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 limted time she has left.
Double Take is something new that we're trying out. As most of you know, we review different types of books and often will have two reviews (the original and Same Book, Second Look). Sometimes we are reading the same title at one time though and have very different opinions. Think Roger and Ebert for books....
Christinabean - I'm in black
Curlypow - I'm blue
We were lucky enough to get and ARC copy of Wither compliments of Simon and Shuster Publishing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I'd been eyeing this title for awhile...
This book was fantastic and kept me interested the whole way through. The pace was great and I felt that the author provided good character development. I found it hard to understand how Rhine quickly became attracted to Gabriel. Both Gabriel and Linden "rescue" her but does she really have a connection to Gabriel or is it merely because she doesn't feel like she is a captive when he is with her? Towards the end of the story, she starts to have "feelings" towards Linden, they come naturally. I liked Gabriel, although I felt he should have questioned Rhine more about her desire to leave.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and enjoyed the different female characters. I particularly liked the way the 3 sister wives were so different in temperement and character. Rhine - determined to make it back to Manhattan and her twin brother. Jenna - fatalistic, with nothing left to live for but still a fighter. Cecily - annoying little brat, self-centred and greedy. I found it tragic to hear about Jenna's sisters and could understand how bitter she was. It was wonderful to see how the sisters bonded so strongly even though they were very different. They were still dependent on one another emotionally despite having different goals.
This story was such an interesting concept for me and I found myself with so many questions about society in this dystopian novel - are teenage years the same? How about schooling? Does the education system fail because people have such a short time to live? How is knowledge passed on? How is a 13 year old able to cope in the life of someone much older?I have to add here that there was one thing that disturbed me about this world. If the US was the only land mass left in the world and everything else was under water, how could they still go to the beach in Florida? Wouldn't the water have risen to cover the coastal areas? What happened? I think I needed just a little more back story to suspend my disbelief. This is an excellent point.
I felt myself feeling sorry for Linden throughout the story. He did not orchestrate the kidnapping of Jenna, Cecily and Rhine and doesn't even realize that they were tricked and stolen from their past lives. True, they are taken care of but their emotional needs are never really addressed. It's like living in a bubble world without actually learning how everyone else lives. I thought Linden was a really weak person who never questioned anything - too accepting of life. I think he was probably manipulated and sheltered by his father his entire life...like a form of control. I don't remember reading anything about Linden's mother, do you? No I don't remember any mention of his mother at all. Sorry, but I wasn't very fond of Linden. He just seemed like a wimp to me.
One last thing that I'd like to discuss is this beautiful cover. I love it when a book has an attractive but meaningful cover. Something that draws you to the title and then as you read the story, the cover has more of an identity, a purpose. Look closely. Did you notice the caged bird?.. Yep, cool cover and all in all a pretty cool book. Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.
So, how did this post format work for you readers? Was it confusing, interesting, stupid? Let us know what you think in the comments, we really would like to know.