Wither- Lauren Destefano

Written By: Kellie - Mar• 29•11

Synopsis: 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.

Review: First off… this book is well written. Well written but poorly imagined, if that makes any sense. It’s actually kind of a weird balance and shows you how far good writing can carry an only half thought out plot.

I’ll start out with the good before getting into my gripes about the world building. I loved all of the characters. Every single one made me actually feel something for them. From the bratty 13-year old sister wife to the young domestics, naive to the world and of course Rhine the main character and heroine (sort of). Every character was well fleshed out and beautifully written that I was really rooting for them.

But, that can only take you so far. All of these wonderful characters were living in an underdeveloped and inconsistent world. The main problem popped up right away. The whole premise of the book is that a virus is killing everyone who reaches 20 for women and 25 for men. That makes no sense! Have you ever heard of a sickness of any kind that has anything to do with age. Especially to such a specific extent.

That’s where this book goes wrong. Stories ranging from dystopian to post-apocalyptic (in a way, Wither is both) are supposed to show you how our society can go wrong. It felt like the world in Wither was just designed to catch your attention (Ooo ahh, polygamy and child brides) and lacked the base in modern society that usually gives these books their haunting edge.

And here’s the spoiler! It’s not even a major point, just something that really bugged me. At one point Rhine is talking to her endearingly bumbling husband and finds out that he has no idea that his father had a dozen girls kidnapped and some of them murdered so that Linden (Rhine’s husband) could have his three brides. He just thought that becoming a bride was something some young girls chose for themselves. In this moment Rhine is thinking “why tell him? he won’t believe me anyways,” and seriously… that’s absurd!!! Linden seems to really love her and I think would have chosen to help her. Maybe not, but it was at least a possibility. If you’re imprisoned and desperate to escape, you at least take the chance!!!

Anyways… despite all my rants about this book I still enjoyed it and I think it’s worth a read based on the prose alone. It’s well written enough to make up for all the gaping holes.

You can visit Lauren online on her website.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)


Second Opinions:
@Infinite Shelf
@My Cute Bookshelf


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