Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Dystopian/ Romance
Release date: March 22nd, 2011
Pages: 358 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
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.

Lauren DeStefano takes you on a journey into the future, where lives are way too short due to genetic engineering.  Scientists first thought that they could get rid of the possibility of disease or defects in their children, but little did they know, their children would die in twenty to twenty-five years due to these changes.  In this story, you will learn about the lives of these children and the heartbreak they go through over the short period of their lifetimes.

Rhine Ellery is just a sixteen year old girl who is taken from her home in order to become another one of the brides in a polygamous marriage.  This is how the "first generations", or the people who were born before the genetic engineering, make sure these women reproduce and keep the population going until they are able to find a cure.  Though Rhine has become quite fond of her sister wives, she still has her heart set on getting back to her twin brother, Rowan.  Even if reuniting doesn't seem possible, she never loses her determination.

Even with the luxurious lifestyle Rhine has been thrown into, it's not enough to keep her from trying to escape.  The mansion is nothing but a reminder that their lives are short and once they're gone, there will be nothing left.  I found this entire story to be intriguing and more depressing than most of the books I'm used to reading.  The characters were all very believable, but I'd have to say that Cecily was the most upsetting.  She's only a thirteen-year-old girl forced into marriage and child birth.  She was raised in an orphanage and her only dream was to be a wife, with no other hopes or ideas of what life was like in the real world.

With all of this, you may think that Linden, the husband, is the villain of the story.  I can surely tell you that he's not.  He's a lot more understanding and caring than you may believe within the first few chapters.  Actually, I grew quite fond of him once I learned more about him and I think that most readers will, too.

Lauren DeStefano did an incredible job with her first novel.  The beautiful writing and disturbing descriptions really made Wither into a book that many who read will fall in love with.  The characters were all driven by something and the story shows the meaning of life hidden behind a horrible world full of some truly horrible people.  I just had to pick up the sequel, Fever, after finishing this one, just to see what disturbing twists and turns the author would add this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment