Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

About the Book

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?


It’s amazing what one finds trawling through twitter; bloggers, reviews and books that will make you gnaw your fingers off for a chance to read them.  That’s how I found this shining gem.  I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t beg, borrow, steal, dance naked for, and scream for a copy of Wither by Lauren DeStefano.  I called in all my favours in high (and low) places for a copy and opportunity to read and review it.

Oh the shiny day that the review copy landed in my lap, I ran around the house more than once (insert one or two skips) and a hulleva lot of screaming and booty shaking.

Wither would be the book to convert this Fiction Femme Fatal (Yes, that’s me – ok, ok stop laughing) to a Young Adult Reader bee...

DeStefano sets before the reader a life with no life (does that make sense?).  Rhine Ellery is 16 years old and is taken (more like kidnapped) as a bride.  A world where genetics is a ticking bomb – Males live till 25 and Females till 20 – geneticists are baying to find an antidote.  This isn’t the world you see outside your window, it’s a world where children are orphans and women are sold off as brides to try repopulate the world.  Rhine is one of those brides, to wealthy Linden – who is hopelessly in love with her, but Rhine refuses to be kept captive and is adamant to get back to her twin brother and let him know she is alive.  Linden may be the best kind of husband but it’s Master Vaughan that has a closet full of skeletons and a basement, filled with gut wrenching secrets.  It isn’t until Rhine meets Gabriel that she doesn’t believe her freedom is possible... but when Rhine and Gabriel get too close and Gabriel disappears, will Rhine be able to look to her fellow sister brides for help?

A tumultuous read, one that had me knotted up in my duvet, cold tea dangling from my hand.  This story didn’t let up for more than a page or even a paragraph.  DeStefano has a way of making the Young Adult genre literary.

I need you all to read this book!!!

Big thanks to the lovely ladies at Jonathan Ball for the review copy!

Review by Kelly Ansara

About the Author

Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children's menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom's purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world's worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn't writing, she's screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits.

Have you read Wither?  Tell me about it?


Anonymous said...

I think you mean they're looking for an "antidote" and not an "anecdote".
Although it would be pretty funny if they were searching for an anecdote...

Kelly Ansara said...

@Anonymous, thanks for picking that up! *Laughs at Freudian slip* I always knew the glass of wine when reviewing would come back and haunt me...

BookGeek said...

I think I danced too when I got this book! IT WAS AMAZING! This author has a great touch with words.

Shelagh said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed Wither Kelly!

I've found that YA has a lot to offer in terms of talent and stories. And I hope you'll find the same thing. We'll never give up on our adult fiction, but good stories are good stories wherever they are found. :)

Great review!

The Word Fiend

Kelly Ansara said...

What I loved most about Wither is the high end writing that De Stefano pulls off. I heart this books!

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