A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tori's Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

- 368 pages
Price: $17.99
ISBN 10: 1442409053
ISBN 13: 978-1442409057
Released: March 22, 2011

Lauren's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: ARC Tours
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopian
Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy
1. Wither

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
You know, I really wasn't buying all the hype for this book. I figured, "Oh, WITHER is going to be exactly like all of those other mediocre YA debuts I've seen in 2010, and it'll probably have some horrible love triangle to boot." And of course, unsurprisingly, after reading this book, I could slap myself. Perhaps 2011 will be the year where debuting authors redeem the genre for me? I truly hope so.

...because I read this book in one night. I missed reading books that sucked me in and kept me going from cover to cover -- especially books from the YA genre, a genre that I have a love-hate relationship with. I've found that, ever since starting Book Faery, I've generally become more critical of the texts I read. That's good for me when it comes to my own writing, but it's also bad because I get burnt out when forced to face off against a string of so-so books. Reader burnout, anyone?

WITHER is one of the most enjoyable dystopians I've read thus far (though I'm not entirely sure how reliable that statement is, considering I haven't read many). Be forewarned: this novel is not for the faint of heart. It's dark, it's gritty, it deals with death, what love is, monogamy, the concept of having multiple wives. You name it, and this book probably has it.

The universe this world is set in is even more unique than its themes. America still exists, yet after a World War 3 which wiped out a lot of the countries around the world, and with a disease affecting younger generations, the human population is suffering. Girls can only live until they're 20 and boys until they're 25. Parents are forced to become parents at extremely young ages, abandoning their children due to a premature death. Men in white coats stalk the streets to kidnap girls from their families to sell to rich young men as sister wives. It would be a nightmare living in this kind of world, and yet, I literally felt like I was living in it while reading WITHER.

Rhine is the heroine of our story and I loved her from page one. She's got this exhausted-yet-I-will-survive air about her that I could not get enough of. I respected her and I loved her determination to escape and find her twin brother. It was inspiring reading about her character. I wish more heroines were this determined.

The relationships that develop between Rhine and her sister wives almost brought me to tears at one point while reading this story. One does not think much of the two girls initially, but as time progresses, I felt as if I was part of this trio, an inseparable group of girls determined to survive despite what the house they live in throws at them. It was tragic witnessing what eventually happens to the three, and yet, despite the tragedy in this story, I still have some sort of hope that things will be okay for them.

I felt despair. I thought about how miserable life would be if I could only live until I was 20. It got me brooding about some... well, less than happy thoughts (which I could have avoided), but the book was so beautifully written I would have faced the feelings of despair all over again to re-experience this world and its characters.

Like I said earlier, WITHER completely deserves all its hype. After about a week passed (back in Dec 2010 when I wrote this review), I still look back fondly when thinking about this book. Oh, and check out that cover. The people at S&S outdid themselves by picking up an excellent novel/author and creating a cover that truly captures what this story is about. There is major symbolism on this cover folks. Highly recommend checking this novel out if you want to read a good dystopian. Cannot wait to see what will happen next in this series.


  1. Oh my gosh-- I have wanted to read Wither for ages! I have to wait a looong time, though-- while I've pre-ordered it from the Book Depo. (because, really, it's not gonna come out in Australia any time soon! D:<<), but it'll take three or so weeks to get here. SAD FAISE. :( :( :(

  2. I finished this book the other night and I felt much the same as you did. I really had the catharsis going. I hope everyone else will enjoy this book. I'm looking forward to the next one.

  3. I can't wait until March 22. I've been hearing so many good things about this and the subject matter fascinates me. I want it. Like, now.

  4. Sounds cool! Have you seen the movie TiMER? (came out 2009). It kind of has the same concept... except that you know when you'll meet your soul mate!

  5. I really liked this one too. I loved that while she had a little help Rhine doesn't rely on a love-interest to save her, she wants to save herself. Sometimes in YA I get the feeling the target audience is being fed a little too much hero-need and not enough girl-can-do-it-on-her-own. And like you said, this book tackles a lot of deep topics. I really think DeStefano pulled all of those off well, didn't dumb it down like some dystopian authors have.

    Great review, Tori!

  6. Alice, it's been quite a while since I finished WITHER, but there are still so many vivid scenes lurking within my mind. Love it, and I hope you enjoy it when you finally get it <3

    Almybnenr, me too!

    Lamia, the wait is worth it. Let me know what you think!

    Tipsy, no I have not seen that movie, but I think I may have to check it out now; thank you for the rec!

    Thank you Rhianna! I agree about some of these YA books... they're not offering the proper message to young readers. We need more independence and not reliance on a man to save the day. That is not how real life works.

  7. Ooh! Kind of interested now. I was also afraid of the hype. Crossing my fingers for a better reading year.