Author: Lauren Destefano
Release Date: March 3, 2011
Pages: 358 (ARC)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Most Appropriate For Ages: 14+
Where I Got It: For review from ATWT
Challenges: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
Gah, what to say about Wither?
I don't think I've ever read a book that was as beautiful and horrifying as Wither. I mean, the world that Destefano has created is beyond horrifying, but her writing, characters, and plotting are all beyond beautiful as well.
Looking back on Wither, I remember often feeling like I almost was our determined heroine Rhine. You feel as confused about she does about her new life, and what would really be best for her and her sister wives. (Speaking of which, one is only 13. *shudder*) This is how much you will connect to wonderful Rhine. She's strong, smart, and driven to get what she wants. Every single character in this book is well-developed, from the love interest to the bad guy to the husband.
The plot, man...so good. So hauntingly good. The world-building, the pacing, the climax...all of it. Even if I didn't like the characters, which I did, I'd probably still enjoy the book because of the fantastic story alone.
Lauren Destefano is one watch. Wither is a breathtaking debut novel, and you'd be a fool to miss it.
Plot: So awesome.
Characters: Each one is fascinating.
Ending: Satisfying, but I still can't wait for the sequel.
Kid friendly? Another thing I loved about Wither was how honest and raw it was. Prostitution, teen pregnancy, teen drinking, sex in general, and death are not brushed over.
Should I read it? Yes. Even if you don't like dystopia, read Wither.