Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age twenty-five and women dying at age twenty, girls are kidnapped and married off in order to repopulate the world.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ©2011
ISBN: 9781442409064
Branch Call Number: DESTEFA
Characteristics: 358 p. ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

After modern science turns every human into a genetic time bomb with men dying at age twenty-five and women dying at age twenty, girls are kidnapped and married off in order to repopulate the world.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
jcljessicaj Apr 14, 2020

The first of a really interesting and unique dystopian trilogy where society is affected by a virus that was the unintended consequence of creating a perfect generation. They story follows Rhine through captivity to being a bride and beyond. It was gripping and intriguing and nearly impossible to put down. (followed by Fever and Sever)

ArapahoeTiegan Feb 20, 2018

DeStefano has created a dystopian world in which serious illnesses and defects have been cured by science. But every generation born after the cures were spread is not very viable. The First generation are those who were born with the cures, every girl born after lives 20 years and boy lives 25 years. This has created a society in which young girls are taken and forces to marry the wealthy if they are chosen, or sent to lives for pleasure and reproduction. Wither follows the story of Rhine who was taken from her life in Manhattan and forced to marry a House Governor in Florida along with two other girls. While she finds love and family, there is no freedom, and she cannot stop worrying about her twin brother, Rowan, who does not know what happened to her. With help from her sister wives, Rhine plans to escape and head home.

Jun 11, 2017

I have exactly zero complaints about this book, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. FINALLY a book with character development, this is how it's done. Cannot wait to get my hands on book 2.

JCLDebbieF Feb 09, 2017

Beautiful writing by Ms. DeStefano, but a very disturbing premise.

Sep 03, 2016

a very good dystopian book. i would recommend this to people who like the selection series.

Jun 08, 2016

I have to admit that I actually gave up on this book pretty early on but decided to give it another chance. After reading about halfway through I actually managed to enjoy it and read the rest of the series.

Dec 28, 2015

Very interesting concept for a dystopian themed series, I loved it right away and the twists and turns the plot took me on while I was reading it. Couldn't wait to read the second installment!

May 14, 2015

What bothers me most about this is that no one thought to tell someone how they got there, and it's obvious that some folks don't know. There's a good deal of internal dialogue and relationship building, but not a whole lot of action. Very similar to The Elite and other poor girl ends up in rich guy harem in dystopic future type books, although the protagonist in this story is a lot stronger than the main character in The Elite. Quick easy read.

Jan 30, 2014

I so disagree with many of the negative comments here. Isn't that the point of a fiction book, to be imaginative and creative, not realistic. I LOVED the whole trilogy, these are the kinds of books I love to read, adventure, action, and suspense. :D

Oct 11, 2013

This book is definitely one of my favorites at the moment!! I think while the situation may be a little unrealistic, with such short lifespans, but it was told in such a way that it came across as plausible and even realistic. I loved this book so much! I have seen in other comments that it makes far more sense to take wives from orphanages than to kidnap them, but unfortunately, I can't really see a future such as this where that isn't an issue... Anyway, I really enjoyed this book and am really looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy!!!

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Olivia Robson
Aug 15, 2015

Olivia Robson thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 25

Feb 21, 2015

Library_Witch thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 07, 2013

violet_human_30 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 22

Jul 20, 2013

bunnybop98 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

blue_swan_55 May 06, 2013

blue_swan_55 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 17

Mar 19, 2013

serenityrower thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Feb 20, 2013

kitkat5901 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 07, 2012

laurakgrimm thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 29, 2012

sylvia_s thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

vitriolic7eyes Apr 28, 2012

vitriolic7eyes thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

View All Ages


Add a Summary
mvkramer Aug 23, 2013

In the future, humanity tinkers with their own genetic code, trying to create a perfect generation. And they do -- but at a terrible cost. All generations after that first one are cursed to early death -- boys at 25, girls at 20. There is no cure. In this broken world, Rhine lives with er twin brother Rowan, trying to hold on to what little they have. That is, until Rhine is kidnapped to be a sister wife, one of three, for the wealthy Linden Ashby. Although Rhine has everything she could possibly want in a material sense, she chafes at her confinement and worries about her brother. In her efforts to earn her husband's trusts, she finds herself sympathizing with him, but at the same time she finds herself falling for a young servant named Gabriel - which could put them both in horrible danger.

Jun 03, 2013


Jul 07, 2012

In a world were every girl dies when she hits twenty, but is usually kidnapped to have children for men (who die at 25) who have multiple wives. This is the situation that Rhine finds herself in, but she refuses to give in to a life stuck with no freedom and so many lies. She befriends the servant who brings her food and gets to know her capture and sister wives. This book shows her day to day life and the plans that she creates to find her brother and freedom with the help of Gabriel, her attendant/ lover.

Jun 24, 2011

Rhine is 16 years old and is going to die in 4 years. In her society, woman live to 20 and men to 25 due to a terrible virus created by and experiment-gone-wrong that happened 2 generations ago. In her world, almost everyone is under the age of 25 except for the first generation, who were born before the virus and linger at 70 years old, watching their children and grandchildren die. To combat the end of the human race, wealthy men take young girls and woman as brides. Rhine is one such bride, chosen from a group of a dozen kidnapped girls along with two others to wed 21-year-old Linden. Those who were not chosen were shot. ---See my full review here: http://throughthebookvine.blogspot.com/2011/04/wither.html

Lauren DeStefano has created a terrifying world, where at 16 a girl is considered an old maid, and no one expects to live beyond 25. Can you begin to imagine the social, economical and political repercussions of such a dramatically shorter life span that suddenly plagues what is left of the world? It’s an interesting (albeit terrifying) idea, and I’m pretty fascinated by the parts of the book that describe life outside the mansion that is essentially Rhine’s prison.


Add a Quote
Olivia Robson
Aug 15, 2015

"His eyes, green, like two exclamation marks, meet mine. He smiles. ... He keeps walking, and I stare at my shoes. Stupid! I should never looked up. The strange color of my eyes is the first thing anyone ever notices."

Jun 04, 2013

"Freedom, Gabriel. That's what you can't get here.

Jul 07, 2012

and it only seems fitting that, in this moment of illusion, the words just come out of me.

Dec 08, 2011

I can feel our husband standing in the doorway, the closeness of his wives frightens him. As if one dying wife could be the dealth of all three.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top