Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left. (from GoodReads)

I literally just finished Wither about five minutes ago and it was AWESOME! I knew I had to review it right away because it was just so good I couldn't wait. If Wither is not already on your TBR list, I insist that you add it soon because you will not be disappointed.

I (obviously) love dsytopian literature and I was very intrigued by the bleak and harsh world of Wither. It was less dystopian based on government control and more on a genetic experiment gone bad. The scientists in the future have modified the human genome to eradicate all illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately, all children born after the first successful generation are perfectly healthy - until early adulthood. Without fail, women at the age of twenty and men at twenty-five suddenly get sick and die. No one knows why and no one can stop it.

In order to keep the human population intact, young girls are often kidnapped and sold to wealthy men who need wives to produce children. This is what happens to Rhine at the opening of Wither. She is chosen, along with her sister wives Cecily and Jenna, to marry twenty-one year old Linden Ashby and that's how the story begins.

What I really loved about Wither was the wide array of characters, both good and bad. Though our storyteller, Rhine, wasn't perfect, she was fully developed in that all her actions made sense. I could definitely sympathize with her plight - she truly missed her old life and would do anything to return to it. There are the leading men, Linden and Gabriel, who are both interesting and really care about Rhine, and it's almost an unexpected love triangle. I liked that the Linden, Rhine's husband, was actually a good guy. I think Lauren DeStefano could have easily made him be a real enemy and it wouldn't have had the same effect. As for an actual real enemy - that would be Vaughn, Linden's father. As a scientist of the first generation, he's old but healthy and is almost maniacal in his attempts to find a cure for the disease. I wish the reader could have seen more of him, but perhaps his viciousness is better in small doses.

I loved the plot and even though most of the novel takes place inside the huge mansion, there's never a dull moment. Wither really takes dytopias to a new level and is definitely one of my favorites in the genre. It was quick read and now I'm itching to read the sequel. I honestly cannot praise this book enough and you should really see for yourself the sheer awesomeness of this debut!

Release Date: March 22, 2011
Rating: 10 out of 10!
FTC: read on Pulse It.

2011/Simon & Schuster/356 pages.

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