Reading Journal: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

So I just finished reading Wither, the first book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy ad I have no idea what to make of it. The book was advertised as the next great read for hunger games fans, but the only thing it has in common with Suzanne Collins HG trilogy is the post-apocalyptic setting. For every sappy vampire book Twilight brought to the forefront as a result of its success there is an dystopian tragedy waiting in the midst as a result of the success of the Hunger Games.  I admit, I fell victim to this craze, which is probably why I have about ten of them on my to-be-read list. The first of which was Wither. 

Plot Overview:
Wither takes place in a future world where genetic manipulation of the population has resulted in a deadly virus that kills off all of its victims in their early twenties. Women die at twenty-one, men at twenty-four.   There is no escape, there is no cure, despite the fact that members of the first generation (the only generation to live out full lives) are desperately searching for a way to reverse the curse. 

Rhine, the main character, is kidnapped and taken from her kid brother and sold to stranger to be one of his three brides. The story follows her struggles for escape and peace in a world full of death and disease. 

My Reaction:
Overall I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read, though it started out a bit slow, I found myself drawn into this mysterious and dark world and wanted to know more about what has and will happen to the characters. At first I found the main character, Rhine, pretty annoying. She is initially obsessed with escaping, unwilling to learn anything about her captures/husband or her other sister wives. She's set on finding her brother but (spoiler alert!) he never even gets an appearance in this book! It was hard for me to believe she is so desperate to return to such a grisly and dangerous life. It sometimes felt as though she were resisting just to resist. 

Later as she began to learn more about her new family the book becomes more interesting and you see new relationships born and difficult sacrifices made.  Still the whole book seems to be setting you up for heartache. After all, how likely is it that someone in this world is going to find a cure in the last three years of her life, if they've been searching for twenty years to no avail? Definitely a happily for now, kind of read.