Friday, September 9, 2011
Thanks to modern science, every newborn 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 she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
In A Nutshell: Wither is hands down one of the best dystopian novels of 2011.
Putdownability Factor: Don't start reading this at night or you'll probably end up sleepless. Just saying
Cover Love: Gorgeous. I also love how everything on the cover is symbolic. Plus: ITS SHINY!
Oh. My. Gosh. Did I seriously put off reading Wither for 6 whole months? I'm ashamed to say it but yes, yes I did. You can all say it. I am an idiot. I feel like an idiot for not reading Wither sooner. Why? Because its FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.
Lauren DeStefano's writing can be summed up in one word: captivating. Within one page (ONE PAGE!) I was sucked into the world of Wither. Lauren's prose and imagery is absolutely fantastic. Its beautiful, and moving, and once I started reading I found myself never wanting it to end. Its that good.
The funny thing about Wither is its so unputdownable but it isn't an action dystopian. It's not The Hunger Games with arrows flying. It's not The Forest of Hands and Teeth with the fear of zombies at every turn. It's Wither, where people play mini golf, go to galas, and one of the only exciting things that happens is the characters getting shuffled off to the basement during hurricane season. But even so, this story gripped hold of me and it didn't let me go till the final page. There was mystery, and intrigue, and a super creepy villain who always kept me on my toes. In short, Wither proved to me that a dystopian doesn't need hip weaponry and pulse pounding action in order to grab my attention. And I'm SO glad it did!
I can't end this review without mentioning one last thing that made Wither great: The characters. Each character Lauren DeStefano has created is superb. Rhine is a great protagonist who is tough and free-spirited. Her sister wive's Jenna and Cicely are equally amazing and multi-faceted characters. I loved watching the relationship between them and Rhine grow throughout the novel. I can't wait to see how Lauren DeStefano continues to develop her characters in future books!
Wither is an amazing dystopian novel. It may not have the adventure elements that over dystopians have, but what it lacks in action it makes up for in beauty, great characters, and emotional depth. I give Wither 5 out of 5 ice cream cones.
Read Wither. You won't be disappointed.