Wither - Lauren DeStefano

I feel like I'm at a loss for words, unable to find the words to explain exactly how this book affected me.  All I could must on Twitter was "Wow...just, wow."  It's the kind of book that will grab hold of your heart, and not let go, long after you've finished the last page.

First of all DeStefano is an unbelievable writer.  She has a way with words and interweaves such beautiful imagery (especially Rhine's dreams -- I found myself gasping aloud at some of those scenes).  The world that she created is horrifying, yet beautiful.  Part of the charm of the book comes from the fact that it's hard to not be disgusted yet fascinated by everything that Rhine experiences.  I wrestled with wanting to live in the mansion with her (slightly jealous of those hours she spent reading in the library) yet being equally horrified by the injustices of her society.  In most dystopians, the reader is usually rooting for the heroine to escape her oppressive society (I'm thinking mainly of Katniss in the Hunger Games, when we rooted for her to emerge from the Arena, victorious, or Tris in Divergent, crossing my fingers that she would escape her factioned society).  I think that most dystopians are written such that the reader immediately identifies with the heroine and hates the world that she is forced to inhabit, a world described in such terms that no one in their right mind would ever want to live there.  Even The Capitol in the Hunger Games is presented as ridiculous, and reminded me of what our own society is like with beauty and plastic surgery, not a desirable form of beauty by any means.  But the haunting beauty of Rhine's world is harder to hate.  It's not entirely loveable either, but there's just something about the world that she inhabits that made me want to crawl inside the book and live her life for myself.

Honestly, I'm really not sure what else to say about this book, other than this: if you haven't yet read it, you must.  All of the rave reviews online are not over exaggerating this book: it is one that you don't want to miss.  I want to read Fever right away, but at the same time I'm also going to let Wither settle in my mind for a few days.  I've already flipped back through the book a few times, rereading snippets of the story and feeling chills up and down my spine. 


  1. Glad you loved it!

    I know that copies at Fever at Superstore or Walmart right now for a bit cheaper--if it's not in the library!

  2. Thanks for your comment! I just wrote a long comment on your review, but I couldn't post it for some reason. My attempt to re-create what I said is as follows: I went back to re-read your review after writing my own and I think we had some similar feelings. I liked your description of the slower pace of the novel, that it mirrored their captivity. It's hard to be action paced when their days just follow one another, day after day, with little change in their environment.

  3. This sounds really interesting. I like how you say the world was a bit more a grey area that dystopians sometimes are - I'll definitely keep an eye out for this book!


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