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 she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
I've been waiting to get my hands on this one for a while and couldn't wait to start reading it when I received my copy. It totally lived up to the hype! Lauren DeStefano wrote a stunning debut. She created a pretty scary "future" in her book and double so if you're a female. The very idea that teenage girls can be snatched up at any minute, anywhere, to be used and sold as brides was horrifying. Wanted for their ability to bear children and populate the human race becomes all that matters. DeStefano has presented readers with a future where people no longer have to worry about cancer or other fatal diseases because they've been wiped out. But with every new development comes a consequence and in this case the price was high. Men now only live to the age of twenty-five and women to a mere twenty years of age. Scary thought, right?
Our main character Rhine was hard not to identify with throughout her ordeal. She's snatched away from her twin brother and forced to marry a man she's never met while he marries two other girls who have been kidnapped as well. At first she hates him and can only find friendship with a servant in the house name Gabriel. Soon things change. Her goal of escape remains constant but her feelings towards her husband Linden and her fellow wives Cecily and Jenna alter. She sees the good in them and realizes they are victims of circumstance as well. I'll admit I was more sympathetic towards Linden than she was but readers are given more information and it's hard not to judge. With an evil and horrible mastermind guarding everyone under lock and key it was packed with thrills and suspense. I was keyed up until the very end and I'm extremely curious to see how Lauren will continue on in the series with the second installment. All I know for certain is that readers are going to eat this story up and want more immediately. I'm already counting down and this one hasn't even hit the shelves yet! What am I going to do?
I gave Wither (Chemical Garden #1) 4 shamrocks!!!!