Author: Lauren Destefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: Dystopian YA
Format: Hard Cover
Source: Bought (Amazon)
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
In this dystopian world thanks to science women die at age twenty, and men at age 25. Because of this humans have to procreate faster to try and find a cure, and keep generations going. Rhine our main protagonist is stolen away from her home in a violent way, and forced into a polygamist marriage with two other young girls. The story follows her life in the mansion, dealing with her unwanted marriage, meeting new people, and discovering the many secrets about her world. Rhine didn't whine about her unfortunate situation, and was strong level headed, and was always one step ahead. We learn a lot about her from the very beginning and where she came from. What I loved was that all of the characters, even secondary ones were unique and brought something new. They all impacted life in the mansion, and I could relate myself to all of them. I didn't even mind the love triangle with Linden, and Gabriel, and couldn't help but root for both guys. Everyone's story was just so interesting, and everyone came from broken lives, knowingly, or not.
I can see though why Wither put some people off. It is a slower paced, realistic dystopian with character development, and very little action. What made up for that was the amazing writing! It sucked me in from the very first page, the sentences really flowed, and every thought and action was easy to follow. It's like I was inside Rhine's mind the entire time. So I'd say everyone should at least give the book a shot even if you decide just to get the book from the library. Even if you hate love triangles and slow paced books, because I normally do. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)