Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review : Wither by Lauren Destefano

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: March 22, 2011 
Pages: 368
Source: Own

The Story:

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.

--via Lauren Destefano

RatingFIVE Gold Stars!!!

My Review: One word: STUNNING

Rhine Ellery is new generation baby which means that she -- like all new generation girls -- will die at the age of twenty. Rhine lives in a world that entails the kidnapping of young girls to sell them into polygamous marriages in order to keep the human species from dying out altogether. As fate would have it, one day sixteen-year-old Rhine is kidnapped by the Gatherers who take her to her new husband Linden Ashby. Linden is a twenty-one year-old House Governor she has to share with two other girls; the sultry Jenna, who is eighteen, and naive Cecily, who is the tender age of thirteen.

Determined to reunite with her twin brother Rowan and regain her freedom, Rhine disregards her husband’s genuine love for her, the threat on her life posed by his evil doctor father, Vaughn and the friendships formed with her sisterwives. Fortunately for Rhine, she manages to gain the trust and help of Gabriel, a servant she is harboring a forbidden attraction for.

Will Rhine escape and make it back to her brother? Or will she fall in love with Linden and decide to stay at the Ashby Mansion? How many more people will become one of the corpses collecting in Housemaster Vaughn's basement in order to test his experiments? Is that what Rhine’s very short future have in store? Will Linden's eccentric father finally find a cure to the genetic virus the take girls at twenty and guys at twenty-five? Is the meaning of Rhine and Rowan's eye condition - heterochromia - more than meets the eyes?

Wither is a disturbing addictive work of art. It has been a long while since I've read a Young Adult book with substance. A YA book that has delightfully shaken my moral compass. As a loyal fan, I await Book 2 in The Chemical Garden Trilogy with baited breath. Bravo Lauren Destefano.

Here is one of my favorite passages from Wither:

Jenna, Rhine & Linden:"When I knock on Jenna's door, I hear her soft giggle from somewhere in the room. There's a rustling sound, and then she says, 'Who is it?
'It's me,' I say.
Another giggle. 'Come in,' she says.
I open the door to a bedroom that's warm with candlelight. Jenna is sitting up in the bed, running her fingers through her tousled hair, and Linden is tying the drawstring of his pajama pants. His bare chest is pale; his cheeks are flushed. He pulls his shirt on in a hurry, and it's still unbuttoned when he stands and heads for the door. 'Good morning, sweetheart,' he tells me, not quite meeting my eyes.
There's nothing wrong with this. It's perfectly normal. Jenna is his wife. He is our husband. I should be used to the idea."-- Page 241

***Check out Lauren Dstefano's website for more information about her and the Wither: HERE

Happy Reading!


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