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Emily S

Reader, writer, teacher, librarian...

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Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano Checked this book out at the library this morning...finished this afternoon...ordered my own copy...

If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. I LOVED this book. Seriously, 5 of 5 stars for it. It was creepy, it was repugnant, it freaked me out and it was completely brilliant. One of my favorite books of the year, and I've read a lot of books this year.

It's kind of funny to me: I had this insane emotional reaction to Bumped and figured it would be more of the same here. Very similar topic, but it didn't make me angry. Maybe it's because there wasn't anything glamorous about the situation? I felt like Bumped glamorized things to make a point (a very valid point, mind you) and that bothered me. That book made me incredibly angry.

Wither though, WOW.

I think that when you can take a topic that is SO incredibly sensitive and make it into a brilliant book, you've got something going. And you've really got something going if you can make it as creepy as humanly possible and STILL make it one of the best books of the year.

I felt so many of the same emotions as Rhine does throughout the book. I could feel her sense of being trapped. I could feel the hopelessness at times and I could feel her determination at others. I recoiled every time Housemaster Vaughn came into the picture and I wanted to do away with him myself. Rhine is an absolutely amazing character and so real.

I felt like the sister-wives, Jenna and Cecily, were real as well. They acted exactly as I'd expect someone their age to act (especially Cecily and especially considering that she's only 13 when we meet her). I feel like we got to know them quite well and I loved knowing more of the motivation behind things with Jenna. She made so much sense to me after that.

And poor Linden. That's all I can really say about him because I don't want to give too much away, but poor guy.

Loved Gabriel, loved the attendants, HATED Vaughn...

Plot-wise, I'm sold. Kept me going from start to finish and was fast-paced enough that I read it in a couple of hours. I just had to keep going to find out what happened next. It really sucked me in.

It's pretty amazing when you can take a seriously creepy subject and make it into a seriously awesome read. I'm serious when I say that I need the next book NOW. Now as in yesterday. Really, you should all need it too.

Guess what rating this gets?


My top marks: So good it made me incoherent

Congratulations on being one of the best books of the year.