Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite dystopian novel!
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...
Published on March 13 2012 by Darlene

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars I Withered.
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...
Published 4 days ago by Jessica Armstrong


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite dystopian novel!, March 13 2012
By 
Darlene (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wither (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. Rhine finds an unlikely ally in Gabriel, who is a servant in the mansion.

I loved, loved, loved Wither! I found this to be a very dark and emotional read, because DeStefano touches on so many moral and ethical issues in the world that she has created: Genetic manipulation, polygamy, murder, kidnapping, teenage pregnancy, abuse. These are very mature topics for a YA novel.

Vaughn was the perfect villain. Although DeStefano tries to create sympathy towards Linden by painting him as a victim of his father's machinations, I could not think of him as anything but a randy young man who revelled in bedding multiple wives! I was particularly bothered by his sexual relationship with 13 year-old Cecily. That's just...wrong. I found him nearly as loathsome as his father. Rhine is an intelligent, thoughtful, and gutsy young lady who knew that she had to play the game to get what she wanted. At times, I do not know how she managed to keep up the act of devoted wife. Her strength and determination are admirable qualities.

And who could not help but love Gabriel? His innocence was heart-breaking, as well as his unswerving servitude to his masters. His moments with Rhine were so sweet, but I wanted more!

The gorgeous cover depicting Rhine as the bird in the gilded cage was perfect.

My fingers could not flip the pages of this book fast enough, and I reached the end to pause and reflect only for a moment before I dove into the next in the series, Fever.

MY RATING: 5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars I Withered., Aug. 16 2014
This review is from: Wither (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. The book is pushed onwards simply by her desire to escape after being captured and forced into marriage with a wealthy young man. Escape, escape, escape. What does she love? Tell me more in depth about her! She was a blank slate that needed to be filled in. The book relies only on the dystopian aspects and not the character aspect of our protagonist. It's strange, though, because her two sister wives have very en-point personalities. One is angry and angsty, the other is a spoiled brat. Rhine, however, wants to escape to get back to her brother.

My third issue, and perhaps a much more minor one, is the cover art. The reason Rhine was snatched is because of her eyes – she has heterochromia, meaning one eye is a different colour than the other. The cover, however, shows what I can only imagine is our protagonist, with her eyes closed. Closed. Yes – the whole reason, seemingly, that this adventure takes place, is not shown on the cover. Her eyes could have been distant, but open; or focused specifically on them – but, no, they're closed.

I won't be reading the other two books in this series (unless I find them ridiculously cheap) as the thoughts in the bag of my mind, nagging at me, just never stopped. If you're a fan of the Dystopian genre, I would still skip this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid story, Feb. 5 2014
By 
T (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Wither (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanting More!, Jan. 18 2012
By 
Brooke289 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wither (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping page turner, May 31 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars This world is so bleak and depressing!, March 21 2012
This review is from: Wither (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)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Wither is a beautiful, haunting tale of a world gone wrong, Oct. 15 2011
By 
Fantasy's Ink (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wither (Hardcover)
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. Wither is set some time in the future and thanks to modern science all people of the new generations die at a young age. Girls are guaranteed to die at twenty and boys at twenty-five. Rhine-a sixteen-year-old girl - gets kidnapped from her twin brother and the life she's always known to become a bride along with two other girls. She's looking for escape and she knows that this rich and privileged life is nothing more than a cage.

First off I like to clear out that Wither is not a dystopia novel. A dystopia novel is where a future is thought to be a utopia and peaceful thanks to the lies of the government, people live unaware of the underlying chaos. The Giver and Delirium are good examples of this. Wither is more like a post-apocalyptic. You could feel the horror of the world, how everyone lost hope. How people live everyday with sadness, fear, and hopelessness. There was no sugar coating it and you felt it everyday through Rhine even among the beautiful gardens, the pretty dresses and lavish mansion. The world was seriously in chaos and you could feel that right in first chapter until the end and honestly it was depressing at times, but I also liked how it really showed you the horror of it, it really was vivid and you could imagine it, almost seeing a world like that really unfolding.

Most of the characters were very well done. I really loved how Rhine never gave up with her desire of escape that she never lost hope in the midst of all this chaos for a chance of freedom. Her relationship with Cecily, Jenna and Rose were also well-developed you could feel their bond and how close they've become through the course of the book, and that relationship is one of my favorite aspects of the book.

Linden was completely naive to the world and you could almost feel sorry for him but honestly I can't believe someone can be that blind or ignorant, he doesn't see how he's hurting these girls unconsciously. Gabriel was also pretty boring I felt no chemistry between him and Rhine and although I prefer him to Linden I still think the romance and interaction between him and Rhine feels forced.

The book is also very well written, the world harsh and cruel yet believable. We saw through a window of each of the bride's lives and what led them here. Each of the sister wives were different yet they really had a strong bond as I mentioned - that and the setting are my favorite part of the book. If you are reading Wither for the romance than I don't think you should really bother, but you should definitely stick around for the setting and bonds between Rhine and the other girls. Well to end it off Wither is a beautiful, haunting tale of a world gone wrong and a girl who tries her best to hold on when everyone gave up a long time ago.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Dystopian Novel, April 28 2011
This review is from: Wither (Hardcover)
It is difficult and a little intimidating to review a book that you've heard a lot about, especially a lot of good things. I did enjoy reading this book, but not as much as many of the other reviewers. The book was largely in Rhine's head, with her thinking of escape plans, figuring out the world she now found herself in, and coming to terms with her feelings. Because she has to be so secretive, she does not talk to many people. It was interesting to watch Rhine grow and gain understanding and even wavering, while remaining single minded in her bid for freedom. Lauren DeStefano also wrote some beautiful, vivid descriptions of the world, some horrifying in their scope.

For me, however, Wither got a little repetitive. There were some thoughts and ideas that were stated over and over, for example, that Rhine's different eyes had saved her life. There were similar things with her thoughts of her brother and her past life, as well as Rhine's feelings about her current life. It made it feel as if the story were not progressing very fast at times.

I also wanted to know more about the world and how it had decayed to the state it was in- a lot was supplied was implied - and found I had a lot of questions . How did the gatherers (those who stole the girls) become OK, was there no higher authority? Why, if girls were so important for reproduction, hadn't they become a valuable commodity who were paid for handsomely and honoured rather than being cheap and disposable? Wouldn't teenagers become valuable as caregivers for babies who had been orphaned? How did the economy run at all?

What was interesting in Wither is the number of questions it brings up and I can envision some great book club meetings or essays being written on these topics. The big one is freedom vs slavery, especially a hard free live vs luxurious slavery: Rhine's life before she was kidnapped was brutally hard and dangerous, with the threat of kidnapping, people breaking into her house, unemployment, poor quality food, desperate orphans stealing food, but she was free. After she was kidnapped, Rhine had a life of luxury with servants, beautiful clothes, excellent food, and going to parties, but she was not free. A vivid dichotomy was set up here. Another question is should humans interfere anymore genetically or let the human race die out? This gets into more questions about bio-engineering, in general. There is also polygamous marriage and duty and even arranged marriage. I'm sure there are other themes as well, but these are the obvious ones.

Overall, I did like Wither, but found it frustrating at the same time. It will be interesting to see where Lauren DeStefano takes this story in the next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Walked away from this adventure feeling thoroughly entertained, March 29 2011
This review is from: Wither (Hardcover)
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 some even bordering on a wee but nasty. While admittedly this is my first Dystopian YA reading experience, I was rather pleased and walked away from this adventure feeling thoroughly entertained.

I believe that many readers will find DeStefano's debut a well written, imaginative and thought provoking experience complete with entirely believable futuristic scenarios and an endearing cast of characters. Rhine is a courageous character whose morals and beliefs tell her that she must fight for her freedom. Yet, her intelligence tells her that she must endure, she must wait to take action when the time is right. And, amongst all the bravery and wisdom, Rhine must also deal with her heart. She struggles with the ever-present inner battles of caring versus hatred for Linden and her quilt over what the repercussions of her departure might mean to Cecily, the youngest of Rhine's 2 sister wives.

While there are some rather sensitive topics touched upon within the pages of Wither, such as kidnapping, murder, and forcible confinement, these issues are conveyed in a manner that readers will find rather gentle and quite suited to the premise of the story.

DeStefano shares with us a rather unique view of our future. One that, if man doesn't stop "messing with nature", I believe readers will find quite conceivable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal Future World Where Life is a Ticking Time Bomb, March 24 2011
By 
Nicola Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Wither (Hardcover)
Reason for Reading: I love dystopian novels and this sounded fantastic.

And fantastic it was! Absolutely fantastic! The first book in a trilogy hasn't excited me this much since The Hunger Games (not that this is anything like it). A brutal future world where an entire generation has been artificially conceived but they have cured disease, no more cancer, no more AIDS, no more heart disease. What this first generation didn't know, until 20 years later, though was that their own naturally conceived children were ticking time bombs. Females now only live until 20 years of age, and males to the ripe old age of 25 then they succumb to "the virus". For seventy years now the first generation, who also have conquered the rapidness of aging, have been trying to find a cure for their children but they have separated into two factions by this time: those who want to find a cure, and the pro-naturalists who say it's time to let nature take its course and want to stop the breeding of infants for the purpose of experimenting on them.

It is in this world that Rhine is kidnapped along with a van full of other girls by a wealthy father looking for wives for his son. The son chooses three and they are forced to marry the 20yo and become his wives. In their captivity the sister wives, form a unique bond with each other. Each comes from a different background and situation, dealing with their kidnapping/captivity and forced marriage in different ways. Rhine is the only one with a will to escape.

Wonderful. wonderful. wonderful. Right from the first chapter I was addicted to this story. It swept me up into a horrible possible future that is brutal and repugnant. The young either live in poverty as third generation orphans or as rich socialites in decadence with no moral values as life is literally too short to waste on virtues. The ethical questions give one much thought, especially about finding a cure vs. experiments on babies or the question of how terrible is it to kidnap street women and starving orphans so they live the rest of a short life in opulence versus leaving their freedom behind? My enjoyment of a dystopian novel always hinges on whether I believe the major situation is possible. While I don't believe that our current society is headed towards perfecting a genetically altered artificially conceived disease free generation. I do, however, believe the current dwindling replacement population crises will have many profound repercussions on the future generations even if something is done immediately, which is hardly likely. Women are already kidnapped for use in prostitution in today's world, it is hardly unrealistic to think they would be kidnapped for use as wives and breeders by the wealthy in this futuristic world with no religion or moral values.

DeStephano has created a fascinating concept with many layers, and even added a tiny touch of romance. This is a riveting book and I can hardly wait for the next book in the trilogy to be published.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Wither
Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Hardcover - March 22 2011)
CDN$ 19.99 CDN$ 14.43
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews