March 22, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five years, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive.
After reading that blurb off of Goodreads again...well, I am not sure why I have read this. It is not something I would normally pick up. However, there has been so much hype on this one, I caved and decided to give it a read. I will start off by saying that I will not get into the 'morality' issue of this one. Everyone has their own belief system and own morals in which they live by. I will say though, that I am not sure that I would recommend this book for younger teens. I just feel the subject matter is not really appropriate for the younger YA reader. That aside...
The overall storyline is different. However, this book has been put out there as a YA Dystopian series. I kind of have issues with that. While there are certainly Dystopian elements to it, I would definitely not class this a true Dystopian. The majority of the story takes place within the walls of
The House Governor's mansion. Yes, there are elements within the compound that are futuristic, but we never really get a feel for how the world outside the compound exists. There are glimpses, but I never felt fully introduced to the world on a whole.
Our main character Rhine, is a 16 yr old girl who has been kidnapped and separated from her twin brother Rowan. She is one of three girls chosen to be one of the next sister wives of the House Governor, Linden. I really enjoyed getting to know Rhine and her sister wives. Rhine is forced into this marriage along with 13 yr old Cecily and 18 yr old Jenna. Both Rhine and Jenna know that what has happened to them is so very wrong, while Cecily is very young and has been easily tainted into thinking that this is the best thing to happen to her. The things that have happened to each of these girls before and during their 'captivity' is truly heartbreaking. I know many reviewers have had issues with Cecily being too whiny. But I think you have to realize that this is a 13 year-old girl. She has been married and now expected to have a child for this man...well actually many children. It is a very delicate situation to say the least. And that would be why I find it hard to review this one. I did enjoy the characters on a whole and also the developing friendship/love between Rhine and Gabriel. I guess just the overall feel and heart of this story is just something I am having a hard time relating to and believing. There are just too many holes in this world for me to really connect with it.
This is the first book in a series, but I honestly do not know that I will be waiting for the second installment. Would I recommend it? Only if you want to see for yourself what all the hype is about.
Rating: 2.5/3 stars