Synopsis: 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.Goosebumps, chills, butterflies, racing heart, disgust; these are all things that you're guaranteed to experience when reading Wither. Lauren DeStefano creates a world where girls die at the age of twenty and boys at twenty-five because genetic experimentations gone awry. Thus, girls are kidnapped and selected to be put into polygamous marriages. Girls like sixteen year old Rhine Ellery.
Rhine is very strong and extremely smart. She's very observant and catches a lot of little things that others would miss. She's hesitant to accept her new role and lifestyle. Rhine is certain of one thing only: she has to escape Linden's mansion and return to her twin brother. I wanted Rhine to run away as well. Lauren DeStefano writes in a wonderful way where everything seems realistic and empathetic.
Linden is Rhine's new husband. I felt like Linden wasn't very well developed. He was just there, with no shining personality. Just sort of... empty. I felt the same way about Gabriel, Rhine's love interest. He is a nice boy, but I didn't really get to connect with him as a reader. Rhine's sister wives are Jenna (age 18) and Cecily (age 13). I loved Jenna. She was incredibly clever and intelligent. I think she's the smartest out of the three wives. At first, she was bland but she developed throughout the book and by the end, she was my favorite character. Cecily, on the hand, I despised. Spoiled, bratty, eager, ignorant, Cecily was basically the epitome of it all. I suppose she does redeem herself, but honestly, I can't find it in me to forgive her. Plus, it totally irked me that out of all three wives, Cecily--only 13, may I remind you--is the only one that conceives a child.
The antagonist is the absolutely awful Housemaster Vaughn, Linden's father. He's extremely creepy and disturbing. My goodness, he reminded me of a character from American Horror Story. He is so evil, it's ridiculous. Scary!
The plot in Wither is not exactly action packed or fast-paced. However, it is intriguing and nice to read. A little calm is needed when reading so many action filled novels. The book sort of reminded me of Lauren Oliver's Delirium, especially the ending (no worries--no cliffhanger in this book). But it wasn't so noticeable that it took away from the reading experience.
Marvelous, unique and occasionally utterly chilling, Wither is a fascinating dystopian with a forbidden love that you can't help rooting for.