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.
Wither hooked my interest from the very first page. You'll find yourself gasping for air through every sentence, paragraph, and chapter. In a world where every girl's life ends at the young age twenty, debut author Lauren DeStefano weaves a captivating and tear-jerking story.
Wither opens with sixteen year old Rhine and a group of girls being sold. Too soon, she and two other girls are standing across from a young man who slips a wedding band on their fingers. That's right, sixteen year old Rhine is married.
Now Rhine has everything, food, warmth, people who serve her. Everything but freedom. And she would do anything to get freedom and her twin brother back. But how far will she go for it?
Although I loved the premise of Wither, I felt like the story never made me happy. How could a world be happy, when females die at the age of 20 and males at 25? Despite the sorrow-filled world, I found myself deeply submerged in it, and unable to pull myself out. As I read, the images of hope, love, and sorrow were clearly imprinted in my mind. I was and still am very impressed at how well Lauren DeStefano wrote her debut novel.
What I really liked about Wither - although it is the first in a trilogy, the ending isn't much of a cliffhanger, it ends in a way that puts the reader at ease, and at the same time, wanting more. Overall, Wither is an excellent read that will capture your breath from the very first lines and leave you hungry for more after the very last line.
-Would I recommend this to anyone? Probably ages 14 and up