Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano

Another Dystopian YA that hit the bookshops and my library after the success of The Hunger Games.


I had some problems with the genetics part of this book, as a training Biomedical Scientist. With advancing technology a way is found to cure people from all diseases. The only downside to this wonderful plan is that the offspring of this improved people happen to die at the age of 20 or 25 for females and males respectively. It's a strange disease, just kicking in after said birthday, and you will wither. (But no explanation on what kind of disease this is supposed to be, did they create a gene that can actually read a calender or count the candles on your birthday cake?)

Making sure you don't get diseases is a serious threat to your offspring it would seem, as this is also has a similar effect in TV-series Spellbinder which I liked to watch as a child.

The problem is set to be genetic, so why are they trying to make an antidote? Should another genetic manipulation not suffice? This is always my problem with books where genetic experiments have gone wrong. If you have the technology, why don't you just reverse the experiment. See, I'm not even graduated yet, but I can see the solution for this problem.


As especially women die young, their wombs are extremely important. Probably to make sure humans don't extinct or something, I can't really think about why people would like to have children that will grow up orphans (if they need kids for some reason or another, why don't they just take the orphans?) So important that everyone who doesn't get chosen by wealthy men, gets shot. That makes perfect sense of course?!


Those things said, I quite liked to read this book. It's not something you should analyse too much (see evidence above) but it's enjoyable. I liked the story in the mansion with the sisterwives, and the eminent feeling something is wrong there. It's a nice quick read, so I also planned to read the second book in this series.


Note: I read a Dutch translation of this book