accompanies it. I hope that my humble opinions can help you as you continue your literary adventure.