Title: Wither Author: Lauren DeStefano Pages: 356 Rating: Hi, to...
Hi, to those (which I doubt), read my book blog. Long time no post. I’ve been busy but mostly lazy, haha. Don’t worry I’ll post reviews to some of the books I’ve read that left a big (or not) impression on me. These books are (probably; the list is not final): Demon’s Trapper’s Daughter, Secrets and Shadows, Delirium, Falling Under, Leviathan and Behemoth. The rest will put in one post; also know as my lazy post— er, Short Reviews.
So that settled, let’s get down to business. It’s one of the last I’ve read lately and I’m itching to do a review, hence the weird priority (among the great list above) — the book is, Wither by Lauren DeStefano.
Like Unearthly it’s one of my looking-forward-to-read-for-2011. I mean look at the gorgeous cover, and pretty covers always says a lot to me. As for the verdict (sans my expected superficiality about book covers), it was ok. Let me elaborate the “ok,” it wasn’t mediocre ok, it was great ok. So, yeah, it was kinda hard to explain. But the thing is it wasn’t bad, I thoroughly enjoy it. Honest. But the book for me is in a brink of completely hating and massively liking it. It’s like, one flick and it would fall in either side (just one wrong move by the author and that result will be certain). As of now there’s nothing major factor/s that led me to that decision, so the fact is, the book’s rating for me is undecided. I might re-read it just to settle the score a bit.
Wither is a dystopian book. While— in my humble opinion— didn’t match the intensity of Matched and Hunger Games. Taking everything into consideration, it was good dystopian book (I think I like it better than Delirium).
The only standing country is America and because of high technological advances on human genes, the population’s life span shortens. Girls only live at twenty, guys at twenty five. And girls are sold as bride for wealthy guys. Rhine (the narrator and protagonist) was kidnapped and became a bride. Polygamy is accepted in this futuristic society. She along with two girls becomes the wives of Linden Ashby. When his first wife died, she becomes Linden’s comfort. But she hates him, after what he did to her, to the girls that was also kidnapped and wasn’t chosen as his wife (wives). But then, she started to open up to him too, and he wasn’t exactly the guy she though he’d be. But the fact remained, that her liberty was taken from her. And also, she might be falling for Gabriel, a boy who works for the Ashby’s household.
Ok, I completely appalled after I read the book. Lots of things that was shocking and hard to swallow and yet, I’m still devoured reading the book. So let me try to emphasize those things. One, Linden. He was described as curly hair, small built with gold teeth (argh, that gold teeth was a let down, I tell you. It’s like shouting ‘creepy’). So yeah, in short, not the typical YA hottie (but he has this sophisticated charm; aura on him). Disregarding that fact (miniscule detail to even sulk for anyway), he is nice guy but not (yes, my ambiguity preferences with this book is at it finest lmao). I kinda dislike him, but also understand him at the same time. It’s pretty obvious from his three wives that the one he loves the most is Rhine. But I have this irking feeling about polygamy (a matter of my religious/moral stance) and that sort of a reason why I don’t prefer him (yeah, way to go prejudices). But at the same time, knowing how much he love — genuinely love Rhine and he is completely oblivious how his father run the household, and his personality per se, it kinda drawn me back. I like him but not, argh I don’t know, maybe the second book will help me decided. Gabriel might sound good for her, but since his character wasn’t explored that much (like Christian from Unearthly), I don’t have a final say to him.
But that said, I find the relationship of Gabriel and Rhine, a little rushed, and a little shallow, built in a very weak foundation. To make it short, sparks didn’t fly when they kissed. Their supposed understanding of each other is a bit unclear. No deep connection, to be quite frank. As for Linden, I kinda like him, however, with the polygamy going on I was kinda skeptical choosing him. But between convincing which one is more, you know, true. I guess, I’ll bet my chips to Linden. So the scoreboard? 1 – 0 (in favor of Linden).
Well I did mention the polygamy and I shall leave it at there. The early pregnancy was bothering me and at the same time, remembering the fact that these people have short lives to live was almost making this issue acceptable. But it was still bothering me, all things considered, sorry for being an old fashion (wait, it’s not just being conservative, it’s still bothering, the girl is still a kid, argh).
And lastly Rhine, I’m truly glad that she didn’t give her self in (she was left untouched to my satisfaction). I read a good point raised in one review, that why bother escaping when she got, what, 4 years to live. Not that her life is miserable, in fact she was living like a princess (if not, a queen). But I remember what Cassia said in Matched, it’s a matter of choice, although I do think that their situation is very different (somehow similar but very different), if she choose to live her life as she sees fits, no matter how short it is, and no matter what happen (good or bad) it’s her call.
The ending was the most shocking for me (not in plot driven way), it was wrapped up good — quite good. It’s a trilogy from what I know, but the ending isn’t exactly what I thought. There’s no cliffhanger (in any form I’m aware of), no subtle cliffhanger like from The Eternal Ones, or the overrated ending in The Pace. It was… I think, it was a clean ending, the only thing that’s missing was the happily-ever-after part and that’s a wrap. No continuation. But I’m giving the author the benefit of the doubt and she perhaps didn’t clue the reader’s in on what the Ashby’s household take with her MIA status.
So yeah, inconsistency aside, it was a good book. A bit mature but nevertheless, ok.