Tuesday, February 28, 2012


by Lauren DeStefano, 358 pg.

Another YA dystopian novel, Wither reminded me of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale. Young women being forced to be baby incubators for wealthy men during their all too brief life spans. The science gets a little murky---is the disease that gives people such a short life span (20 for women, 25 for men) sex-linked? Apparently so. By curing cancer science unleashes a virus of some sort that kills people in their youth. They barely have time to reproduce, so that is the justification for kidnapping teen girls to make them baby mamas?

For some reason it bothered me that the setting for the story was supposedly Florida, yet it was cold and snowy. The author gives an explanation that humans ruined the rest of the world, not just de-populating other continents but wiping them out of existence. I found myself more interested in the background of the disaster than the somewhat claustrophobic-inducing mansion and its occupants.

That said, the plight of Rhine and her fellow sister-wives was engrossing enough so that I finished the book. I did find Rhine's relationship with her husband (forgotten his name already) rather improbable. She really couldn't tell him how his wives arrived at the compound? Could she realistically fend off his advances for so long?

I guess I will pick up the next volume in the trilogy just to find out more, and hope that some of the weaker plot points are shored up by then.

by Cate K

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