Monday, July 25, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 358
Format: Hardcover
Acquired: Bought
Interest: Series
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author

What if you knew exactly when you would die?
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

Why did I decide to read this book? Well, because everyone else was reading it. Not a very good reason, but I also found the cover attractive, so I decided to pre-order as soon as possible. When I got my copy I was so happy, just racing to finish it. I was on the edge of my seat ready to read what awesome adventure awaited within the pages.

As I was reading, slowly the excitement died away and disappointment set in. I'm in love with science fiction, especially dystopia, so I knew that this would be a good one for me to read, because the concept was so original and fresh. But, I was asking more questions and getting less answers and left completely baffled in a lot of sections.

My questions were typically: If children were so important, why do they live homeless? And than came the obvious question: What would be the point of polygamy? In any society there should always be more girl's to guy ratio, don't ask why, that's just how it is.

And something else about the society that bothered me greatly is that they would not be able to survive. I don't know how futuristic we're talking about but there's one thing I learned well in AP Human Geography and it's that international trade has to exist for a society to thrive. Now some could argue with me, "Well the Hunger Games didn't have international trade!" And I would tell you is, "How do you know?" In that novel we never got a hint on what happened to the other countries but there must have been some connection, but here the author plainly said only the U.S. survived and I find that alone unrealistic. But the point of the matter is that for a society to survive it needs to trade. The U.S. does not have an abundance of raw materials or certain things that we have grown comfortable in using. Now, I'm trying to give Lauren the benefit of the doubt and think that maybe other countries have survived but the government talked these people into thinking they were lucky to be alive.

I also wished that Lauren had gone into what the government's role in this society is. Obviously they don't have good programs to tend to children, awful scientist, and they don't seem to regulate anything! The human race is apparently dying out and yet they kill people (and those who read the book would know what part I mean).

Now, on to the characters. Okay, Rhine just made me mad. I understand that she really wants to get back to her brother and be with him, but I don't think she knows what she's doing, especially with the way it ended. I felt like she was acting on impulse a lot, and impulse just makes you stupid. I didn't feel like she knew exactly what she was doing. She had one thing in mind and yet you can see how her feelings to her husband shifts greatly near the end. And you want to feel bad for these characters but they are just so naive! 

Cecily made me want to rip my hair, but you felt bad for her because she is so young and naive and just doesn't get it! Concerning this one there was a moment where I broke down in tears (and for those who read it you may know what I mean) but at the same time I felt disgusted because she just doesn't get it! This could be very normal for this society, and I accept that, but if Lauren had been gracious enough to throw a character in here who actually knew what was going on this would have been a great reliever, because if the character's don't know what's going on than the reader doesn't know what's going on and there were moment's that I was just like: What are they trying to say?! And really, Cecily she is the youngest of the wives, but she is just too childish, too selfish, too much of everything, and I was annoyed with her more than anything.

Jenna was the most pathetic of it all. Throughout the whole book she says that she hates her husband and doesn't want anything to do with him and yet she sleeps with him every night! At least I can give Rhine a break in the fact that she didn't, but Jenna talks about survival and wanting to get out, but she does nothing but sit and feel sorry for herself. And you understand why, but at the same time is like she needs to pull it together.

And finally the husband. Okay, so you think he's this guy in the beginning who takes girl's as young as thirteen to be his wife, but at the same time you have to realize that he's just another pawn in this strange game of chess. You almost get the feeling that he does love Rhine and she him, but again Rhine is, in my opinion, clueless. And as well as him. He's lived in his house all his life and he never put point A and point B together. It's like these people have been programmed. They don't feel real.

Throughout the whole novel I just kept asking myself: WHY DON'T YOU GET IT? And really, I don't know if I want to read Fever if it's going to be anything like Wither. 

I was not impressed, I was disappointed, I was aggravated, I was confused, I was stressed. I would not pick this book up again. I'm giving it a 2 because despite the confusion Lauren DeStefano can write beautifully. She describes everything in vivid detail, but no matter how much detail she uses the novel just could not come alive for me. You know there's potential in this book but it isn't presented very well at all.

1 comment:

Shaunna said...

Quite a shame this only rated a 2! I haven't read it yet - was going to, but if it's not that great then I'll probably just leave it! So many books have really nice covers, but not much behind them!