Wither by Lauren DeStefano
The Skinny: “What if you knew exactly when you would die?” That’s first line of the excerpt from inside the cover of the book. In Rhine’s world, thanks to a genetic mutation caused by “modern science,” men only live to the age of 25; women to the age of 20. Because of this girls are forced into polygamous marriages in order to keep the species going. When Rhine becomes one of these girls she finds herself married, one of three brides, to a man who is nearing his 25th birthday. Despite being loved by her new husband, quickly escalating to first wife status, Rhine’s main objective is to escape. To find her twin brother and leave their world for one of freedom. With the help of Gabriel, a servant in her new husband’s home, who she is growing dangerously attracted to, she attempts to escape, with the little time she has left.
BFF?: Definitely! Rhine is a smarty-pants. She knows exactly what she must do in order to survive and is not afraid of doing it. But underneath it all she is genuinely caring. Although she’d probably never be allowed to hang out with me unless accompanied by her husband (mostly because she’s never allowed outside the house), I think we could have some good times together. Probably practicing our America’s Next Top Model poses like the girl on the cover.
Readability: Right away this book hooks you. You’re thrown into it head first. This is not a book to dip your toe in to see if the water is okay. Alright, enough with the water metaphors. Seriously though, nothing is actually explained until chapter 2 after you’re sitting there wondering WTF is going on?! I seriously don’t think I put this book down. It was that good!
Crush Level: 6
As sweet as he was, I really couldn’t root for Linden. Maybe it was the fact that he had to have his wives kidnapped in order to get married. Maybe it was the fact that he locked them up in the house. Maybe it was his gold teeth. Whatever it was, I just couldn’t.
Gabriel on the other hand… swoon! His love for Rhine is forbidden, as is hers for him, which makes it all the more incredible. He’s also the first person in her new life that is kind to her, taking care of her and watching her back. He’s just… swoon!
Like Matched, I really wanted to read this book because of the cover. Sure, it sounded good, but the cover is what drew me in. Granted I wouldn’t read it in public, but I’m a sucker for a pretty picture.
For some reason we’re suddenly all fascinated by the concept of sister wives. Personally I blame Big Love for making it seem exciting, but the truth is we’re intrigued by the idea of multiple wives in a family. How do they do it? How do they cope with it? It’s interesting to get a take on it in the book, to see how Rhine interacts with the other wives.
BGFF (Best Guy Friend Forever)
Rhine isn’t exactly wifey to her new husband, but she quickly becomes his confidant, someone he shares intimate details of his life with. Despite everything, their connection really is sweet. In a weird, creepy kind of way.
Superlatives – Most Likely to Win America’s Next Top Model