Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Formats Available: Hardback, E-book
BLURB 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?
I purchased the hardcopy of Wither from The Works for a great price of £2.99, so a bargain price for a hardback.
The cover doesn't make much sense to me prior to reading the book. It features a girl in a very expensive looking dress. Upon reading the book you can imagine the character on the front being Rhine or even Jenna.
So this book is set in futuristic/dystopian setting. People are either very old known as "first generations" or under 20 for females and 25 for males. A virus kills females as they reach 20 years old and males when they are twenty five. So pro-creating is a prominent urgency for the reach who literally buy themselves a bride, or a few brides. People exist called Gatherers, they snatch girls from anywhere and everywhere, they are then paraded in front of the rich male, who will pick who and how many he wants.
Rhine has been captured by the Gatherers and finds herself bought and taken to Linden Ashby's mansion, where his first wife is dying of the virus. Linden chooses three girls, Rhine, Cecily who is younger than Rhine and has beautiful red hair and is very young and eager to please in any and every way. Jenna is the third girl, she was grabbed with her sisters. Her sisters are disposed of and that is something that Jenna can never forgive or forget. Jenna only gives in to what she has to when she absolutely has to.
It's a strange set up that they are living in. The first wife is dying and yet her replacements are just living down the hallway.
Rhine has only one thought on her mind.."escape" she is always looking always ready for the opportunity. Rhine desperately want to get back to her twin brother Rowan.
I really did enjoy reading this book, you really get an insight into each of the girls characters and their feelings towards the ailing first wife, each other, Linden and of course Linden's sinister, and dangerous father Vaughn.
Rhine befriends one of the "servant" Gabriel and they start planning an escape then suddenly Gabriel isn't around any more. Rhine has to work out a way to get to Gabriel to see if he is ok and finds out someone has been telling Vaughn about their friendship, so now Gabriel is in danger too. Who has told Vaughn of their friendship? Will they ever escape? Can they escape together? Where can they go? What will happen if they are caught?
Vaughn is supposed to be working on a cure for the virus...but he has been working on it for years and is unable to save the first wife. He is a very sinister, shady character who can be quite cruel and heartless even towards his own son. So does Linden know all of what his father is up to? Well you would say surely yes because they live under the same roof, Vaughn even has a lab in the house basement.
Well I have tried to give you a "feel" of the book, without giving away spoilers and I truly hope it encourages you to go out and buy it!
So did I enjoy the book? Yes. Would I recommend the book? To all dystopian fans this has to be a must read. Would I read bk#2? Yes please! Would I read more by Lauren DeStefano? Definitely would take a look at anything else wrote by her.
Available from Amazon.co.uk