Friday, March 11, 2011

ARC Review: Wither by Lauren Destefano

Series:  Chemical Garden Triology, Book #1

Genre:   YA, Dystopia

Release Date:  March 22, 2011

Publisher:  Simon Schuster

Format I Read:  ARC paperback

Pages:  368

Source:  Publisher

Reading ChallengeDebut Author Reading Challenge

Read an excerpt
Book Blurb
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. 

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?

Linden looks so piteous and apologetic, standing there.  His three wives are huddled together on the bare mattress, one of them dying; when we’re together, we form an alliance he can’t touch.  He’s scared to even try.

My Thoughts
I have heard so much about dystopian novels and to be honest, I still don’t really know what the heck they are.  But if this book represents the genre, I am now a fan and can’t wait to read more.

In a word, Wither was awesome.  It didn’t have a lot of action and adventure, but plenty of drama.  The story unfolded slowly but held my attention until the very end. I loved the artwork for the cover and I thought the designs on the intro pages were really neat.  The characters are unforgettable and the story was unique.

Rhine, the main character, was a great heroine.  At a young age she found a way to deal with life without drawing too much attention to herself, but constantly plotted and planned to gain her freedom back.

At times, the story had me shaking my head in disbelief, other times it brought tears to my eyes as I sympathized with the sister wives.  The girls went through so much to please their “husband” and to try to find what little happiness they could as their lives slowly wasted away. Through it all, Rhine kept the sisterhood tight and proved to be a very good friend.

Linden, the “husband” was also a good character.  He was very misguided and didn’t know what was actually going on in his house.  I felt sorry for him because all he wanted was a real family.  If he and Rhine had met under different circumstances, I think they would have made a cute couple, but I was secretly rooting for Gabriel.

Overall, I loved this tragic love story and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Four flowers of love.  I really liked it and would recommend reading it.

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