Already read Wither? Check out the discussion post here.
In a world where girls die at twenty (and boys at 25), sixteen year old Rhine is running out of time. When she’s kidnapped by a rich man of the first generation, the perfect generation that started the disease, to marry his son, Rhine knows that she has to escape before she loses more than her freedom.
I have a thing for pretty layouts and I really liked the layout of this book, especially on the publication information page. Because those are the kinds of things I like. /geek Also, the cover is really fitting, much like the Matched cover, and I do so love a fitting cover.
The book itself… I started out really enjoying it. It deals with a lot of the same topics as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s softened for the YA audience (meaning that it contains the element of hope that Atwood’s novel doesn’t).
I also really, really loved the bond between the women in the story. Far too often women are viewed as rivals for men’s attention, so the fact that these women actually WERE rivals but managed to have love and respect for each other was beautiful. Jenna was probably my favourite character of the entire story. Rhine…well Rhine had her moments, and then she had her moments. But I could put up with that for the most part. I was able to see past the fact that Rhine’s motivation wasn’t to help herself but to help a guy. I could get past the “romance” that I guess was life-changing for Rhine but left me wondering when exactly either of them had the chance to fall in love. (Really, Rhine? Is this the moment?) I could even get past the hurricane scene which proved that Rhine’s judgement perhaps wasn’t the greatest.
But then the end happened, and I wanted to throw the book away. I understand as a writer it is difficult to have both a seemingly impossible situation and then have your heroine overcome that impossible situation, but a deux ex machina is not your friend. Please, for the love of books, don’t have a last-minute twist that goes against everything the reader believed could possibly happen just to solve a difficult plot point. It insults your reader’s intelligence.
Books with similar aspects
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
recommended to dystopian fans looking for another dystopian novel
not recommended to those who are big on plot and angered by deux ex machinas