Wither by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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. Description from GoodReads.
Wow! You look at the premise of the book and wonder how will it work? Believe me, it works. The idea of polygamy to me is very repulsive. Lauren DeStefano is able to make it work for the purposes of this story.
Seventy years before this story begins a generation of parents had their children genetically altered in utero to become a superior generation of humans. Well, their experiment with their children worked for that one generation. The generations that follow have a drastically shorter life span. Females live until the age of 20 and males until 25.
While scientists are scrambling to change the future for their offspring, they steal young girls of child bearing age to become brides for them and their sons. Rhine is one of the stolen brides. She is selected by Lindon to be one of the three brides that he selects. They are expected to be breeders.
I really loved the relationship that she had with her sister brides. They were able to bond when they were forced into a marriage with a man that they did not know or loved. They were not expected and didn't have a chance to say anything during their marriage ceremony.
While in bondage, Rhine meets Gabriel. He is the kind of man/boy that she is interested in. He is a servant in the home. He was purchased at auction as a young boy. The world is full of orphans. It is really a very sad situation. Rhine's goal is to make it back to her brother. They are twins and rely on each other to exist in a world that is far different from the world we have today. It would be even better if Gabriel came with her.
This story is one that makes you think. How far is too far with our medical advancements and genetic research?
I do not recommend this book to younger teens. It deals with polygamy, underage pregnancy and sex. It is not graphic in details, but nevertheless, a more mature theme.
I received a copy to read and review from Simon & Schuster's galley grab. The release date for this books is March 22. Is it bad to admit that I have pre-ordered a hard copy?
On a side note, today is a very sad day for the citizens of Japan. My thoughts and prayers go to them at this time of tragedy. I also have the people who are in the path of the tsunami's in my thoughts and prayers. God bless!