Lauren DeStefano – Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Offered for review by Simon and Schuster
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 limited time she has left.
What a dark and twisted read. What a dreamy love story between friends as well as potential lovers. Yes, I’m talking about the same book! It amazes me how DeStefano was able to frighten me to my core, cause actual nausea to attack me, yet leave me completely unable to put this book down all at once because I fell in love & learned what it means to have sisters outside of biology. I found myself able to identify with every single character on such a multitude of levels. They felt haunting & lovely, frightening & safe, gentle & vengeful. I have not read a story like it, ever. There's truly nothing to compare it to. The writing was dreamy & beautiful and although I felt as if the story was without a real end (intentionally, I'm sure, as this is to be a trilogy), I must say, it sure left me longing for more in a way that I can’t explain. If you have the opportunity, read it for yourself to see if you agree.
Available now and you can get it here.