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Monday, July 4, 2011

Wither book review

Wither by Laura DeStefano
From book jacket: "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?"

Wow, this was pretty intense.  Like Matched, it had a lot of the elements of today's cliché teen fiction: dystopian society, forbidden romance, danger, and a determined main character set on breaking the rules.  That being said, there were certainly unique elements to it.  I was completely sucked in, without question.  And I will get my hands on the sequel as soon as I can (well, at the library, don't love it enough to own it).  I think Lauren DeStefano is a talented writer.  If you liked The Hunger Games, you'll probably like this.  Both stories are gritty and graphic.  But...the book jacket on this page turner recommends ages 14 and up.  Honestly, call me a prude, but I wouldn't want my 14 year old reading this book.  It's a bit too grown-up (I mean, think about it.  Polygamous brides, bought to bear children...?  What kinds of things do you THINK are in this book?!).  And I think kids grow up way too fast these days anyway.
Overall, I liked it.  I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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