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Nyx Book Reviews

I love to read and to review. My favourite genres are fantasy, horror, YA, historical, and everything paranormal.

Wither (Chemical Garden)

Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano Set in a world where girls die when they are twenty years old and boys when they're twenty-five, Rhine is abducted and sold to be one of the three new brides of Linden. There is only one thing on her mind - escape. But as the months fly by, the luxurious life she's leading now begins to ensnare her.I was drawn to Wither by the premise. A dystopian where people don't age above puberty? Sounds like a good ground for an action packed novel! I was sorely disappointed by that aspect. Absolutely nothing happens. At the start, when Rhine is getting kidnapped, I was very excited, but after that she just sits around. She jumps on a trampoline with fellow brides. Rhine goes to a party. Rhine eats sweets. Rhine reads a book in the library. Wither is almost four-hundred pages long, but it could just as well been one hundred. Ms DeStefano has a very distinct writing style, often called "haunting" and "beautiful". For me it felt more like "lifeless". Every page is written in the same way. There is no speeding up, no slowing down. I get what Ms DeStefano was trying to accomplish in Wither. The big action isn't important, it's the little details. It's in the little ways the brides rebel against their captors. On me, all this detailing was completely lost. That only works when you're invested in the characters, but I never felt that sorry for Rhine. She sits around for months doing absolutely nothing but eating and sleeping and having fun. The reason she wants to escape so bad is her twin brother, but as he only gets mentioned by Rhine herself, he feels more like a convenience than an actual character. Even the ending, for which I was hoping that it would shock me and make me go, "Whoa, this is awesome!" was a huge anti-climax. They waited a year to do that? Really? One last thing I would like to point out is Ms DeStefano's extreme love for her country. I quote from page 55 of the paperback version:"All we were taught of geography was that the world had once been made up of seven continents and several countries, but a third world war demolished all but North America, the continent with the most advanced technology."Most advanced technology?! Ha, they wish! The continent with most advanced technology is clearly Asia. Ever seen a documentary on Japan? If there is a country with advanced technology, it's Japan. Unless Ms. DeStefano calls weapons of war "advanced technology", then I guess she's right. The whole book is filled with remarks towards America's superiority over the other continents. As a European, this rubbed me completely the wrong way.I know a lot of you have loved and will keep on loving Wither, but this wasn't for me. I think that if you go in expecting a subtle novel, you will very much enjoy this one. I will read Fever (mostly because I already bought it) and see if I like that one better.