WitherWither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 22nd 2011
Pages: 358
ISBN: 1442409053
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Where to begin. Scratching my head trying to determine how to rate this book. I went back and forth. I loved the first chapter and got sucked in. Girls were being taken and “chosen” to be wives in a dystopian society. A society where men died at 25 and women at the age of 20. Reproducing is very important so that society does not die out. Sounded good, promising, interesting, etc. Having said that, sex with a 13/14 year old girl, was very cringe worthy. The “husband” Linden is supposed to be sensitive and unaware and yet he is 22 and having sex with a 13/14 year old girl and sees no problem with it – after all she is his wife, right? And she is destined to die at 20 right? Yet, his number one wife/favorite wife does not have sex with him and this is okay because he loves her. Even though she is taken against her will and bought so that she can marry him and bear his children. Oh and not to mention his other wife, Jenna. I get it- this is a book. It is set in a Dystopian society where the rules are different. Having more than one wife is acceptable and having as many children as possible is desirable because of the virus that is killing everyone so young.

Even though there were cringe worthy parts, I liked the concept of the book. I also liked that the two wives, Jenna and Rhine did not like their situation. They did not “Warm” to the idea of being taken, bought and used. I liked that they saw the tragedy in their situation. I also liked that this book was an easy quick read. I like that the author is trying to make a statement.