Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Chemical Garden Trilogy #1
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Goodreads, Amazon, Author Website
From Goodreads: What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
You know those books that hook your attention and don't let go? You tend to read them in one sitting if you don't have any urgent responsibilities (sometimes even that doesn't make you put it down), or you can't stop thinking about them between readings? Well let me tell you something, this is definitely one of those books! There aren't any moments where you wish the story would get a move on or where you subconsciously start skimming through sections. Rhine is a great heroine, even though she is only 16 she acts older and is not by any means a damsel-in-distress. Since females only live to be 20 and she has gone through a lot in her short life I can see why her maturity level has progressed past that of a teenager today. Her sister brides Cecily and Jenna were interesting characters to read, Cecily is much younger (13) than the other two and was raised in an orphanage so she sees the marriage as a blessing as she has all the comforts she could want. Jenna is older (18) than the two other girls and was the least thrilled about the marriage as her sisters were also kidnapped with her. I didn't really learn much about Gabriel's character in this book, he seems honest and good, but he did seem to be the one needing that "push" to attempt an escape. Linden and Rhine's relationship was a bit more complicated for me, he seems to genuinely care for Rhine and she seems to have been falling for him too. I wonder if there will there be "teams" for this series? I liked Linden overall, he also seemed to be the weaker in the relationship relying on Rhine for strength. He has had a tough life too so I felt for him. All in all it was interesting cast and story line. I cannot wait for the next book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy! Check this book out for a great non-stop read.
I give this book 5 stars!