Hello, fellow book worms!

As you might recall, one of my 2014 goals is to read 50 books this calendar year. I’m a bit behind, due to the tumultuous nature of the first quarter of this year, but I am thrilled to be on my way now! I first read a diet book, that while counting toward my goal, I won’t be reviewing for this blog. SO, I am beyond excited to bring to you my review of the second book, first novel: Wither, by Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers).

First Impressions– Judging a Book by its Cover:
This is a stunning book. I found it on sale at WalMart, and didn’t think twice about buying it. LOOK at this cover!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I will be the first to admit that I happily judge a book by its cover. I love dramatic, striking images. I love graphics. I love pretty text. I love girls in gowns. This book has it all. A++++.

Dive a little deeper– My Thoughts (spoiler-free/based on book jacket)
I didn’t even read the book jacket on this book. I went in with no expectations, and was quite quickly drawn into its world. We follow Rhine Ellery, a sixteen-year-old in a world where women only live to see twenty, and men twenty-five. She is kidnapped and forced into a polygamist marriage. And that is how we open. The opening is gripping and dark- right up my alley. I was never bored, and nothing jarred me out of the story. Some parts felt a little indulgent or meandering to me, but the characters and overall story were gripping enough to keep me interested. It is not a romance, though romantic interaction obviously plays a part.

Deeper Still– Thoughts Redux (minor spoilers included)
My main critique with Wither is that I wanted more. I wanted more context about the current state of the world. More information on customs and culture. The premise is intriguing, and I want more! That could have influenced my feelings toward the fact that I wanted less of Rhine laying in bed and remembering her brother. I wanted her to be more proactive. Rhine’s plan for escape didn’t seem urgent enough, or smart enough, for how intelligent she otherwise seemed. She had been raised to hone her survivor instinct, and where was it now? If she struggled harder with maybe wanting to stay, we should have seen that.

Grade Me, Seymore– Give It A Score! -3.5/5
On Goodreads, I gave it 3 stars out of 5, but I would’ve gladly given it a 3.5, had I been able. This is the first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, and I’m hoping that because of that, I will be able to give the overall story a 5, as I read the other two installments. I definitely will read them, but I am not clamoring to buy them right now. I would definitely recommend Wither to any readers who enjoy young adult distopian/science fiction. It does explore new themes, and deals with sex in a mature and still respectable (and very PG-rated) way, as well as bringing up questions of marriage. Again, I look forward to see where we get to go in this world, and Wither was a strong introduction.

Connect with the author of Wither, Lauren DeStefano:

Let me know your thoughts on Wither in the comments. Have you read it? Are you adding it to your to-read pile?

Have a great day!-Kaitlin

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