Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Chemical Garden Trilogy #1): A Review 

Summary: By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. 
When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?
Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My Review:
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Disclosure: Borrowed from local library. No spoilers 

From the synopsis, Wither sounds strange and intriguing, and it is. This world that the author creates is dark and creepy it’s easy to tell that from the beginning but, as we get more into the book you don’t realize how creepy it can be. The polyamorous relationship may turn some people off, but as a reader it intrigued me never reading something like that before so I gave it a try. Rhine is a very strong protagonist from start, when trying to find ways to escape. One of the most endearing things about Rhine was her devotion to her twin brother Rowan. As a twin myself, I found myself relating to her strongly on this at times it could be seen cheesy the devotion she has for him but that’s how it is when you’re a twin. (TWIN POWER!) The other wives Jenna and Cecily were very fleshed out and their stories helped explore how other girls live in this very dark world. As for Linden and Gabriel, to me it just seemed like they were there I didn’t really feel a connection with them as strong as I felt with the female characters.
Finally, I just really enjoyed this book it was such an interesting read, it had great female characters, amazing descriptions, and an enjoyable plot that I think a lot of people would enjoy.


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