Monday, March 28, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazingly awesome! I thought it was engaging, original, and interesting. I loved the plot. I loved the characters. I loved everything about this novel from debut author, Lauren DeStefano.

Wither is a dystopian novel set in a future where males die at the age of 25 and females die at age 20. It’s crazy to think that in this world I would have been dead five years ago. How would your life be different if you knew exactly when you were going to die, or that you wouldn’t be able to watch your children grow up? This aspect of the novel scared the crap out of me. Science advances more and more every year, and this future could very well be a possibility for us.

The narrator is a 16 year old girl named Rhine. She is kidnapped from her home and sent to Florida to be married (along with two other girls) to a 21 year old wealthy man named, Linden.

I loved the chemistry between Rhine and her sister-wives, the older girl, Jenna and the younger one, Cecily. Facing the impossible, they became as close as real sisters. Linden, on the other hand took me almost half the book to start to feel for him. Of course I thought of him as an asshole, taking three wives and keeping them prisoners in his home, but we learn he is as much a prisoner in his own home, as his wives. His father, Housemaster Vaughn controls and lies to Linden about everything. Linden has no idea that his wives were kidnapped and all he wants is the best for them! My favorite character though was Gabriel, a servant in the mansion for the past nine years. We didn’t get to see much of him, but I think there is a lot more to Gabriel. I would like to learn more about his life at the orphanage as well as his life in the mansion. I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book!

Rhine talks a lot about her life before she was married. All she wants to do is escape and go back home to her twin brother, Rowan. I felt her pain and her longing for her brother and I liked that even though she had servants, was well fed, and wasn’t forced to have sex with Linden (Linden really was a gentleman!) she still longed for the uncertainty that her life was before. On the outside she had her brother, but there was also the possibility of being kidnapped again, and being sent to a much worse place then Linden’s mansion. Many young girls are kidnapped and are either murdered or sent to brothels. I thought this was very brave of her.

I think one of the reasons people have such a problem with this novel is because of topics such as polygamy and pedophilia. I think we need to understand that this is completely different time and a 13 year old is basically an adult. She will only have seven more years to live. That’s how I got through those scenes, not by thinking in today’s views, but by realizing that this is a completely different future.  

Adding to the awesomeness of this novel, I thought the cover was absolutely gorgeous!


  1. It sounds intense, but intriguing...I'm definitely excited for this one to arrive from Amazon Vine now! Wonderful review :D

  2. I quite enjoyed this one. I definitely think the relationship btw the sister wives is the best part of the book. I was very fond of Linden. Poor guy.


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