Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review of Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 356 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Human trafficking, Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: ARC from the Publisher
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Review:  This is such a powerful novel of love, loss, making the most of your life and so much more. It is chilling to image a world where young women are no older than 20 years-old and young men are no older than 25. There are older adults, the first generation who are in their late sixties, but no one in between those two age groups.  This is a society where so many children are orphans and/or forced to make really horrific decisions in order to survive.
This story is all about the girls: Rhine, Jenna and Cecily. Their characters are wonderfully developed and have so much depth; you feel so much for them.  Rhine is such a fighter, refusing to be lulled into complacency by comfort and wealth; she is determined to live her short life on her own terms. I loved her and Jenna and pitied Cicely who just didn’t know any better. I am so curious about the men, Gabriel, Linden and Rowan, their characters were nowhere as developed as the girls. I hope that we to know them better in upcoming books.
I love that there is no cliffhanger to the book and that the end is satisfying. There is so much more story to tell, so much more to find out, I cannot wait for the sequel.
I would recommend this book for older or more mature teens. The story contains adult and sexual themes including a 13-year-old who seduces her 20-year-old husband and gets pregnant as a result.
Content: Talk of prostitution, the Kama Sutra, and the adult and sexual themes mentioned above.


Birdy Books said...

That looks really good! I love the cover art.

Anonymous said...

You beauty. This is one of my most favorite YA books to date. Your review does it great justice. Kudos!


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