Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wither - Blog Tour

Wither by Lauren DeStefano The Chemical Garden Trilogy, book one 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? (description from This was a compelling and creepy dystopia. DeStefano's debut is impossible to put down. Though I really enjoyed the characters, the world DeStefano creates is even more of a draw. I never would been able to imagine this society with a very short life expectancy...and how society has managed to cope...or not. The polygamous marriages that become common amongst the wealthy to continue procreation, the Gatherers that kidnap girls to become brides, the orphanages that must exist when most parents are now dying before their children are old enough to care for themselves...unnerving. I just want to creep into the back of Lauren DeStefano's brain to see what else she'll imagine! I really felt for Rhine. She was trapped in sooo many ways. Physically, metaphorically, and mentally - their entire society is pretty much sad. The cover (which is absolutely GORGEOUS) really epitomizes the story. They did a phenomenal job designing it. Anyway, I think the thing that really struck me the most - out of all these crazy, shocking ideas was that poor Rowen, Rhine's twin brother, would outlive his sister by five years. They're twins! The closest that two people can really ever be...and there was no way that he could know that she was alive for those years, even if she was all the way across the country...she will die at twenty, no matter what. That broke my heart a little. I am super curious to see what happens in the second book. I don't want to go into spoilers, but I will say I cannot wait to see more of this world. DeStefano was a master at dropping in little bits of information to build the world. Mini-flashbacks, sensory triggered memories, and explainations built into events just kept adding layers into what became a more and more fascinating (and scary) version of our future. An extremely well-done and fascinating debut. Full disclosure: ARC received from Book It Foward ARC Tours 2011 Debut Author Challenge title

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