“I read this book almost in its entirety in one day . . . but it feels like I’ve known these characters for months, years even! The journey I just got back from after reading “Wither” was an experience that every bibliophile looks forward to with every book they open. “Wither” may not fulfill this experience for everyone – but it sure did for me.” – Miss Remmers
“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 limited time she has left .”
This was one of those “surprise” reads that I had been putting off and putting off for two reasons: I hate the cover and I wasn’t sure of the whole “brother” angle. Why do I hate the cover? I have no idea. I feel like I should like it, but I just don’t. With the above premise I assumed that the brother was going to play a more pivotal role in this book but he didn’t. I’m not sure why I was bothered by the brother bit; I think I assumed that the brother and sister would be the protagonists instead of a love interest. Boy was I wrong.
DeStefano drew me in with the first chapter and before I knew it I was racing through the pages not on purpose but by complete accident. When I finally looked at the lower status bar on my Nook I discovered that hundred pages had been covered. And worse, when I hit that last page I was at a complete stand still. That couldn’t be it – could it? I want more. I need more! But we’ll return to this later.
I won’t lie – I’m still in shock of loving this book so entirely that I am just praying this review makes sense and does the book justice.
Despite not really knowing what was going on in the beginning chapters, I was enthralled with “Wither” and couldn’t put it down. Once Rhine met Governor Linden her hatred and my hatred combined for the man could have started any number of metaphorical wars. But somehow, as his character was developed, I found myself looking for him in the novel and seeking his company out for Rhine. Why? He’s supposed to be a complete polygamous misogynist! (Nothing against polygamy … it’s just how I’ve been raised I guess.) And despite his need to “consummate” his marriages and the rest of the whole sketchy concept of this society – I like him. It’s completely nonsensical and illogical – but I rooted for him and Rhine, I willed their romance to blossom. If we choose “Teams” with this novel (you know, Team Edward, Team Jacob, Team Ash, Team Puck, etc) … oddly enough I’ll be the first to join Team Linden.
The setting of this novel, in a huge beautiful mansion, while creepy and imprisoning, was written so eloquently I feel like I’ve been there. As I feel like I know the characters. There’s a saying: “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” by Paul Sweeney. “Wither” is one such book; when I came to the last page (even on my Nook) I felt like I was saying good bye to a female protagonist that I loved and even a half ways antagonist that I had somehow fell in love with as well!
I read this book almost in its entirety in one day – Friday’s Recreational Reading in my English classroom; but it feels like I’ve known these characters for months, years even! The journey I just got back from was an experience that every bibliophile looks forward to with every book they open. “Wither” may not fulfill this experience for everyone – but it sure did for me.
The ending of this book, I will say, was very abrupt. Not just because it was so good that I didn’t realize so many pages had been read, but the entire climax, falling action, and resolution (if you can call it that) took place during the last chapter. It seemed almost too easy of an … let’s just say … ending. Too out of nowhere. Too without problems. Too … flawless. But despite that, I am LONGING for the second book to come out like I haven’t longed for a book in a very long time. Many times I struggle with the second book simply because by the time it does come out I’m reading something different. I can tell that as soon as DeStefano’s second book is available for pre-order it will be the first book I’ll have pre-ordered since “HP 7.”
“Wither” is a fantastically brilliant book that I recommend to any lover of dystopia or even romance!
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Overall: 50/60 B
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Challenges: Dystopia Challenge, Debut Author Challenge, EBook Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
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To the FTC, with love: Review eBook from NetGalley