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Wither - Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on June 4, 2011

Synopsis: 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 limited time she has left.

Review: I was one of those people who initially wasn’t dying to read this book… I actually didn’t realise it was a dystopian story for a long time, based on the cover I think I thought it was a romance story or something. But then this book kept coming up time and time again on so many YA blogs and people were raving about this book and how good it was, and soon enough, I felt the urgency that I needed to know what this book was all about. And now I understand why there is so much hype.

This story is absolutely beautifully written, and it evokes such emotion out of the reader… you can’t help but connect to these characters who are forced into such a terrible life. And I felt so badly for Linden.. who lives completely oblivious and sheltered from what the truth is. He really is just another victim, suffering so much loss throughout the story. There were so many twists and constant action in this story, that I couldn’t stop reading…. and the ending didn’t disappoint! If anything, it’s left me craving for the sequel.

Rhine is such a great character, because she could be anyone. She could be you. You feel her helplessness and confusion at the start. You feel her going through the motions. She is torn… she really does end up having some form of feelings for Linden, and also for Gabriel. She’s held prisoner in a place that she also feels is home at the same time too. She is so torn.

Am I the only one that REALLY wanted her and Linden to fall in love? I didn’t see Linden as the bad guy in this story.. deep down I wanted Linden to run away with her instead! Gabriel was lovely too… I felt really bad for both guys in their situations.

Really truly happy I read this book. Lauren DeStefano is a beautiful writer, and I am really looking forward to more from the Chemical Garden series. Absolutely wonderful!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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