Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
In the not-too-distant future, because of genetic engineering, every human is a ticking time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. To keep the population from dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted -- except freedom. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape before it is too late.
My thoughts: This was a super dystopian novel that I had a hard time putting down. Rhine shares her world with two sister wives, Cicely (younger) and Jenna (older). The three of them are "married" too Linden - son of the wealthy and devious man. There is no love in the marriages though. Linden only loved his childhood friend Rose who makes a brief appearance in the beginning of the book. He is married to these three by his (evil) father in hopes of procreating.
The girls in this time period are not given any choices. They are rounded up by the wealthy and either shot or sold depending on their looks and health. Rhine is kidnapped and leaves behind a brother who has no idea what has happened to her. She is not happy with her marriage but is doing the best she can to cope. She meets Gabriel, a servant in the mansion and they become friends. He is the one thing that she looks forward too.
Though the story is mainly about Rhine, Jenna and Cicely are also well-rounded characters. I particularly liked Cicely. For some reason I pictured her as the Kirsten Dunst character in Interview with the Vampire. A grown-up - albeit a spoiled one - in a child's body.
I don't think of myself as a fan of dystopian - but every one that I have read I have really enjoyed. I think that I am going to have to start searching them out more! There is a rating of 14 and older for this book, and because of the subject matter that it deals with, I think I would have to agree with that.
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Publisher/Publication Date: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing