Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, is one of those books that caught me from the start.  The concept alone was very interesting.  I seem to be attracted to books that disgust me with the general idea and then intrigue me the rest of the way through. 

The novel focuses on Rhine.  She's a teenager living in a futuristic America where an overload of genetic testing has caused the downfall of society.  In this future, men don't live beyond the age of twenty-five and women die at age twenty.  The desire to continue the population leads to kidnapping and polygamy.  Rhine is sixteen years old when she is kidnapped and taken to a grand mansion in Florida.  While she bonds with her sister wives and a servant named Gabriel, she longs for escape and finding her brother.

One of the things that really struck me about the book is that Lindon, the young groom, is as much a victim as the girls in many ways.  His first wife has died and he's controlled by his father.   While I like the blooming relationship between Rhine and Gabriel, I think that Rhine actually has an affection for her husband, even if it isn't love.

I really enjoyed the story and although it didn't end - a pet peeve of mine - it's the first in a planned trilogy so hopefully I'll find out what happened!  The characters were well formed and the setting was described in such a way that I can completely see the mansion in my head.  There are plenty of dystopian novels out there right now and this is a good one.  Enjoy it!

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