In Rhine's world, men are dying off at age twenty-five and women at age twenty. This has thrown her society into chaos, and now girls are forced into polygamous marriages as teenagers. Rhine is sixteen when she is abducted and sold to be a bride to a wealthy man named Linden Ashby. Together with Linden's two other wives, Jenna and Cecily, the girls explore their huge new home with different eyes. Jenna and Rhine see only a prison. Young Cecily sees the elegant splendor of high-society, and loves being waited on twenty-four hours a day. But when Rhine begins to speak with Gabriel, a lowly servant boy, she realizes there is something much more sinister going on in the mansion. Between Gabriel and her forced husband, Rhine will fight feelings of wanting to stay and needing to escape.
Wow, what an incredible book! A very powerful beginning and world set-up. Though it feels cliche to say it, this book totally grabbed my attention from the very first chapter, with the feeling of dread spilling out from the pages. I wanted to slow down and savor every single word at the same time I wanted to rush through and get to the next chapter as fast as possible to know what happens next. My favorite part was definitely the stunning descriptions of color that created such a vivid picture of what Rhine's world looked like. Color is an important factor in the plot, and Lauren DeStefano does an expert job filling it in. Especially the gorgeous dresses that were made for Rhine and the beautiful holograms everywhere. *sigh* Rhine was a great female character, handling the unknown information and terrible situations with real, down-to-earth emotion and actions. And the romance between Rhine and Gabriel was so tender and urgent that I whimpered for more. Wither left me panting for the next book in the planned trilogy, which can't get here soon enough!
Overall Rating: 5 Stars