Rated Reads


by Lauren DeStefano

Rated: Moderate

In Rhine’s world, you just know. If you’re a girl, you’ll die when you’re 20. If you’re a boy, you’ll get until you’re 25, but then the virus will get you. No matter what. With the population dying out, girls are kidnapped and sold to the highest bidder in an attempt to create a newer, less vulnerable generation — but it doesn’t look good.

Rhine is one of those kidnapped girls. Along with two “sister wives,” she lives a life of privilege, but she finds no happiness in the lap of luxury. A bird in a cage, with no desire for a marriage of any kind, all Rhine wants is the freedom to live life as she chooses until she’s 20 and the virus takes her too. If she could only get away. …

Oh, oh. I read this one in a day. Dystopia, to be sure. Rhine’s tough but not particularly snarky or unfeeling. She actually feels things really deeply, and I liked watching relationships evolve. It’s an intense and fast-moving story in an unknown future time, with some rather adult themes (polygamy for the express purpose of making lots of babies, but it’s not super graphic). I won’t say it’s life-changing, but it was a great way to spend some hours. It’s the first of a trilogy, so be ready to be left hanging a little bit (in a good way).

Rated: Moderate for lots of talk about sex and baby-making (no graphic sexual scenes but one where we see two people right afterward and one fairly graphic conversation about it). Also there is talk about prostitution.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Wither
  • by Lauren DeStefano
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: