Release Date: March 22, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 368
Available At?: Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million and Simon and Schuster.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?'
First Line: "I wait. They keep us in the dark for so long that we lose sense of our eyelids."
My Thoughts . . . .
There is something about the ocean that is very mesmerizing. It just seems to scream freedom, happiness and endless possibilities. That's why its probably such a big thing in books these days, specifically dystopian books. In both The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Delirium by Lauren Oliver the protagonist dreams of the ocean and of all the possibilities that lay beyond and that is the same for Wither, because Rhine often finds herself thinking of the ocean and its mysteries.
In Wither we are introduced to Rhine who has already been kidnapped and is now being sold as a bride. Rhine is sold to be one of three brides of a man named Linden. Rhine is somewhat quiet and held back, but she has a fire that blooms in her. She tries to be nice to everyone, even Linden who she initially hates, but she despises her life despite all of the amazing things she has around her. Anything she wants she must simply ask for - everything but freedom. Rhine is not like other YA girls in the sense that she isn't boy crazy. Sure, she does have a romantic interest or two, but the boys aren't what she wants - she would like to have them to have a companion, but above all she wants to be free and live.
Rhine's fellow sisters wives are redheaded, 13 year old Cecily who is very dramatic, selfish, rude and naive, but you can't help but feel sorry for her. She is mean to the help and wants everything, but she is just a child who has only known a hard life and we get to see the real her come through when we least expect it.
Rhine's other sister wife is Jenna, a raven haired temptress who doesn't talk much, but sees more then she lets on. Jenna hates this prison she is in and doesn't mind letting those around her know. She was simple like all of the characters, but at the same time very complex. Its hard to explain.
All of the characters seem to be pretty basic, until we learn that they really aren't. They each have these inner turmoils boiling up inside of them, that makes them all extremely dimensional and unique.
Linden, Rhine's husband, is a nice guy, who doesn't seem to understand the reality of the world. He, like Cecily, is very naive, but he has many issues that constantly seem to grow. You will love him and feel sorry for him.
We don't get to know much about Gabriel then what he tells Rhine, but he too is indecisive. He wants out of his prison, but at the same time, its the only life he knows.
Vaughn, well, he is a kreep . . . .
The story is fast paced, but not extremely descriptive, which is both good and bad. I like that things just went along and we weren't forced to read long narrations about feelings, thoughts or how things look, but it also lacked something. I never got quite a idea of how things felt (their atmosphere), there was things mentioned with their color and everything, but for some reason I thought it needed a little somethin' somethin'. Don't let that mean anything for you though, I'm just really specific with my reading. The descriptions in this book were unlazy, great and spot on. There was never more then there had to be . . .
The book is face forward with the story of brides and dying and wanting freedom, but there is a dark undertow that weaved its way throughout the book; the feelings of uncertainty, hatred, love, fear. You begin to feel the fear yourself of a life that will never be. When people are dying at 20 and 25, you have to shove a whole life time into those few years, a life time that most only live with, with pain. The idea is really scary, because it plays on the mortality that we all face.
DeStefano did a great job of creating this unique world, were everything clashes together in a very grool way and of making you feel what Rhine felt at every moment. Her indecisive feelings about herself, her sister wives and Linden and whether or not were she is, is actually paradise or prison.
A Total of 4.4 out of 5!
Visit the Author Here!: http://www.laurendestefano.com/blog/
"No story lives on unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." -- J.K. Rowling