Friday, May 13, 2011

Review- Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Pages: 368
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
 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.
My Review:

                Rhine lives in a future world of almost perfectly engineered people. That perfect generation had their own children, whom they could only assume, would be as perfect as they are.  They were wrong.

                Something went wrong when the genetics where passed to the children. They are dying from unknown and unforeseen viruses. The men only live until 24; the women only live until 20. Now, the world is overrun with children; children without parents.

                In the mists of the chaos of the new world, there are doctors desperately working toward an antidote; some more desperate than the others.  Gatherers are raking the city looking for young women to test on. They are kidnapped and taken for brides.

                Rhine is taken as one of these brides and becomes a sister-wife with two others. She is utterly determined to escape and have absolutely nothing to do with this new and unwanted life.

                After she meets her new husband, her feeling become confusing; Rhine is a good actor, but is she so good that she is beginning to confuse her own intentions? She also begins to falls for someone else entirely. Will she ever escape this unwanted life?

                I fell instantly and completely into the world that is Wither. This Dystopian novel in a wonderful, yet cringe-worthy in the same. I found myself wanting to rebel; it also makes you dig deeper into yourself and think What if?.  It is a thoughtful and intriguing delve into a world where war ran rapid and technology got out of control.

                Rhine, the main character, is a deep and confused girl that was taken against her will. She is trust into a world of luxury and taken as a bride and a sister-wife. At the beginning, her only intentions were to escape this mansion of lies and seemingly invisible barred windows. Things begin to turn around as she dives into a relationship with Linden, her husband. He is gentle and thoughtful. He also seems to be as much as a prisoner in his own house as she and the other girls are.  Rhine’s feelings for Linden slowly evolve into something resembling a relationship. I loved the way it was slow and thoughtful, and confusing at the same time, a little like real love. You also can’t help but feel pity for Linden for his own unknowing imprisonment by his father. It made me at one point or another want Rhine to give in and fully become his wife. But, where would the romance in a forbidden love be?

                She also begins to trust her sister-wives as friends, and eventually into sisters. Their relationship is all that they have in a house with almost only hurt and anger. I was very drawn to the character Jenna, who becomes one of Rhine’s closest confidants. It made me so happy that Rhine has someone that she could talk to and relate to so closely. Her relationship with the girls is a beacon of hope to women that are thrust into situations that are not what they truly want for themselves.

                When Rhine starts to get close to one of the servants, her mind takes a slow and winding leap into caring for someone within her prison.

                Wither is a wonderful Dystopian novel that shows even in the darkest of shadows, light is still able to shine through, however dull or bright. All you need is a glimmer.

Amazing! I couldn't put it down!


karen! said...

I'm definitely putting this book on my to-read list. Thanks for posting your review.

Sonny said...

I love loved Wither!

Gina @ My Precious said...

What a great review. I loved this book. I would say it was my favorite YA Debut Author book for 2011 so far. How about you?