Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Lauren DeStefano”

Scootsa1000′s #CBR4 Review 48 & 49: Wither and Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Wither was a book that kept popping up on my radar.  A few Cannonball reviews, and some recommendations from Amazon based on past purchases.  I wasn’t dying to read it, but last week when I walked in to my library, it was literally the first thing I saw when I opened the door (the YA section of our lovely little library is directly inside the door).  So I figured, why not?

Wither tells the story of Rhine Ellery, a 16 year-old identical twin living with her brother Rowan in future Manhattan.  In Rhine’s world, a terrible virus kills all females at 20 and all males at 25, so beautiful young women of child-bearing age have become a precious commodity. Rhine is OF COURSE kidnapped and brought against her will to become one of many brides for a young, rich man in Florida. And, you guys, SHE MISSES HER BROTHER SO MUCH. And she just has to get back to New York, no matter what.

I really didn’t care for Rhine, or anything that happened in her world.  I was more interested in the little tidbits of information that were casually tossed throughout the story about when the virus started, how it could potentially be stopped, and what happened to the rest of the world.  Rhine has been taught that the rest of the world no longer exists, but sometimes the story hints that JUST MAYBE that isn’t true.

When I took the book out, I had no idea that Wither was the first in a trilogy. The second installment, Fever, was also available, so I read that one, too (give me a break, we had a hurricane, so pickings were slim!).

Fever was even less interesting than Wither.  Rhine and her friend Gabriel are on the run, trying to get back to New York.  They get caught up in some crazy prostitution/carnival ring that takes WAY too many pages to get away from, but does give them some new and somewhat interesting characters to interact with.

I don’t know when book #3 comes out, and I”m not sure I’ll read it when it does.  I’d rank these two somewhere above Twilight, but below the Delirium books.  Meh.


DragonDreamsJen’s #CBR4 Review #30 Wither by Lauren Destefano

Yet another dystopian novel jumps on the bandwagon, hoping somehow to snare a portion of the reading audience so enchanted by Hunger Games. Like Matched and a few of the other novels I have been reviewing as part of this challenge, Wither makes a brave attempt to carve its own place among the competition.

The marketing campaign behind this series is brilliant and certainly has its pulse on where the next generation goes to create a buzz. The website for the trilogy is slick and the trailer on YouTube feels almost like a movie trailer aiming to entice a techno-savvy generation into reading this novel.

The basic premise of the Chemical Garden series is simple yet disturbing. Thanks to the meddling of science and the attempts to eliminate diseases, a plague has affected all of the younger generations of humanity. Men now die at the age of 25 and women at the age of 20 from the virus that plagues civilization. The gap between rich and poor has widened to the point where the wealthy are now able to entice or kidnap multiple brides for their young sons to breed successive generations or find a cure before they themselves (the untouched older generation) perish wither and die.

I found this novel very disturbing as my rating and the rest of the review will explain. It does contain information which could be considered “Spoilers” so I did not post the full review here, but kept it to my bookhoarding dragon site.

I found this novel very disturbing as my rating and the rest of the review will explain.  It does contain information which could be considered “Spoilers” so I did not post the full review here, but kept it to my bookhoarding dragon site.

sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #28: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

“In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it. 16-year-old Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage – and Linden’s cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.”

A fast paced dystopian novel with a familiar story that has just enough variation from the plethora of apocalyptic fiction out there to recommend itself, although is clearly very derivative. There are a fair few plot and logic issues and some rather unsubtle characterisations but it is somehow very readable regardless. The real strength for me was DeStefano’s descriptions of the world as it is as she ably conjures up a world where abductions and poverty sit side by side with extravagant wealth all wrapped up in a frightened and desperate (although ill defined and created) world. Ultimately, I want to read the second book which means it can only be classed as a success, despite it’s many failings. However, if DeStefano doesn’t sort her backstory and world building out and give us some more answers (I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt at this point that she has though this through but just hasn’t included it) then I’m afraid I’m out. I’ve given it three stars but it isn’t a ‘good’ book – it’s a book with huge problems that I couldn’t put down and enjoyed despite myself.

The full review is on my blog.

First Line: ‘I wait, they keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids.’

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