Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 22, 2011
Source: Swapped for ARC, also egalley from Galley Grab
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
About the Book: 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 limted time she has left.
My Thoughts: From the minute I saw Wither‘s cover I was interested in reading it. The overlaying geometric design really caught my attention. After reading the book I like to cover even more! The elements fit so well. I also love that the geometric design was carried on throughout the book.
Okay, did you read the “About the Book” part? Holy twisted future Batman! The whole premise of this book just floored me. Men and women only live to be a certain age (I’d be dead for almost a decade by now!) and forcing girls in to polygamous marriages is just accepted? Throw in a super creepy father-in-law and very reluctant bride and you have a total win!
This book kept me engaged and invested in the characters from page one.
I’d be reading and I’d just have to stop and really think about what life would be like in Rhine’s situation. It really got to me. I think the author did an excellent job of creating the situation and really making it authentic. The characters were so varied in their experiences and desires. This really helped to flesh out the world they came from. I’ve never been so torn when it comes to liking/disliking certain characters. They would do things that would make me furious but then something about their life would be revealed and I’d think, “Yeah, that makes sense. That’s why they did/said/thought that.” I honestly couldn’t decided what I wanted to happen. Frankly, I’m still not sure!
This was an engrossing book with a stellar heroine. What a fabulous debut! Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year!