Monday, March 7, 2011

Wither- Lauren DeStefano



"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."

Summary: Even though this book isn't due out until March 22, I read it thanks to this wonderful website that lets teens read and review books online for free.

Ever since I watched a few episodes of that TV show Sister Wives I have found the concept of polygamy interesting. There is a large social stigma against it in the United States, however, not all polygamist marriages are like the awful ones you hear about with child brides being forced into marriages with older men.

Anyways, when I heard about this book that was both dystopian and featured a polygamist way of life in order to try and produce more kids in a time when women die at age 20 and men at 25, I definitely wanted to read it.

I really loved this book. I think my favorite part were the characters. Even though I sympathized with Rhine for being stolen away to be a wife, it was hard to hate her husband Linden, who was clearly not the evil mastermind his father was. I loved watching the bond develop between Rhine and her sister wives. Even though the youngest, Cecily, was a little annoying, being forced into the situation they were in made friendships develop that really show sort of what it is like in a polygamist marriage with the wives in as much of a relationship of sorts with each other as they are with their husband. Obviously in a friendship sort of way.

And then there was Gabriel. The sweet, servant boy who Rhine befriends and who is the only one she can share her actual thoughts and feeling with.

I thought that the way Lauren DeStefano had with words made the story and all of the characters seem so real, and made a story, which sort of seems implausible, actually really work.

This is probably the third or so dystopian novel I've read this year that really had a focus not on the characters changing the entire world, but just changing their own lives, and I've found that to be a refreshing change. I honestly can't wait to see what happens from here and to read the next two books once they are released.

Rating: A

Other Recommended Books:
Matched by Ally Condie
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
The Declaration by Gemma Malley

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