Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 358
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?
Oh wow…wow…how do I even begin to describe how much I enjoyed this book? Perhaps the cover is the safest place to start, maybe then I won’t fangirl all over the review. Personally I think this cover is striking, and I love the graph like way thing’s are connected and pointed out. I do think the dark blue makes the girls hair look at tad green though, but for once it’s a cover that relates directly to the storyline.
So now that I’m calm, let’s move to the story. I really enjoyed the style of writing and tone for this book, it flowed in a way that I’m not use to seeing in YA books. It had a more “literary” feel too it, it was rich and well structured, and it pulled me into the story with no effort at all. The conversations were realistic no matter who was talking, and the characters were brought out in such a way that I truly felt for them. The storyline is a rather interesting one that I found to be really promising. The thought of a virus causing humans to die off and the fact that it was brought on by humans is nothing surprising, but what really got me was just how short their lives are and the drastic means in which they try to prevent their deaths. Each new generation hopes to find a cure but their life spans are so desperately short that it seems little progress is being made. There is something chilling about a world where those who are merely kids in our eyes are suddenly adults and must act like it or die. It’s even more disturbing when humans who think they are doing things for the greater good take the lives of others away from them without a second thought. For those of the younger ages, or looking for their kids this does have quite a few topics brought up but not a lot is put into detail and there is no language to be wary of.
The main character, Rhine, was very easy to relate to and I ended up really enjoying her. She starts off so fiercely determined to have her own life and she never truly wavers from that, though there are some challenges along the way. Her situation was so upsetting and the more you find out the more stifling and conflicted you feel, you connect to her internal struggles. Her sister-wives Jenna and Cecily are also enjoyable in their own ways. I loved how each of them had a different personality and looked at their lives through such different scoops. It really gives you a well rounded view of the situation. Linden was such a great character and even though he was placed in such a position that makes you want to hate him, I never really could. He’s such and innocent kind of character that I ended up really feeling for the guy. There were times when I just wanted to smack him a few times but I could never bring myself to truly hate him. Vaughn is one of those characters that just came off as cold, calculating and…well slimy. He was a wonderful character but he’s also one of those characters that I hope meets a terrible end. I liked Gabriel as well, he seemed to truly care but I did feel that everything that occurred with him came a tad too fast. I think maybe it was the time skips that did it but I wasn’t as invested in him as I would have liked to be.
I do have somethings that irked me just a bit but I did manage to brush aside because the story was so great. First, why is it that the US is always the sole survivor? Honestly, there are a lot of countries out there that would have a better chance of surviving a war than we do. I had problems with there being snow and super cold weather in Florida, but I chalked that up to something occurring with the weather patterns..maybe the bombs dropped did it but I found it weird. Also while it was pretty shocking and sinister, I’m not sure that people would willing kill something that could bring a good amount of money. These are really the only things that bothered me, and I didn’t let them bother me for long.
So overall, I thought this was a fantastic book and despite a few little issues I would certainly recommend this. I’m already trying to figure out how I’m going to get the second one before I drive myself crazy.
You can buy Wither here on Amazon: