Thursday, 9 February 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I had heard a lot of good reviews about this book, it seemed to be one that had a well-built dystopian world and well developed character. And as I, and apparently most female teenage/ Young adult readers, have now become obsessed with dystopian novels I had to read it.
But once again it feels like this book has something missing. I have noticed with a lot of dystopian and fantasy novels nowadays that either the world or the characters are sacrificed to get a story written quickly. With this book I felt like the world was a bit sacrificed.

I liked the characters, although they were nothing special and I have now forgotten their names (Note to self: Take notes when reading for review purposes) but I really did not like the world they were set in. It seemed very flimsy.

Ok so in order to make sure that the human race was immune to everything we managed to create a race of super humans that have children with an abnormally short lifespan? That makes sense…. Not. But what makes even less sense is in this dystopian world future is the fact that women’s life expectancies are shorter than men’s, when it is currently the other way round. I mean ok I understand that our main protagonist is a teenage girl who doesn’t understand much about genetics but that feels like a bit of an excuse as to why there just isn’t an explanation for things.

I also felt very uncomfortable with the way the fact that in this book the male protagonist has 3 wives and is perfectly ok with that. I hate the idea that society has accepted women as basically just something to own and use to get children out of. There's also the uncomfortable issue of an adult male having sex with an underage girl and her bearing his child. I know that in this world that might be acceptable but it instantly distances me from the male love interest. It makes my skin crawl, not endear him to me. The fact that he won't have sex with the main girl in this story also gets on my nerves. Yet again with most young adult novels sex is discouraged and if a girl waits till she's married to the guy, or even longer as this case is, then she's good and pure but if she sleeps with she's naive and jaded. This stigma is one that young adult books really needs to get rid of because I understand that they don't want to encourage young teens to have sex but it also creates the illusion that sex is bad and any girl who is confident with her sexuality is a whore.

The world in this book was obviously built around the characters to give the author a way of telling the story she wanted to write, and I have no problem with that, except for the fact that it is blindingly obvious. The world is just badly created. I mean, as if the entire world decided that in one generation they would all have their babies made into the super babies and as if the entirety of the world EXCEPT for the United States ONCE AGAIN GETS DESTROYED. I’m getting a little tired of everywhere but America being wiped off the map. What about Europe, Russia or China, who are all equally capable of fighting back and surviving?
I would not recommend this book, even though I know it has a great deal of fans.

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