I am guilty of judging books by their cover. If the artwork or lettering is appealing to me, I take the time to open it up and look at the summary. Titles influence my fascination as well. As for Wither by Lauren Destefano, the cover page was aesthetically pleasing to my eyes and it grabbed my attention. The artwork is gorgeous but a title such as Wither confused me, that it until I read it.
It is set in a kind of dystopian future, as with a lot of YA novels but this one felt different to me. Orphaned at twelve, Rhine and her twin brother Rowan, barricade themselves in their family home and slave away everyday at demanding jobs in order to survive. The world is corrupted. Obviously.
It follows Rhine, who is only sixteen years old when she is kidnapped and brought to a remote location to become one of three brides of Linden, a twenty-two year old also known as the Governor. Sick and twisted right? It gets worse.
Mankind is at a disadvantage in this story because no girl lives past the age of twenty and boys die at the ripe old age of twenty-five. Yikes.
Scientists played with genetics in order to prolong the human lifespan and fix any underlying diseases such as cancer. Needless to say it had a devastating effect. The first generation flourished with these modifications and have an extended lifespan, their offspring however, are subjected to consequences and death in their early twenties.
Rhine befriends Gabriel, one of the mansion’s servants, and together they seek to escape the confines of the estate. This is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I could not put this book down and I read it in no time at all. Although, there are times where things are not explained and you are left wondering but it is part of the Chemical Garden trilogy and I am so glad that there are more to come.
The man in white says, “What fate has brought together, let no man tear asunder.” Fate, I think, is a thief.
– Lauren Destefano, Wither.