- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
AHMAZING! First off, I love the cover. When I bought the book, I sat there and petted it all creepily. And I'm pretty sure the caged bird has to do with the whole "Why does the caged bird sing?" thing. Second, I adore her name. I like the way Rhine sounds when you say it.
So, on to the meat of the book.
As soon as I started this book, it grabbed me. I could not put it down. I read it in two days, and it only took me that long because I had to go to school. The writing is so stunning and deep, and the world is painted up around you. I became so into this book, I didn't eat the night I bought it. I wasn't hungry. Except for maybe more of this book.
Rhine is so different in her time. She's smart enough not to get killed and be strong when she needs to be. The world of Wither is so fascinating and intriguing- as well as disturbing. A world where prostitution and polygamy is well-accepted and understood. A world where you know when you are going to die and you know that its going to be long and painful.
The sister wives- Cecily and Jenna- are so different. Rhine is determined, strong, but still able to be kind. Cecily is eager to be more of a grown up than she is at 13, and Jenna is so sad and full of hate. But still, they really become sisters.
Linden.. is Linden. He's the House Governor, the husband to the wives. He isn't cruel. He's not forceful. He's just sweet and sad. His father, Housemaster Vaughn, is disgusting. The pervy rich old man that makes your skin crawl. I've met one of those- do not recommend it.
And then, *swoon*, Gabriel. Blue eyed Gabriel. He is the guy I've dreamed about- Rhine is going to have to move over.
Well, I'm talking too long. All I can say is that you need to read this book. Totally recommend it. All the way.