Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wither- Lauren DeStefano

I can't believe I didn't hear about this book sooner.
This is one of those dystopian future stories in which the world sucks because of something mankind did.  In this case, they tried to perfect the human race, but after the first generation of perfect, illness-free humans was born, all the children they gave birth to only lived to 25 if male and 20 if female.
That's not really enough time to have a productive life.  Plus, it means there are loads of orphans running around, since their parents die so young.
Rhine's parents were from that first generation, but as scientists, they were killed in a lab explosion, leaving her and her twin to fend for themselves.  Rhine feels that as long as she has her brother, she's okay, but then she gets kidnapped and taken to live in a Florida mansion as an architect's bride.
Or at least, one of his brides.  He has one already, but she's busy dying when he marries Rhine and two other teenage girls.
Rhine dreams of escape, though the mansion holds all sorts of wonders that she would never experience otherwise.  There are beautiful gardens, delicious food, servants galore, diamond studded gowns, all the trappings of a ridiculously wealthy life.  The only thing she doesn't have and the only thing she truly desires is her freedom.
While Rhine's husband, Linden, isn't a monster, and she generally gets along with her sister wives, Rhine is not happy and wants to go back to her twin in Manhattan to live out the last four years of her life. Linden's father Vaughn, however, is a sinister and foreboding first generation.  Rhine and her sister wife Jenna live in fear of this man, and when Rhine discovers secrets in the basement, he becomes all the more terrifying.
This is quite a good read; there is some romance, but since Rhine is 16 it's more confusion than anything else.  There's the ongoing threat of impending death and who knows what Vaughn is up to. There are memories of murders. This book is written well, with good pacing and a likeable heroine.  Rhine's mission to escape to her old life is carried out by her desire to become First Wife; the one who gets special treatment, and so she has to be somewhat deceitful, but she can't deceive everyone.  The characters change believably; young Cecily is the bride full of silly notions until she has a baby and then all she wants is to mother her child in peace. Jenna's dark past brings out the cynicism in her character, and Linden's pain turns into a sort of confused love, since he too is quite young and he has no idea what the world is really like.
In addition to the book being good, the cover is awesome! So this is one you would want to buy instead of borrow, for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I just heard about this book last week and added it to my 'to-read' list.