Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
This was a very strange, but fantastical book.
I think I am a sucker for books where there is a biological problem with people and they either die, become zombies, or whatnot. I read this book in less than 24 hours!
I have to tell you that I was afraid to read Wither. It had been the object of my desire for SO LONG that I was afraid to read it and be disappointed. I bought it and then it sat and sat and sat on my bookshelf.
So, did it live up to my expectations? Well, I can't really answer that because it wasn't what I expected at all! I knew going in that this was about polygamy, and a couple of boys, but that was about it. It was about so much more complicated than that!
There were quite a few things in Wither that I think were necessary to help illustrate the deeper issues going on in this world. It's easy to get offended by some of the stuff that DeStefano decided to include, but I think she needed to cross that line to show how messed up things really are for these characters. Of course, this is just how I interpreted things.
The action starts right at the beginning of the book, and sets the perfect pace. There are bits and pieces of the past that are spread throughout the book, and I think that the way DeStefano did that was perfect. We know right away that something is happening to Rhine, and we get thrown right into the confusion and are scared right along with her. Nothing is concrete, and she has to tread lightly and try to piece it all together.
Overall, Wither was a unique and intriguing read! The characters were easy to attach to, the storyline was great, and I don't think I've read anything quite like it. The only thing that I didn't like was that I felt like it lulled a bit (just a tiny bit) and then all of a sudden something happened without enough buildup. It really didn't bother me all that much though!
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of Book Two in the Chemical Garden Trilogy: Fever. I just can't imagine where it will all go from here!