REVIEW REWIND and CONTEST: WITHER by lauren Destefano

WITHER: The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStafano
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1 edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442409053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442409057
  • Rating: YYYY1/2
  • What if you knew exactly when you would

    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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


    When I first saw the cover to WITHER I was immediately drawn to it. It seemed beautiful and haunting enveloped in a mystery that beckoned me to read the story that was within it's pages, demanding all of my attention. Then as I began reading WITHER I was held captive and unlike Rhine I did not want to escape.

    It has been days since I have finished WITHER and it is still on the forefront of my mind. I don't think that story has had this hold on me in a long while. I appreciated the story conflict of a society's youth never growing old, never seeing their children grow up and always knowing when they would die. I could not even fathom how I would react knowing that information, then compound it with how women are callously treated during that time. WOW. It is a bit brutal and disconcerting, but I could not stop reading.

    Rhine's anger and resentment from being ruthlessly abducted from her twin brother and forced into marriage to a wealthy family was believable and honest. I appreciated and understood her need to escape and reach her brother. It did not matter that she would leave the life of riches behind, for what is luxury and privilege when you don't have your freedom, when you cannot see your family or love whom you wish to? Another appreciated storyline is Rhine's camaraderie with her sister wives Jenna and Cecily, their relationship was endearing and heartbreaking and created some of the best moments in the book. While Rhine's relationship with her husband, Linden seemed odd, it wasn't as odd as her ultra creepy father-in-law housemaster Vaughn. He sets the perfect mood of mystery and conflict that provided Rhine with a perfect vessel to direct her hate.

    Despite my adoration for this story I did have a slight issue with how the last few pages of the story went. I cannot divuldge much without giving away the story, but It is something that I cannot wrap my brain around. It seemed a bit too simple, too easy considering everything prior to that point.

    I believe that there are two types of exceptional storytellers. One can narrate a story that is so well visualized and entertaining that you become immersed within it's depths, carried away into the story that is being told while the other is able to have intelligent well-crafted scenes, dialogue and structure with a strong sense of timing and rhythm. When you have a partnership of both types then you have something truly remarkable like Lauren DeStefano has created with WITHER.

    Fans of Dystopian novels will find WITHER to be a great read for it is original and enthralling and for anyone else seeking an amazing read then you need not look any further.

    The REVIEW REWIND title is used because I had reviewed this particular book months ago and felt that I needed to repost to lead into my WITHER CONTEST. This contest is super easy. Just respond to this review (letting me know how much you want to read WITHER) post and leave your email or twitter addy for me to contact you. That is it. This contest is open internationally and will last until March 10th 8pm PST. This contest is for the ARC of Wither.


    1. Yay! I am currently reading this and I'm enjoying it so far! Thank you so much for this giveaway, I'm actually reading a galley and I really really want a printed format of this book. THANK YOU again! :)

      girlaboutbooks at gmail dot com

    2. I wanna read it THIS much. I mean, THIIS much. For me sounds similarly to Hunger Games, and I loved them. And that cover.. <3

    3. I really really want this book. After reading your review, I am further motivated. On the top of it, I love both adult and YA dystopian novels.


    4. Nancy,
      You know how much I totally want this, right? I would KILL, yes KILL, a person for a copy. But going to jail is a HUGE achievement and it's hard to get books from there. But on a more serious note, I totally want, no NEED this book. And reading your review SO did not make it better. Thanks for making me want it more, Nancy. And plus, I don't really want to wait till March. 22 for this. Bookstores here suck. They aren't even selling 'The Iron Queen' yet! Who knows when they'll start selling 'Wither'? And I will TOTALLY rant if I have to. :)) *sways* That's all. It'd be longer but... that'd take up A LOT of space. :D

      HUGS and Cookies,

    5. I have raed the galley and I want to have this book at my bookshelf soo much. Thank you for this giveaway.
      This is the best book I have read in this year. It is so beautiful.

    6. Since you are the only person that i know that open this giveaway to international people like me. I'm begging you to pick me :)

      This is one of books that i would really like to win for days and nights !

      uniquas at ymail dot com

    7. Thanks for the giveaway! This book seems awesome and I would love to have a copy of it. :D

    8. How much do I want to read this? So so so very much!! I've been seriously wanting to read it since I first saw it talked about!!

      basicallyamazingbooks [at]

    9. How much I want to read this book? Mmm...let me be clear...I NEED TO HAVE IT OTHERWISE I MIGHT DIE. Yes, you know, book-needs can drive poor international readers to die, because they read wodnerful reviews of great books and they get desperate because they can't get any translation in their language before the poor reader gets old. I CANNOT wait a year (oh, by the way, that's the reason why I became a translator, lol).
      And this book comes out in my birthday day! Clearly the universe is sending me (and you) a sign telling I am the right person to have it!I might WITHER otherwise!

      aliasgir at libero dot it

    10. Wither at S&S Galley Grab will expire soon. I loved this so much that I want to read it again - in a much slower pace so I could savor every page.

    11. I first got interested in this book by the cover. Now everything I hear about it is fantastic and I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win it because I would love to add it to my bookshlef!


    12. This book looks really interesting. Much different from anything else I've read. Thanks for the giveaway!


    13. I just recently gotten into dystopian and I'm looking forward to read more in that genre. Though I might not seem desperate to get this book. I still want to read this book and admire it as it is and from your review I'm sure I'll love it and it'll have a long lasting affect after I've read it too. o.o I'm curious what It'll be like though. Thanks a bunch for this awesome review as well as giveaway!

      Twitter (@designmeahuman)

    14. I would do almost everything to read this book - it seems like forever that I waited for the book and now I can't wait any longer!
      greetings, Ina

      inale87 at gmx dot at

    15. It sounds great! I like the concept of the book, I think it's an interesting story. I've heard only great things about it.

    16. I really love the idea you used for the Review Rewind. It's clever. Now about Wither, it sounds like such a great read. I think I'd be quite without a brain if I didn't enter your generous giveaway! Thanks so much.

      mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

    17. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win.

      lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    18. Already read this so I'm not going to enter, but I'm going to tweet about it to give others the chance to see just how good it is! =)


    19. Thank you for the chance to win!

    20. I'm just really intrigued by it. Sounds like a hard storyline to handle and many reviewers seem to think she's done so beautifully. Thanks for the giveaway.

      angiegirl (at) gmail (dot) com

    21. All my friends who have already read it loved it, so it seems like it´s really worth it. Thank you for the giveaway.


    22. This book sounds amazing ! I love dystopian novel so I'm really excited to read it! Thank you so much for this giveaway and for making it international !


    23. Ugh! I have been waiting to get my hands on this for a while now! I really really want it! The cover is absolutely fabulous and the story sounds so interesting!


    24. I'm totally in a dystopian mood these days. I love dystopia, it fascinates me! I've read excellent reviews of this book... I've also read some reviews less enthusiastic... I really have to made my own opinion on this! So a big thank you for this giveaway ^^


    25. I want to read this so bad, I have heard so many things about it!!!!


    26. This book has intrigued me since I saw the amazing cover! And I am loving dystopian right now so I can hardly wait to read this one! Thanks for the giveaway!
      Twitter: @LexieBookBug

    27. I would love to read this! The premise sounds so interesting and the cover is beautiful! I love dystopian books:) Thanks for the international giveaway.


    28. Very well said! This definitely sounds like a dystopia not to be missed. Lovely review!

      cc932005 at hotmail dot com

    29. I've been in love with this cover since I first saw it. I've been dying to get my hands on a copy!!

      whatinabox at gmail dot com

    30. I'm so excited to read Wither, I've been anxiously awaiting this book since I heard about it several months ago, I can't wait to get my hands on it!
      Thank you for the chance to win your ARC copy of Wither :)


    31. Wow! After that review how could I not want to read Wither! I especially loved that last parragraph by the way :P
      Thank you for the giveaway!

      entrelibros_blog at

    32. I have read a lot of reviews of this series but haven't managed to get any of the books as yet so I would like to read this so that I can make up my own mind.

      Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

      Carol T

      buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    33. Everybody is Wither reeeeeading... yeah!,
      Those pages were fast as lightning,
      In fact it was a little bit frightening,
      But they loved that faaaaast reading!


      I fell in love with this cover. It was love at the first sight, really. A lot of my friends already read it but I did not. I want to read it so bad! So I think I should WIN this book :D

      Huge thanks for this giveaway :)


    34. My current obsession belongs to dystopian books, so it only makes sense that I'm stalking each and every book with this theme. Oh, and the beautiful cover helped a little, too.
      And if I win, my copies of Delirium, Matched and Hunger Games trilogy promised to throw Wither the welcome party in my bookcase :)

      Thank you for doing this giveaway!

      judittten at gmail dot com

    35. I really want to read Wither, because I've read great reviews about it, and besides that the cover is amazing! :D

      Thanks for the giveaway!

    36. I'm in LOVE with the dystopian genre, and even though I've already read wither (WHICH I THOUGHT WAS INSANELY AMAZING!) I'd love for a copy to spread the love and share with friends!!


      Thanks for the giveaway!

    37. I love the dystopian genre and WITHER sounds like something that I could totally fall in love with.


    38. Hi,
      thanks for giveaway.
      I´d really like to read Wither, because this theme seems quite disturbing to me. I read some reviews and I just don´t know, what should I think about that. Because it´s like: on the one side, you are slave-like, but you have everything and nothing to lose except yourself (and does it really matter, if you know, that you will die in few years?), on the other side, your brother is somewhere out and you want to find him... I have brother and I reaaaly love him (he is maybe my most important person in this world), but still I´m not sure, what to do, if I would be on heroine´s place. I´d realy like to know... Sadly, at this moment I think, that I would choose the easy way :(. I can´t see any hope a it kinda hurts. So I want read WITHER, maybe it helps me to decide :))

      Taylor :)


    39. With the glowing review,how could I not want to read it? I would love to have this book! I don’t even know how to describe how breathtaking that cover is.

      Thank you. It's awesome you are allowing international entries.


    40. This book has been on my list for months and I would love to read it. This is really cool of you.

    41. Dystopian fiction is something I'm just now getting into and the premise of Wither sounds fascinating, I would LOVE to read this one. I keep reading reviews/blog posts about how great it is, and it's really built up the anticipation :)

      Kate1485 at

    42. I only read a few dystopian books but have fallen in love with this genre. Would love to add Wither to my list.


      alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

    43. I really really REALLY want this book. I live in a small town in Nor Cal and I have a walmart and k-mart with horrible selections to YA books. I must win this :) Thanks so much for the chance


    44. I really want to read this book because I adore the cover! I read it's summary and just fell in love with it! It's cover is very attracting and it just makes me want to read it more! I really hope to read this!

      Twitter: kimson_dino

    45. I am so excited to read this. I've heard nothing but good reviews about it (and love the cover).

    46. I really enjoyed your review! I also was drawn to the cover. It's so gorgeous!

      I want to read WITHER like bad! I've heard such great things about it, and although I was turned off by the idea at first, I think it now sounds intriguing and want it so bad. (I don't like the thought of dying young.)

      Thank you for the giveaway! :D


    47. Thankyou for all those that participated. A winner has been selected and informed.


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