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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
 
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Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Lauren DeStefano
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 11.99
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Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
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Product Description

Review

A “harrowing debut . . . DeStefano has an observant and occasionally pitiless eye, chronicling the cruelties, mercies, and inconsistencies of her young characters. . . . It will be intriguing to see how DeStefano develops [the larger world] as this promising trilogy progresses.”
– *PW STARRED review, January 10, 2010

"Creepy and elegant, shocking and romantic, dreadful and rewarding, and delivers unexpected twists. It'll leave you longing for book two."
--Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of the WAKE trilogy and CRYER'S CROSS

“Lauren DeStefano crafts an all too believable future. I loved the world, the romance, the writing -- exactly the kind of book I've been craving to read.”
--Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH

"This beautifully-written debut fantasy, with its intriguing world-building, well-developed characters and intricate plot involving flashbacks as well as edge-of-the-seat suspense, will keep teens riveted to the plight of Rhine and her sister wives. The compelling cover will draw them in and the cliffhanger ending will leave them eagerly awaiting volumes two and three of The Chemical Garden Trilogy. This thought-provoking novel will also stimulate discussion in science and ethics classes."--VOYA

“I really enjoyed Wither, I just couldn't put it down! Rhine is such an amazing main character. She is strong, passionate and determined…. Wither is nothing short of breathtaking. “
—sparkling-reviews.blogspot.com

Wither is an exceptional novel that begins with a bang and doesn't let you go--it's gut-wrenching, shocking, incredible, and completely and utterly absorbing all at once…. DeStefano is a fearless writer, and though it is firmly its own book, Wither will remind readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.”
—TheCompulsiveReader.com

[A] thought-provoking debut, reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale with a touch of Big Love . . . Rhine’s fight for freedom against the clock—and the dissecting table—will leave readers eager for the sequel. Give this one to fans of The Hunger Games trilogy or Ally Condie’s Matched (2010). - KIRKUS, February 1, 2011

"[Rhine] proves herself to be a heroine who faces her situation with spirit and cleverness. The trapped bride and mysterious husband are straight out of Gothic romances. By stirring in elements of sheer creepiness with dystopia and the hot topic of polygamy, DeStefano creates a story that should have broad appeal."
--School Library Journal

"This absorbing page-turner may remind some readers of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games with its fearless heroine, sinister villain, bleak landscape and poignant romance. Wither is less violent but is in many ways even more terrifying as DeStefano proves herself a master of plot, setting, character and psychological suspense." --The Buffalo News

Product Description

What if you knew exactly when you’d die? The first book of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1795 KB
  • Print Length: 373 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1442409053
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (March 22 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003UYUOOK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite dystopian novel! March 13 2012
By Darlene TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I didn't want it to end! It was *that* good!!

Wither has become my favourite dystopian novel. This book is a good lesson to show what can happen when scientists and geneticists try to play God: Their attempts to create a superior, disease-free race backfires when the offspring of the genetically modified individuals die prematurely, at the age of 20 years for females and 25 years for males. The first generation is determined to find a cure for the virus before the entire population is wiped out. To do so, they need more test subjects. Polygamy becomes the norm, and young girls of child-bearing age are snatched up by "Gatherers," who round the girls up to be brides for the sons of the first generation. The girls are expected to have as many children as they can to ensure the future survival of the human race. Even if a cure is not found before the brides die, their children will be studied and tested in an effort to find the antidote.

Rhine, a 16 year-old teenager, is one of the unlucky brides who have been abducted by the Gatherers. She, along with two other girls (13 year-old Cecily and 18 year-old Jenna), are brought to the estate of wealthy Housemaster Vaughn. The young ladies are to be the sister brides of Vaughn's son, 21 year old Linden, whose first wife, 20 year-old Rose, is on her deathbed. Rhine realizes that the success of her intended escape depends on her ability to gain the trust of her husband and his domineering father. She must pretend to be enamoured by her husband and complacent with her lifestyle in the lap of luxury if she has any chance at all to flee. She will stop at nothing to find her way back to her twin brother, Rowan, the only family that she has left since their parents died.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I Withered. Aug. 16 2014
Format:Paperback
The ideas this book are based on are what drove me to both start and finish it. I have a soft spot for dystopian books – books that are based in a distant or not-to-distant future of what humanity could become if things go awry. In Wither, the future we're presented with is a medical one – where females die at the age of 20 and males at the age of 25 due to over genetic engineering.

Wither, in actuality, was a whole lot more dull than it promised to be. Aside from the dull-ness, there were major problems in the plot that bothered and nagged at me the entire time I was reading.

For example; the plot of the first book (it's a trilogy) is entirely based on our protagonist being “snatched” by a group of people who sell women into bride-hood. Essentially, women are forced, against their will to become the polygamist wives of rich men who provide them with everything they could want in way of fancy clothes and all the food they can eat, in a world where orphans die of hunger.

My main issue is this: If the world is so horrible, with young orphans starving and sleeping on the streets – why in the world do women have to be snatched off of the street to become the brides of wealthy men? It's even mentioned (small spoiler) at one point in the book that the man thinks his brides were trained in some sort of bride-house to become the best wives they can be to a future husband. Nope – women are grabbed from their lives and forced into it. Why? I honestly don't understand the purpose of it, given the world we're introduced to. Why are there not places that train brides to become wives who birth future generations?

My second issue is the protagonist, Rhine. She has absolutely zero personality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid story Feb. 5 2014
By T
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, it made me buy the second and third book in the series and wanted to get to them asap. It was crazy, creepy, romantic, sweet, weird and heartwarming all at different times. I will be keeping this series in my library, it was a cool book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanting More! Jan. 18 2012
By Brooke289 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I really wanted to love this book. There was a part of me that in every page turn was hoping to find out more information. I wanted to know more about what went on in the basement and what happened in all the characters past, more than just the simple background history we are given about Rhine, the main character.
It was a very slow read, in 50 pages you are still dealing with the same issue and nothing unexpected happens. I want to read the next book just to find out what happens to the characters, but truth be told I probably won't just because I found it so slow paced.
I wish it was just as captivating as the cover!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping page turner May 31 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was not disappointed with this novel. Ms. DeStefano delivered on her promise to the reader. I was interested in to Rhine from beginning to end. There were times when I found my self in writer mode, re-writing some sentences, which would probably put it in the 4.5/5 category for me, but this should in no way detract from the story. If you enjoy dystopian science fiction that finally has a female protagonist then you will most likely enjoy Wither.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This world is so bleak and depressing! March 21 2012
Format:Hardcover
In Rhine's world society has been plagued with a deadly virus that kills women at the age of twenty years old, and women at the age of twenty-five. The population has decreased so much that teenage girls are taken at will by Gatherers to be sold to men who will take in a polygamous marriage. Rhine is one of these wives, a sister wife to Cecily and Jenna. Blond, and beautiful her eyes marked with one brown eye and one blue eye, she struggles to keep herself alive and sane while she is held prisoner at the mansion. She befriends a servant boy named Gabriel and together they plot to escape.

This world is so bleak and depressing! Imagine no cure for a virus that automatically kills you! To have strength as Rhine does makes up for most of this slow paced novel. The relationships between the sister wives were just beautiful and it felt real. All of them being imprisoned in such a place where the rest of the world is bleak and hungry made their situation less frightening.

I completely adore Rhine's strength of character. Her strong will to get out and find her brother is what moved the story along. The writing is beautiful and Lauren DeStefano is a great writer. I look forward to reading Fever.

Rating 3/5

Quotes

"Love is natural. Even the human race can't claim to be natural anymore."'Rhine (119)
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wither is a beautiful, haunting tale of a world gone wrong
What attracted me first to the book is the cover of course; I mean come on you can't help it right? This has to be one of my favorite all time covers. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2011 by Fantasy's Ink
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Dystopian Novel
It is difficult and a little intimidating to review a book that you've heard a lot about, especially a lot of good things. Read more
Published on April 28 2011 by Coreena
3.0 out of 5 stars Walked away from this adventure feeling thoroughly entertained
Well, as I peruse the pages of Goodreads and some of my favorite Book Review Blogs, I find there are plenty of mixed views toward Wither; many glowing and gushing, many harsh and... Read more
Published on March 29 2011 by YzhaBella's BookShelf
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal Future World Where Life is a Ticking Time Bomb
Reason for Reading: I love dystopian novels and this sounded fantastic.

And fantastic it was! Absolutely fantastic! Read more
Published on March 24 2011 by Nicola Mansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Debut
Post third world war, planet earth is merely a shade of its original beauty. Only North America survived man's destruction, leaving small inhabitable islands where flourish... Read more
Published on March 23 2011 by Tynga's Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling post-apocalyptic future
Genetic engineering was supposed to be the key that solved all life's problems. There would be no disease, no hunger, and no suffering. Read more
Published on March 22 2011 by Vanessa M. Dow
4.0 out of 5 stars Wither is a Winner!
I am a fortunate recipient of an advance reader's copy of debut novelist Lauren DeStefano's The Chemical Garden Trilogy: Wither, published by Simon & Schuster. Read more
Published on March 15 2011 by Christine Bode
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