Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 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? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?My Review: I opened this book expecting something mildly interesting and a bit cliche. I closed it completely blown away. Wither was absolutely fantastic! There are a lot of dystopian novels coming out now, and it's getting harder to find something completely original that doesn't remind you of another dystopian novel you read, but this one hits the mark.
Lauren DeStefano did a great job with her world-building. She didn't describe it all at once and cause your brain to implode trying to remember it all. She left you with just enough to get by until you needed more. I felt like she was painting a picture that just got bigger and more detailed as you went along. It was the same way with the characters. Part of what kept me reading was wanting to see what the world was, and who the characters were.
Rhine is an interesting character. She comes of strong, and she wants to be strong, but she's also a bit fragile at the same time. She's very determined to get what she wants. Linden is also an interesting character. I think the summary above kind of sums him up nicely. You want to hate him, but you can't. The only characters I had real issues with were Gabriel because I didn't get to see as much of him as I would have liked, and the father-in-law. He is made out to be very creepy and controlling and frightening, but other than the corpses in the basement, I don't think the creepy vibe was pulled off very well.
Overall, Wither was definitely a fantastic book, and I will definitely be keeping on my shelf. I recommend it to dystopian fans, and though I wouldn't exactly compare it to Carrie Ryan's books, If you enjoyed those, you'd like Wither too.
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Thanks for reading!