Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Published: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 358
Part of a Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Read For a Challenge: The TBR Double Dare
Recommended By: The Story Siren
Teaser: "They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids. .....We've gone too long without speaking, and all we do is  bury ourselves more into the dark."
In a sentence or so: What would you choose: Freedom and the dangers of a poverty stricken and dying world or life as one of many wives to a rich man (a pretty dream placed atop an ugly imprisonment).
*Rating: 8/10
In the future the diseases plaguing 2012 are abolished . The new generations have healthy but brief lives in poverty and fear leaching whatever joy they can get in their 20 (females) to 25 (males) years. Rhine's life changes when she's kidnapped and forced to marry a rich man. This is her journey through being a prisoner in a lush mansion but missing her old life because the old hardships come with freedom, truth, and her twin brother.
1. Type of story: YA Sci-Fi (Free 1 point)
2.Consistency: The writing in this book was surprising. Only three years older then me and Lauren DeStefano has given me gold in her first book. Very consistent. (1 point)
3. Flesh: The characters include a collection of people in different levels of complacency in their mansion/prison. The husband, House Governor Lindon is surprisingly ignorant and gullible, the other wives carrying different pasts to make them OK with what life has handed them, the servants frustrated with how unimportant and replaceable they feel in a place that has become their whole world, and Rhine who is struggling with her identity, need for her freedom and her brother and growing connection to the people she now shares her life with. Rhine serves as a very worthy narrator. (1 point)
4. Flow: This story is mysterious and intense but in a soft way. It's slow but not in a bad way. The story is introspective. (1 point)
5. Character Growth: Rhine learns a lot about the complicated nature of humans and the shades of grey in life. But she has a ways to go. If there is anything I could get from the sequels it's seeing how Rhine grows and who she ends up becoming. (1/2 point)
6. A Point/ Purpose/ Journey: There is the journey towards escape and hope. But more importantly (in MHO) is the journey towards self discovery. (1 point)
7. Witty Dialogue: Jenna the oldest wife is quiet experienced and observant. She gives most of the wit. Rhine has her moments but most of the story is spent in her over taxed head. Not much time for wit when you spend your time worrying about the death of everyone you care about and escaping before those deaths happen. She is often too worn to be witty. (1/2 point)
8. Love: There are many strong feelings and inklings of love, but the lives these live are so over run by lies and the weight of quickly pending death, at a time when most are barely becoming their full selves. (1/2 point)
9. Evoke Realistic Images: I could see the dirt and horror washed over by glitz and glamour in every scene. I could see the eyes of the teenage girls, used until death then thrown carelessly into the cold, I could see the  big lighted marquees and holograms so real you have to touch them that were projected to keep the eyes of the rich off the gruesome realities. Garish imagery very well done. (1 point)
10. Writing/Story telling: It was interesting. The changes in the world seem well thought out. The only thing is the end, I don't know what's coming next, but I'm not sure if I need to. This ending could have been the end of the story letting readers imagine what they would like. (1/2 point)

Reread Worthy: Yes, I am definitely seeing this as a story I can enjoy years down the line.
Recommendation: Fans of Sarah Dessen (especially Dreamland or The Truth About Forever), The Name of The Star, White Oleander, or Divergent
*Click Rating to see post about my 10 aspects of a great book.

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