Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: March 22, 2011
My Rating: ★★★★★
At age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years to live. Thanks to a botched effort to create a perfect race, all females live to be twenty, and males live to age twenty-five. While geneticists seek a miracle antidote, orphans roam the streets and polygamy abounds.
After Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she is desperate to escape from her husband’s strange world, which includes a sinister father-in-law in search of the antidote and a slew of sister wives who are not to be trusted. On the cusp of her seventeenth birthday, Rhine attempts to flee—but what she finds is a society spiraling into anarchy.
I never thought I’d ever enjoy a book so much where polygamy played such a big part of it and that’s because that’s not all this book is about. It’s about love, different kinds, and how love may destroy you, or set you free. When I first saw this book the first thing I noticed was the cover and how the cover art pinpoints the fact that there is a caged bird in there. When I saw this I automatically knew there was going to be a parallel and got over my first doubts of reading this book.
Rhine is a sixteen year old girl living with the harsh reality that she will live a very hard, short life. Because of genetic engineering gone wrong, females only live to twenty while males live up to twenty five. These circumstances are the breeding ground for kidnappings and killings of innocent women. Those that meet the requirements and are hand picked, get to live but are expected to live as one of the many wives of rich men, and those that are not, don’t get to tell about it.
In Rhine’s case, she is not alone in the world. She has a twin brother that takes care of her and protects her from the fate he knows most women face. As Rhine steps out of their house to look for work, she is tricked straight into the trap that will separate her from her twin brother and will set her on an emotional journey she wasn’t prepared for. Rhine is picked and taken to live as one of the wives of a very rich man, the son of one of the scientists that are looking for a cure to the virus that takes the lives of recent generations at such young age. She doesn’t give up though and from day one she devises a plan to escape, which includes earning the favor of her now husband by becoming first wife, and eventually escape unnoticed.
What Rhine is not counting on is to become so involved with her new family that her plans for escape are constantly shifting and getting postponed. Her sister wives become like real sisters, realizes that she might not hate her life so much, and even finds love in the most unlikely of people. Through all that though, she knows deep down, that she must get back to her brother and is constantly reminding herself that she is not supposed to be there.
I really enjoyed this book and frankly I can’t wait until the sequel, Fever, hits the shelves. I also read that there will be a novella released which is a back story to what happened in Wither. I highly recommend this book. If you are into dystopia, this is right up your alley. The story is well-told and flows so well you breeze right through it. I give it 5 stars because honestly it just blew me away.