This pretty-pretty pooh-pooh book has been on my reading list for a while, classified under "guilty pleasure." What you may want to know about me is that I love books of almost every genre, but YA romances - especially, if not always, the bad ones - are my guilty pleasure. I'm almost too old to read them, but I'm unlike my classmates who refused to read the Hunger Games because they were for teenagers and it's been, like, a million years since we were teenagers. Like, four whole years since we were teenagers. I don't really think age factors in to literary tastes. (Aren't high school English teachers forcing their students to read novels and poems written for adults much more world weary than they are? It's a two way street.)
But in my experience, a book like Wither is something I ought to be embarrassed about. The rule is The Prettier the Cover, The Crappier the Book. It's a publishers' strategy - they know readers are more likely to read a book with a gorgeous cover, so they bury their shit that no one would otherwise want to read beneath it.
"Never Judge a Book By It's Cover"

Turns out Wither is a surprisingly good book. It's readable, throughly entertaining, and while I'm "job hunting" (pffft!) in this stormy, floody weather, it's kept me pinned under my reading lamp all day until I couldn't help but read it cover to cover.

This is a new book following the popularity that The Hunger Games has caused for Dystopian YA novels. It's set in a world where only America is left - every other country has been destroyed in World War 3, and I understand how completely stupid that sounds but let's not over think it. Consider it's intended audience. The important thing is that everyone left has an expiration date: men can only live up to the age of 25 and women 20. This means that the wealthy men can marry multiple wives in hopes of repopulating the Earth America for a little while longer, though their children will only live until their  twenties, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
Rhine only has four more years left in her when she is captured and forced into the marriage of a young man she obviously doesn't like. As is typical with teenaged girls, she and her sister wives now partake in a popularity contest of sorts, abundant with drama. Not really to earn their husband's favor, because none of them are really happy to be there, but because in this sucky, though comparatively favorable circumstance, favorites get certain advantages. Rhine's ultimate mission is to escape the mansion where she is now held prisoner and to return home. Spoiler Alert This is Book One of The Chemical Garden Series or Trilogy or Whatever, so you'll have to keep reading all of the books to get the whole sense of the story.

What I think attracts me to this book is that it's a contemporary Gothic romance. I do love love love love love love love the absurd and dark Gothic stories. So yes, while this is a sometimes laughably flawed YA novel at times, it's also great fun to read if you like that sort of thing - and who doesn't? I'm certainly going to add the rest of the series on to my reading list.

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