Review & ARC Giveaway: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

The buzz about this new dystopian YA has been huge, so it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, right? Uh…wrong. First, the official blurb:

ABOUT WITHER: 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?

MY THOUGHTS: I was a little slow warming to Wither because it’s written in present tense and there’s nothing wrong with that except it annoys the bejeebers out of me. But the story’s so engaging and the writing so smooth that–gasp–about a third of the way in I forgot I was even reading present-tense prose.The official blurb glosses over the brutality of the wife-snatching system, the sheer creepiness of the evil father-in-law, the relationship that Rhine develops with one of the servants at the mansion, and the utter hopelessness of the life these people are forced to live. The characters are rich and vivid, and the world DeStefano builds is complex and thought-provoking. If you like dystopian fiction or just good YA, don’t miss this one. Warning: this is the first of a trilogy and ends on a serious cliffhanger. Left me sputtering: but…but…but….

I’m giving away an ARC of Wither to one commenter. As always, +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

54 thoughts on “Review & ARC Giveaway: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

  1. Wow. I’m kind of afraid of this one! It sounds like…Big Love meets…something…Soilent Green?

    WTF is that the heroine is wearing?

    I think I’ll have to buy this just because I know it’s going to be one of those things that sucks me in and won’t let me out…like I need to be sucked into something new?

  2. This book has been in my TBR for a while. It sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower (@lyssad87)
    +1 retweet



  3. Sounds like a good book – although I’m not crazy about cliffhanger endings.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower

    sgiden at

  4. would love to read this, thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter follower


  5. I’m not entering, as I already have an ARC, but just encouraging others to enter. Wither was a fascinating and quick read.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway!!!
    Book sounds very interesting!
    I am a follower via GFC as Diana

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  7. The concept of the book sounds fantastic. I love my dystopians!
    +1 comment
    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  8. I’m pretty good at collecting the entire series before reading. I don’t like to be left hanging!
    +1 comment
    +1 follower

  9. I love dystopian literature and have been waiting for this book to come out for what seems like forever! I’m glad to hear it’s going to be a trilogy too.

    +1 comment
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  10. I’ve been hearing lots of good things about this book. Can’t wait to read it.

    +1 follow blog
    +1 follow twitter. @andrealynnt
    +1 comment
    +1 retweet

  11. I’d love to play please 😀

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter follower (@Brittleblue)


  12. Definitely looks like a good read!

    Comment +1
    I’m a GFC follower. +1
    I’m a twitter follower. +1
    I also retweeted the giveaway. +1


  13. Whiter surely is one of the most anticipated books! Curious to see if it will live it up the expectation

    +1 comment
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    + 1 twitter follower aliaslucia

    Aliasgirl at libero dot it

  14. I never read dystopian fiction….but this one look quite intersting!!!

    Thank for the giveaway!!!

    +1 comment

  15. This book sounds so good and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thank you for the giveaway!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog Follow
    +1 Twitter Follow (@CallistoFairy)
    +1 Retweet


  16. Thank you for the giveaway! I want it 🙂

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for twitter follow (@becunique)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  17. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME giveaway! This book looks so great!

    +1 comment
    +1 Blog follower as KaityWells
    +1 Twitter follower @katiewatanabe

  18. I’d love to win this, it’s been getting some Fantastic reviews!!

    +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for twitter follow
    +1 for RT