Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

witherWither by Lauren DeStefano (S&S, 2011)-Well, I was afraid that Wither wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I really did find myself enjoying this strange, creepy, and lyrical novel. In a future where boys only live until their 25th birthday, and girls only live to 20, 16 year old twins Rhine and Rowan Ellery live a tenuous existence after their geneticist parents are killed in a lab explosion. Human DNA tampering , in an effort to create “perfect” humans, has created a virus that now causes people to live a fraction of their former life expectancy.

One night, Rhine is kidnapped by Gatherers, men tasked with stealing brides for wealthy landowners so that they can hopefully breed healthy, virus-free children. In Rhine’s case, she is taken to the home of Linden Vaughn, and his eccentric (and creepy crawly inducing) father, who is a doctor that claims to be working on a cure for the virus. Along with her sister wives, 13 yr. old Cecily and 18 yr. old Jenna, Rhine enters a world of wealth and priviledge, but soon discovers that this gilded cage is just that, a prison of terrifying proportions. As she watches her world fall apart around her, and misses her brother, she begins to plan her escape, at any cost.

Wither is written wonderfully, and the author left quite a bit to the imagination, which is a good thing, and goes a long way toward fostering the creepy, rather claustrophobic, atmosphere intended with the insular environment she created. Rhine narrates the story, and manages to convey the terror, fear, and frustration she feels on a daily basis, interspersed with moments of genuine joy and happiness. At times she starts to lose herself, and it’s those times that made me think about the power of our environment, and how we’re shaped. There’s even a hint of romance as Rhine begins to form a relationship with a servant named Gabriel, who she enlists to help her plot her eventual escape. I fell in love with Rhine, and the strong willed, street savvy Jenna. I even fell for the young, naïve Cicely, who, raised in an orphanage, never knew love and readily clung to the illusion of security and “home” that was presented to her on a silver platter upon arriving at the mansion.I urge you to give this one a try! I’ll be looking forward to more from Lauren DeStefano!
Order a copy! Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Stalk the author: Website


  1. I've read several reviews of this one and I am almost persuaded it is worth a try. Thanks for adding the final touch!

  2. I am on the wait list at the library for this one. Can't wait!! :0)

  3. I am so completely excited for this book– I just got it today and can't wait to read it! I have to say though, out of all the reviews of Wither, yours is my favorite:) You really explain it well for those that haven't read it yet, and I love the way you detail the characters. Awesome review!

  4. the book girl-thank you so much! You made my day!

  5. Hi Kristin! I found you and your blog through twitter's "Who to follow" suggestions. I'm glad I did! I am psyched to get my hands on a copy of this book. I keep reading such great reviews, like this one, and it's just adding to my excitement! Thanks for posting.

    Grace @

  6. Offbeat Vagabond

    Great review hon. I have heard that this is a little tense, but it is worth the read. I love finding new authors and I can't wait to read this when it comes out. Thank you for the review again hon 🙂

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