What if you knew exactly when you would die?
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.
But everyone was talking about Wither, and I was able to get an e-galley through GalleyGrab, and, well, I had an extra few hours, so I decided to give it a try. Oh boy, am I glad that I did. I ended up loving this book way more than I was expecting.
It's a dystopian, but I liked that the focus was on the future of relationships just as much as the future of society. I like the bleak views of society presented in dystopians, but at the heart of it all I need some romantic element to get me into it, because that's just the kind of girl I am. This book really focused on that, and the world Rhine found herself in really drew me in.
The villain in this book, Rhine's father-in-law, was such a good, creepy villain. Every time he showed up on the page I felt a sense of dread. And the best part about him was that he wasn't just an evil mustache-twirler. He really thought the evil things he was doing were good. I think that makes the best kind of villain, don't you?
This book has a lot of similarities to The Handmaid's Tale, and it was interesting to compare the two worlds as I read. Both present a very sad future for women, and it was fascinating to see Rhine struggle with her reality and try to break free from it. It was also fascinating to see the relationship she developed with her two sister-wives. In the end, the way the polygamy thing was handled didn't creep me out too much. Maybe because two of the three wives knew how much it sucked, that made it easier for me to handle.
Then there is that gorgeous cover. I just love it so much. The model looks like Mandy Moore (I love her), and that dress and that hair and that bird...ugh. Love.
This book is one you don't want to miss. And I can't wait to see what the next books in the trilogy have in store!
Thanks to S&S Galley Grab for the e-galley.