Goodreads: Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.
I'll admit I was a little hesitant going into this book. I'm all for dystopian books, but I wasn't sure how the whole polygamous marriage thing would play out.
What I liked: 1) This was a gloss free book. Ya know what I mean, some books imply that a lot of tough things will happen, but then don't deliver? They just gloss over them? That's not the case at all in Wither. Every issue was met directly, and was very raw. 2) Gabriel. I enjoyed his presence in Rhine's life, and overall he was just an enjoyable character. I can't wait to learn more about him in the Book 2, Fever. 3) The idea of the virus. It was complete, and well explained. There is this virus that has been killing off people at the tender age of 20 for women, 25 for me. But luckily the origin, or the reason at least, is partially explained. You aren't left wondering why all of a sudden, this virus is killing off young adults. 4) Rhine. Actually I liked Rhine and Jenna both very well. And I liked Linden also, even though he's supposed to be villain-esque. Or, villain-lite. What's so unique about these characters is that they are mature. Very mature for their age. Which, when their life-span is 20-25 years, is a necessity.
What I didn't like: 1) The ending moved very fast. A fast pace isn't usually a downfall. But there were a few places I had to go back and re-read, because I felt a little confused. It just interrupted the flow, which was great otherwise.
Overall thoughts: I could not put this book down. When I finished it, I was immediately ready to read it again. Everything about it had me completely drawn into the story. Any confusion that may have occurred near the end for me was monumentally overshadowed by the creativity, the writing and the idea. Somehow, despite the fact that I've never encountered any of the issues that Rhine and the other characters face in the book, Miz DeStefano wove a tale so real that I could feel myself empathizing. It really was fantastic, and I'm now counting the days until Fever is released!
My rating: 5 shots