Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 22, 2011
Number of Pages: 358
Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings. Editor's recommendation. (goodreads.com)
"Suddenly the clouds seem high above us. They’re moving over us in an arch, circling the planet. They have seen abysmal oceans and charred, scorched islands. They have seen how we destroyed the world. If I could see everything, as the clouds do, would I swirl around this remaining continent, still so full of color and life and seasons, wanting to protect it? Or would I just laugh at the futility of it all, and meander onward, down the earth’s sloping atmosphere?"
Wither...was a hard story for me to swallow. But I will say that I would like to have heterochromia because I'm ALL about the strange eye colors. :3 There were good and and bad aspects to the storyline. To me, what annoyed me the most was the accuracy of the ages. How would it ever be possible, regardless of the endless march of science, for there to be actual ages of which we die? We estimate the ages we die. We do not have specific ages. We are not scientific. We are everything.
Why would you kill all the girls who aren't chosen for polygamous marriages? Let them go back home, or send them to someone else searching for wives. Jesus. If you're trying to keep the human race from falling apart, or trying to be cruel, don't be unusual/strange about it.
However, DeStefano's writing is beautifully flowing throughout the entire novel. All the way through it continues with the same sense of anxiety Rhine feels, and the small tinkle of hope she has of escaping and going back home to her brother. She feels scared for her sister wives, sympathetic and wary for/of Linden, and terrified of Vaughn. It's all a very interesting setup, and I like the characters.
Cecily and Jenna were the interesting sisters, because you didn't know as much about what happened in their heads. I know it's possible, but it still just seems wrong for someone as young as Cecily to be eager to throw away her virginity. Jenna is a rather depressing character, but for good reason. Rhine, to me, seems to be the most determined of them all when it comes to family. Cecily is content to stay, Jenna would rather die than assist Linden, Rhine is defiant.
Enter Gabriel. I'm not sure I cared for Gabriel—I mean, I suppose he's never been able to leave and an influence like that would never make him want to leave. But he still comes off, to me, as a rather weaker character. I feel like he was just in there for the sake of a love story; he didn't need to be in the story. There was nothing completely unique about him that made me wonder about him; only Rhine's curiosity.
Another thing that made the story hard for me to follow was the fact you hardly ever left this building she lives in. It seems like the story takes place in five rooms. I can take a story that happens in a day, or in a few hours; but I'm bothered when it takes place in only one place. It makes it hard to stay interested, because there isn't much variety in the scenery. Granted, there were plenty of times you left the 'villa', but you always had to come back. For the story, I understand, but...well, you get the idea.
Anyway, away from all the things I didn't like! I really loved Rhine's character, and I adored the scene where Gabriel showed her the river she is named after. When we met Rose's character early into the story, you had to feel sorry for her when you saw the virus' effects. I enjoyed all the symbology the story could offer with her wedding ring, the Rhine River, the window to freedom.
Oh, trust me, I enjoyed this book. I'm going to get the next one the minute it comes out! The characters were fun to decipher, the story was fun despite the little points of it that seem out-of-place to me, and I'm curious to find out what happens to them all. Especially Linden, when he discovers the truth of the women trafficking. Anyway, that's that. I think I'm going to wait and do the Sweep reviews later. (: