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Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Published by HarperCollins
Challenge: DAC
Source: Review copy

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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

I have a feeling that this review is going to be one of those ones where I don't say an awful lot because I don't want to give the story away but I don't want it to seem like I didn't enjoy this book because I really did.

The dystopian world established in this book is one of the best ones I have read about in recent months. The ideas set up are sinister and disturbing but at the same time not so far removed from our own world that it couldn't happen.

The main character in this book is awesome. She has been placed in a situation where she is one of several wives to a man she has never met before and the expectation is that those wives will become baby making machines for a population in a desperate situation as due to a virus women are only living to the age of 20 and men to 25. I loved seeing how she dealt with her new life and the role she was expected to perform.

For me this book was a YA version of the Handmaid's Tale and captured the essence of that book well whilst doing its own thing.

Definitely not a book for Conservative readers as there are scenes with are shocking and horrific and you are left feeling a little uncomfortable at times but it all adds up to make a spectacularly awesome read.


serendipity_viv said…
I am glad you mentioned the shocking scenes, I shall definitely be wary as I read it now.
Dying to read this one! You've sure read a lot of dystopian YA lately :)
Unknown said…
I cant wait to read this one!
Jess said…
I loved this book very scary and believable future! Great review :)
Cait said…
Glad you liked this, I've heard it compared to the handmaid's tale before. I need to check that out

The Cait Files
Susan Mann said…
I love this cover and really want to read the book. I am glad you mentioned what is going on first so I'm prepared.