Wither by Lauren DeStefano


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?

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom? (Goodreads)

I picked this book up because I saw a couple of reviews raving about the series and I decided that I had to check it out for myself.

I quite liked this book. I turned 20 in April and the idea that my life would be over in this book because of a virus is really kind of creepy. It’s gone before you have a chance to live it! The Virus, which means that men die when they turn 25 and women when they are 20, has turned society into anarchy. Girls are snatched from the streets to be sold as brides to rich men (who normally have more than one bride) to create more children, there are many orphans and crime is at a high rate.

Rhine was one of the girls who was snatched and sold to Linden with two other sister wives, Cecily and Jenna. Her eyes are the only thing that saved her because they are two different colours (Heterechromia in the book). I liked her as a character. She was bold and quite strong considering her position. I felt like I could connect with her in some aspects of her life, but I couldn’t connect with her in others. I don’t feel like there was enough connection and contact between her and Gabriel to actually ship their affair. Despite the fact that Linden is clueless about the fact that he bought the snatched girls, I actually really liked him and thought that he was really sweet to her.

Linden is the clueless son of a crazy doctor. He has no idea that the girls were snatched and sold to him, he thinks they were trained and that they came willingly to him. I hate ignorance in characters and stupidity, but at the same time, I can see why he is the way that he is because his father leaves him clueless or misleads him into believing things that aren’t true. I found that Linden was a fairly weak character and was a little bit of a cry baby. However, as a whole, I liked him as a character.

Housemaster Vaughn is Linden’s weird dad who is trying to find a cure for the virus. He is a first generation of people who live longer, the second and further generations are those who have the virus. I am not going to lie – He creeps me out. Literally. His whole manner and attitude toward people and the things he does behind the backs of the other characters is creepy and strange and mean. He is literally a crazy doctor. He is trying to find an antidote to save his son, so you can kind of understand why he is so desperate. But this doesn’t completely excuse his actions.

I liked the way in which this book was written and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I gave this book 5/5 stars 🙂

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