Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publish date 3/22/11
review copy from publisher
Wow. What can I say about this book that has not already been said? I have yet to read a bad review of Wither, and there is a reason for that...
One sentence synopsis: In the future people have short life spans and Rhine has been kidnapped into marriage to a forlorn groom.
The world building is excellent. The storytelling is excellent. I cannot believe this is a first novel. Of all of the titles I have heard people say "will remind you of Hunger Games" Wither is the first to fit that bill. Rhine and Katniss share similar traits, the situation is just as despondant, and the luxury vs extreme poverty settings are there too. But make no mistake, Rhine's story is original and her own (although, it is the reader in me that keeps wanting to compare it to other books- Handmaid's Tale would also work).
So, IMHO, this is what I can add to the Wither discussion: what I loved best was Rhine finds strength in her memories of her family and is determined to create a future for herself. She is not waiting around for the male hero to swoop in and save the day, nor does Rhine's entire existance revolve around Gabriel and what Gabriel thinks of her. Yay, girl power!!!!
I can't wait for the next one. Is anyone else thinking that Linden may have some surprises up his sleeve? I think he reminds me of Heathcliff, except he has two Catherines.
Highly recommended for fans of dystopian lit, not so much for romantics.