'Wither' by Lauren DeStefano was the book that set me off on a journey to discover more dystopian novels. Sadly not because I enjoyed this book, but more because I was left disappointed.
The back of the book had me so intrigued. What an interesting world Lauren has created! I couldn't wait to get stuck in. It sounded much like 'Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood which is one of my favourite reads. But by the last page of Wither, I was still waiting for some action.
It wasn't a bad book. It also wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped for.
The plus of this book was Rhine, who although didn't take me on the adventure I expected, she did become one of my favourite all-time protagonists.
I feel that Lauren could have taken this much, much further. You are introduced to her mad scientist of a father-in-law, who is hiding corpses in the basement of the house where Rhine is pretty much held captive. But his story was about as exciting as a paper bag. And that is such a shame because given the atmosphere the reader is encompassed in, the setting was perfect for all kinds of sinister activity.
Maybe it was on purpose that DeStefano didn't take us further into this world. Perhaps we were suppose to be left feeling this way. But it didn't leave me hungry for more. It left me feeling unsatisfied & bored.
Having said all of that, Lauren certainly has a talent for writing. Its easy to appreciate her prose & the way she builds and develops Rhine's character.
I have the second book of the Chemical Garden Trilogy, 'Fever'. I've had it a while now and haven't felt compelled to read it whilst I still have so many more titles sitting on my shelf. I hope however when the time comes, things become spicier & more exciting.
Until then, Wither gets just 3 stars. One for Rhine, one for Lauren's talented writing & one for concept and being the first of all my dystopian finds.
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers