Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publication Date: Simon and Schuster

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 limted time she has left. -

I was so excited to get my hands on this one and I wasn't disappointed.  Well, ok... I was disappointed by one thing....  When does the next one come out???  LOL!

The idea behind people living only to 20 and 25 is a sad one.  Although I wasn't sure how I would feel about having to read about situations where there were multiple wives to one husband, the author handled this very well, and I was not overwhelmed by this.  Although it is wrong, of course, it's not acceptable even in Rhine's world.  It's just a tragic thing that occurs when it shouldn't.

I really admired Rhine's character.  She has one goal in mind throughout the story, and she never wavers from it.  She was smart enough to hold herself together, not be rash, and not let her emotions get the best of her or lead her into snap decisions or actions.  I wanted to see and know more about Gabriel but he was more secondary to the other relationships in the story, including those with Rhine's sister wives.  I had ideas about how the author would handle this and she surprised me. It wasn't predictable.  Linden was a character I was prepared to hate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself growing to like him.  It took some time to talk myself down to remembering that Linden wasn't at fault and was just as much a victim as everyone else.  I found his love for Rhine, and her growing affection for him added just the right kind of conflict to keep her torn between staying and leaving.  In the end, I still believe she made the right decision.

This was an intriguing story that was at times both disturbing, erie and heartwarming.  I am definitely looking forward to the second installment in this series.  Lauren DeStefano is kicking off her debut with a big bang, and I look forward to seeing more from her in future.

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