Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

A stunning debut YA novel, destined to blow the dystopian genre wide open – The Handmaid’s Tale for a new generation. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home – before her time runs out forever. What if you knew exactly when you would die? In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it. 16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage – and Linden’s cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.

A completely outstanding début from Lauren DeStefano in this dystopian YA, first in a series but I don't know how many are planned for the series. Hopefully at least a few.

In this frightening world, girls are often kidnapped and sold on to become wives for rich guys purely to try and have sprogs before they kick it at 25, and girls die at 20. There's a virus that kills everyone young except the first generations who were genetically designed and only they can survive past 20 and 25. Most of the kidnapped girls are from orphanages but Rhine actually had a life, a job and a family before she was snatched.

A truly terrifying world (in which I'd be LONG dead) in which it's entirely normal for men to marry little girls as young as 13 expecting her to follow all wifely duties. A must read for any dystopian fan and sure to get DeStefano on the YA author map.

Book Depository: Wither
Amazon UK: Wither

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