domingo, 25 de setembro de 2011

Wither, Lauren DeStefano

I'm submitting this book to the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by The Story Siren.

Review: This one got a lot of mixed feelings from me. The best way to explain it for me is to compare it to a beautiful crystal sculpture: it's lovely, and brilliant, but as you start to poke it and pick it apart, you end up finding flaws, or even shattering it.

Rhine is a girl that was kidnapped to become a wife of a wealthy man, in a world where girls live up to 20 years old and guys to 25. But she longs for her freedom, and she is keen in running away, back to her childhood home and her twin brother, to live whatever years she has left.

I liked how Rhine never lost focus of what she wanted along the way, despite having a priviledged life now, and I became a fan of Linden, her husband, because he was sort of alone and really blind to what was actually going on. I also enjoyed to meet the other wives, Jenna and Cecily, as their personalities were so well defined for me.

But I didn't enjoy how it passed so many time and Rhine seemed to do nothing to run away, as she said she wanted. I didn't like that there was so much foreshadowing on Vaughn being a bad person, and we don't directly see him do anything evil... there's just rumors and whispers.

I also didn't like that Rhine became first wife (the "favorite" wife to a husband, the one that gets to go out the house with him and such) so easily, and without developing a real relationship with her husband, Linden, which was so ridiculous. I don't mean this in a way that she should have "sold" herself, but it would have been so interesting to see her actually care for Linden, and have sex with him.

It just would have made for great character development. The way it happened, it just seems the author shied away of sex, as many YA authors do - but in a world where people die when they reach adulthood, teens would absolutely have sex. And to expect us to believe that Linden was married to her about a year, and nothing happened between them... I think that even with Linden being essentially a good guy, he would have forced himself on her.

And this a was lot of the book for me, second-guessing the author and imagining how the story should have been written, or how this world should have been built, in order to make it a more enjoyable read, a more satisfying story. And don't even get me started on the world building, as I would never shut up about it.

But I also enjoyed the book, in the sense it has a bittersweet and melancholic streak to it that really appealed to me. It felt like A Forest of Hands and Teeth in that way. Wow, the way mankind really screwed up things and now all that is left is despair... And this was a compelling read, as I read it through a couple of afternoons.

I should praise the person responsible for the graphic part of the book. The cover is gorgeous, and the motifs with all those circles and lines in the cover are very well used throughout the book.

If you're still reading this after all the complaining, I would say that I wouldn't recommend this book if you are a plot and world building kind of person. However, if you don't mind these, and are more of a character-driven reader, you might find this book quite enjoyable. I, myself, am still a bit on the fence about it, but I have hope that the second installment, Fever, is more tight story-wise, while keeping the characters interesting.

Pages: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

2 comentários:

  1. From the sinopsis I read a while back, this didn't seem like my type of book, and now even less. I didn't like "The Foresta of Hands and Teeth" all that much, so if this is similar, I'm pretty confident I can pass it up without regret. Also, even though I like character driven stories, I like my worlds well built, and that part you mention about the non-sex really pissed me off. It's like you said, if they died when reaching adulthood, of course they would've had sex. What's with americans and sex? Seriously. They let their teens read lots of violence and gore, but they can'te read sex? O.o

  2. Yes, I wouldn't recommend it to you. The worldbuilding... oh, I couldn't stop questioning everything that was presented to the reader. The way that society developed, why men die at 25 and women at 20, blahblahblah...

    The sex thing is really just appalling. Sex is a normal part of a person's (and a teen's, I might add) life, and in the context of the book, the avoidance of the theme was... weird. The other girl-wives to Linden did have sex with him, and it was well contextualized, so that made the absence of it for Rhine a bad idea.

    I feel that were this an adult book, it would have been better, as the author would have felt the freedom to tackle mature themes (and I don't mean just the sex thing). The premise is so interesting, but I feel the YA label might hinder the story. :/