Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I think DeStefano has an interesting idea for a story. It’s a bit different than most of what’s out there and it has the possibility to explore some really great topics. If you know you’re going to die at a certain age, how would you live your life? What would you do, what you say, what kind of person would you be? Unfortunately, for as much as DeStefano tries, Wither┬ácomes up a bit short.

It was hard to connect with Rhine. I didn’t completely understand her motives behind wanting to leave so badly. If you only have 20 years to live, would you rather spend them hiding with your brother in a basement using a gun to protect you from intruders, or in a mansion where anything you want, you can get? I wish there had been more reasoning behind Rhine’s urgent need to leave. I just had a hard time making sense of her. Other than that, she’s a mostly likable person and there’s a lot of room for her to grow and I’ll be reading to see what she does.

Linden fell completely flat for me as a possible love interest. He’s completely oblivious to most everything around him and I found him to be just a little creepy. He has no problem taking on multiple wives, one of them barely into her teens. He has no clue about what his father does in the basement of the mansion and I found it hard to believe he’d never question anything his father told him. He had a lot of potential to be a strong character and it wasn’t quite reached.

Gabriel was hardly even around and while I found his relationship with Rhine a little sweet, it was still hard to believe they had more than an incredibly strong friendship. He’s there for a little while, and then disappears. It felt more like Rhine was attaching to him simply because he wasn’t Linden instead of having actual feelings for him. I hope this will be explored more in Fever.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and unfortunately, it was a little disappointing. It felt like it wasn’t quite finished because there was so much room for growth in each character and the plot. It tried, but it didn’t quite succeed.