Friday, March 23, 2012
Audiobook Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano
So, I’m discovering that I really enjoy listening to dystopians in the car. I think having these books performed by talented narrators makes for a much more fulfilling experience. It makes them less of a downer, maybe? Not sure, but whatever it is - “Wither” was another wonderful addition to my VW Dystopian car adventures!
“Wither” takes place in a dystopian version of our world in which society had conquered disease and created a generation of super healthy human beings, only to find out when procreation began that they had created a virus that effected the children of these disease-free people (called the “first generation”). The children sometimes never made it past the age of 25 for males and 20 for females. This mistake has created generations of desperate orphans and a society that is in ruin with two opposing views fighting against each other (those who believe the human race can be saved and those who believe that it is time to let the human race die out). Rhine and her brother were orphaned not that long ago and lead a tough life just trying to survive. When Rhine is kidnapped, she is forced into the lifestyle of a “bride” to a wealthy young man and she’s not the only one. The wealthy have come to collecting beautiful young girls and having polygamous marriages in order to continue the family line. Her husband is kind and falls head of heels in love with her, but he lives a life full of lives and illusions provided by his father, a doctor who is desperately trying to find an antidote to this genetic bomb. So desperate, Rhine is unsure if she is there to be his son’s companion or his next science experiment and whether anyone is truly safe under his watch.
To be honest, this book is a lot of character development and strategic plotting on behalf of Rhine. Majority of the plot deals with her wanting to escape, but being held back by her emotional connections to her sister wives and husband, the heavy security of the estate, etc. It is definitely one of those first novels that, while enjoyable, lacks the fulfilling feeling of a beginning, middle and end. That being said, having this book delivered to me via audiobook made that much easier to stomach and I have already started listening to book 2. I’m really interested to see what happens to Rhine and find out more about the world in which all of these characters live. I want to know what happened besides this gigantic genetic mistake that made the United States the only country still inhabited (or if that is even the truth!). I also am dying to know what is happening in the romance department. The love triangle to this story was really interesting and well done. It felt honest and true to the story. Angela Lin did a wonderful job narrating this story. At times, she sounded a little old, but Rhine is 16 in a world where girls die at 20 so I think that makes her delivery totally acceptable.
Overall verdict - this is another enjoyable addition to the dystopian YA phenomena. I’ve already started book two and cannot wait to hear what happens next!
And stay tuned to Authors are ROCKSTARS! We are posting a series of interviews and event coverage from the Passion & Prose conference & Breathless Reads book tour. We've also been busy gathering prizes for anniversary giveaway NEXT MONTH. Soooo many autographed books. You will NOT want to miss it.
“Wither” is published by Simon & Schuster. The audiobook was produced by Recorded Books. The second book “Fever” is also available now! I purchased these books via Audible.com.