Wither by Lauren Destefano

Wither is book 1 in the Chemical Garden Trilogy.  Good news though for those who would like to read this, all three books are out in the trilogy now, so you won't have to wait years to find out how it all ends.

Wither was on my reading list for about two years, yes I know a long time.  But as I always say, there are just way too many good books, but not nearly enough time to read them all.  Thank goodness for Goodreads that helps me add them to my "to read" list so I can eventually get around to them.  At one point when I realized that the final book was almost out, I just decided to wait and read this one when all three books in the trilogy would be available.

Wither, pretty much sucks you right into the story from the first page.  There is no build it is just bam, right into a creepy situation that grabs your attention right from the first paragraph.

Modern technology has become so advanced that each newborn in the world is born with a genetic time bomb.  No girl lives over the age of 20, and no man lives over the age of 25.  The first generation as they call them, were the ones that were given the immunities to cancer and all the great illness.  The only problem with mixing with genetics and massive amounts of immunities was something the world didn't see coming.  It wasn't until that generations children started dying at 20 and 25 that made them realize they had a problem.  The first generations, they live long lives, no one knows how long this perfect generation will live.  Some race for a cure, others use the deaths of the younger generations to their advantage.

Rhine and her brother Rowan have been orphaned ever since their parents who were scientists looking for a cure were killed in a massive accident.  They have survived on their own, played things smart.  They live in a society where young girls, even as young as thirteen are kidnapped and sold and forced into polygamist marriage's to become pregnant to keep the population growing. Then for Rhine the enticement to make a little extra money, by donating part of her body to genetic research for the cure entices her.
However, the moment she walks in the door she realizes her mistake.  Kidnapped, thrown into a dark van with a bunch of other girls with no chance of escape to be sold against her will and become a sister wife.

Her eyes one green one brown are what captivate the man who picks her, and she is taken to become a sixteen year old bride.  To live a life of privileged and wealth.  Along with a couple other sister wives.
Rhine is determined right from the beginning to escape, to find her brother her twin, and live out the remaining four years of her life with him in the house her parents raised her in.  In fact that is all she has ever wanted, since there is no hope for a future for either of them.

Linden is her husband, he has been nothing but respectful and kind to her, not to mention she discovers over time he is truly in love with her.  The problem is Rhine never wanted this life, she wants her freedom.  No amount of wealth and charm will detour her from it.
However, Linden's father is another story.  Mean, manipulative and something of a mad scientist doctor.  Rhine realizes even if she did let go and decide to live out her remaining years in the mansion she would never be free of his father and what his father has planned for her.  She wants her brother and her freedom.

Rhine finds friendship and eventually maybe even love in one of the house servants named Gabriel.  Together they discover a dangerous attraction that might just get them both killed.

The reader is taken on an adventure one of romance, yet fright.  There are enough twists to keep you guessing, and at times you won't know which of the situations Rhine could fall into that might be worse or better...  I really enjoyed this read, it is different than anything that I have really read before.  That was probably the thing I enjoyed the most about it.
I am glad I waited until the entire trilogy is out, because when the book ends you are left with wonder, on what will happen next.  Good news is, I've already started reading Fever, the next book in the series!
Readers who enjoy reading Young Adult Fiction, with a little science fiction into the mix will enjoy Wither!

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