Wither by Lauren DeStefano
2011, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Description from GoodReads:
Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Going into this book, I had high hopes. The concept sounded really cool and I had heard many positive reviews. However, I would have to say it did not live up to my expectations. I found it really hard to connect with the protagonist, Rhine, and often saw alternative plot directions that I thought would have been better. I really liked the character Jenna, but she stayed mostly in the background and I felt she had a lot of potential that was wasted.
I think the book has some good points, such as how it brings awareness to topics like living within a patriarchal system, companionship, individual vs communal needs, and the possible ugly side of scientific pursuits. I personally feel the book could have been a lot better if it wasn’t specifically written for a trilogy, but rather stuck to being one book. I would have liked to see more content, but the book itself is still a decent read.
Another book along similar lines is Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which I really enjoyed.