Monday, May 9, 2011
Wither (Chemical Garden, #1 by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I was really excited to start this one since I was in the mood for some dystopian goodness. I don't know exactly what's between these pages, but after reading I wouldn't call it dystopian per se, but maybe that will change later in the series. I had to suspend quite a bit of disbelief to enjoy this one. The premise is that humanity is slowly dying after a failed utopian-type experiment to produce a generation of humans without disease. Every child born after the golden "first generation" is dying too early. Girls live only twenty years and boys only twenty-five. The first generation seems to be enjoying an unnaturally long lifespan, but cannot find the cure to stop the 'virus' that seems to be claiming the young.
As a kidnapped child-bride, Rhine is angry, scared and wants nothing but to return home to her brother. She places her efforts to escape in befriending her young husband only to find that most of her bitterness is directed at the wrong person because the one that holds the strings is Linden's father.
The plot of this story is very linear and the progression is a bit predictable. The strength of the story is the characters and the world DeStefano has created. Although I don't find many things plausible, like how an entire population would agree to in vitro fertility, or how anything would be accomplished when the next generation only lives to twenty-five at the most, or how the first generation expects anything to be done for them when it seems like everyone else is either cloistered in luxury or dying in poverty. Whenever these types of questions would come to mind I'd remind myself this is a story meant to entertain not a textbook I'll be quizzed on at the end. Otherwise I found myself immersed in Rhine's bubble of a world with the glimpses to the outside and what has become of it. I'll definitely read the next in the series to see if the author can pull off the grandiose ideas and stories she's put into play.
Copy Source: Library