Parents' Guide to

Wither: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mature dystopian fantasy with polygamy, teen pregnancy.

Wither: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+


Wither is one of my favorite books and I can read it over and over again. I actually read it 7 times and chances are there will be many more times. Honestly, I don’t know how Lauren DeStefano does it. Every time I read it, I can imagine exactly the same place and exactly the same characters. Her description and writing skills are so incredibly good, she just keeps you hooked. I think this is still the best book in the trilogy although the others were very good and powerful too. It’s this way of hers how she can actually let you live in the story. I love how the story grips you tight and doesn’t let you go. You never get tired of it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

Dystopian reads are all the rage these days, and it's no wonder this series starter has generated a buzz: It throws in a handsome heroine and attention-grabbing plot points. First-time author Lauren DeStefano knows how to hook her audience, as long as they're not too picky about the particulars of her dystopian world, which doesn't seem all that well thought out. And the suspense over what Linden's sinister father is doing in the basement doesn't hold that well either. Sure he's creepy and controlling, but if he's looking for the virus's cure, it's hard to judge him too harshly.

What makes the book stand out is the surprising depth the author adds to her main characters. Readers see Rhine waffle between wanting freedom and being willing to conform -- especially as she develops true kinship with her sister-wives and realizes her husband isn't a monster. Readers may even have trouble wondering if they should be on Teem Linden or Team Gabriel. This talent for character development is what will draw readers in, and will likely keep them hooked through the planned trilogy.

Book Details

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