Lauren DeStefano earned her BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut in 2007. The Chemical Garden trilogy is her first series.
Praise for Wither: A `harrowing debut . . . DeStefano has an observant and occasionally pitiless eye, chronicling the cruelties, mercies, and inconsistencies of her young characters. . . . It will be intriguing to see how DeStefano develops [the larger world] as this promising trilogy progresses' Publisher's Weekly starred review `Lauren DeStefano crafts an all too believable future. I loved the world, the romance, the writing - exactly the kind of book I've been craving to read' Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH `[A] thought-provoking debut, reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale with a touch of Big Love . . . Rhine's fight for freedom against the clock-and the dissecting table-will leave readers eager for the sequel. Give this one to fans of The Hunger Games trilogy or Ally Condie's Matched (2010).' Kirkus `[Rhine] proves herself to be a heroine who faces her situation with spirit and cleverness. The trapped bride and mysterious husband are straight out of Gothic romances. By stirring in elements of sheer creepiness with dystopia and the hot topic of polygamy, DeStefano creates a story that should have broad appeal' School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This sequel to Wither (S & S, 2011) is set in a dystopian future where all children die in their 20s, which has caused society to crumble. Soon after escaping from Vaughn's home in Florida, Rhine and Gabriel land in the remains of an old amusement park somewhere in the Carolinas. The park is now a scarlet district where young girls are drugged and forced into prostitution, and the gritty scenes are realistic. With some help, they are able to escape and continue on their journey to find Rhine's twin brother, Rowan. When they arrive in New York, they discover that Rowan has burned down their home and is nowhere to be found. Then Rhine becomes sick, three years before the virus is supposed to take her. Gabriel thinks that this has something to do with the medical tests that Vaughn had been doing on her and his son's other brides. They decide to confront him, but before they can leave, he finds them and takes Rhine back to continue running tests on her in his laboratory. The story is unevenly paced and has little secondary character development, and readers unfamiliar with the first novel will be lost, as they won't understand how this virus started or why the society is in chaos.-Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.