Source: Simon and Schuster Pulse It Program
Publisher: Simon and Schuter BFYR
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.After all the hype surrounding Wither, I was scared it wouldn't live up to my expectations. I shouldn't have! My hopes for the book were surpassed as I delved into this stunning debut novel.
The book wastes no time in getting to the heart of the story and my heart was pounding from the first page alone. Although the book isn't filled with action, the enchanting world and characters more than make up for it.
From the minute I was introduced to Rhine, the main character, I knew that she wasn't going to be your typical damsel in distress. Despite being in one of the toughest situations I've ever read about, she maintains strong and keeps her head throughout the novel. She isn't under any false illusions about what's happening around her and is smart enough to strategically plan out her future. It was refreshing to read about a character that wasn't naive and got themself pulled into countless misfortunes because of their own stupidity. Rhine is a character that knows what she wants and does what she has to in order to get it!
Gabriel, the servant that attends to Rhine, was sweet and thoughtful. I really enjoyed his character and I found myself rooting for him as Rhine got more and more attached. I liked the contrast between the two sister wives, Jenna and Cecily. With both the hardened and innocent wives, it is easy to see why they are who they are and how they came to be that way. Housemaster Vaughn, or, in other words, Linden's father, was beyond creepy. My hat goes off to DeStefano for making a villain that made me shiver everytime he spoke. Finally, we have Linden, whom I fully expected to hate. The problem, if you want to call it that, is that I didn't. He was sheltered from the world and just genuinely seemed clueless about what was going on - I actually found it rather endearing. I want him to have a happy ending. After all, it's not his fault his father is an absolute creep!
The last thing that I want to talk about is the marvellous world Lauren created. It's dark, frightening, realistic and I loved it. From the elaborate parties that were hosted to the homeless orphans trying to steal food, everything was beautifully crafted. I can't wait to explore more of this universe in the next two books of the trilogy.
Lauren DeStefano is definitely an author to watch out for. For those of you who haven't read Wither yet, I highly recommend it. For those that have, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Cover Comments: This cover is absolutely gorgeous! I'll need to purchase a hardcopy sometime so that I can add it to my collection.