Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review - Wither

by Lauren DeStefano

Synopsis (From Goodreads)
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?

Why I Picked this Book:  Honestly, I can't remember what first pulled me to it.  A blog?  The amazing cover?  Either way, it was on my TBR list, then shelf, then finally found its way into my hands.

My Thoughts:
Wither offered a new take of the world, in the view that forced polygamy has become the solve-all to a dying human race.  Lauren DeStefano has a way with words, pulling you along page by page.  There were many things I loved about this book, but sadly there were things that bugged me enough to cost it that five star.

In this world, mankind has cured cancer.  The first generation to take the vaccine live long, almost immortal lives.  Super health GO.  The problem?  All the generations born after that are cursed with death, a death no one seems able to solve.  Girls die at age 20, boys at 25.  So, to try and save mankind while this death keeps happening, girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages.

DeStefano has a way with words.  I couldn't stop reading.  She pulled me along page by page.  The idea that people would do this, the kidnappings and marriages, was a very real thought.  We know instances like this have happened in the past (though minus the sure death aspect) and polygamy still seems to be a very tense topic in the world.

I wanted to see how it ended.  I was intrigued with the answers looming around corners, the secrets alluded to, the minor characters who each carried their own heart breaking sub-story.  I wanted it all.

Here was my problem.  It was hard to believe that mankind could pretty much make a super race with medical cures, but suddenly was unable to fix this side affect.  I decided I couldn't dwell on it much though.  What just added to it, sadly, was the fact that the entire world seemed dead, except the USA.  Ok... not the first time we have seen that either.  Buy why is it that people think of all countries, Americans will survive?  Hmm...

There seemed to be no government, no order.  Just people attempting survival in this lone surviving country being controlled by the wealthy with many wives.  The world building just wasn't there.  While characters did develop, and the plot progressed with tension and suspense, I couldn't remotely believe the world they lived in.

Not all my questions were answered either.  Now, being as this is part of a series, I should have expected that.  While I still believe a few more answers shouldn't have been left in the dark like they were, I am hoping they surface in the coming books.

As soon as I suspended my reality, and just read this book for a great piece of fiction, I adored it.  I look forward the the next book, and plan on buying it as soon as I can.  Hopefully the next one will be a little tighter, so I can award the desired last star!  Even with these downsides, I couldn't seem to get myself to give it any lower of a rating.

Now, time to hug my hubby and be happy that I am the only one who gets his love.

My Rating
(4 out of 5 stars)

1 comment:

Jess said...

Thanks for the tip on how to go about reading this (by not questioning too much). I have the same issue with movies a lot ("That TOTALLY couldn't happen! She would NEVER have done that. That's just not realistic.") and my husband tells me to shut up and enjoy the movie. Usually I do :)


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