Wither by Lauren Stefano

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.

The premise of this book drew me in from the very moment that I read it. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publisher Simon and Schuster and there is no better one I could have received as a new release for 2011. This book drew me in from the very beginning. This world could have been a bit complicated, but it was the exact opposite. The author didn't have to explain the world, it just appeared as it should with the first person storytelling told by Rhine's experience with the past, present, and her wants for the future.

The struggle in the book is definitely about being deceptive and patience to earn her freedom. Rhine remained mostly calm throughout the book, enjoying life as it was presented and taking in the bad around her without showing weakness to those around her. This strength came from the outside world in which she was raised and it gave her what she survive, characteristics that her sister wives gave up to do the same.

Another nice thing about the book is that it takes time for developments to happen. She doesn't become captured and forced to marry, and then escapes within a week. This story takes place over a course of a year so it really gives you a complete picture of the world that Rhine and the other sister will live until their life extinguishes. It is filled with their developing friendship with each other, how their marriages all differ to Lindon, and the comforts of life and death that they will lead.

The characters were all vivid, the plot pace kept you going, and the world isn't something that I questioned. You see everything through Rhine's eyes and she really gets to know the people around her and understands how the world works, which gives the reader a good vision of this dystopian world. Definitely a read that I couldn't put down!

5 Stars-- Loved it!

Wither comes out on March 22nd, 2011. Be sure to check it out!

Warning: There is sex and violence in the book so this book is not written for younger audiences.

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Natasha

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