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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano So, the whole blogging world is buzzing about this book. Or at least the ones I've read lately. And with good reason, I might add. This book is a stunning debut. Reading this, I should have been looking for a topic for my evidence-based-medicine paper (while writing this review, I should be finishing said paper). But I just could not force myself away from this book, and not just because I don't like writing EBM-related papers. It was really amazing.

The world DeStefano has created is horrifying. Though cancer is a thing of the past thanks to genetic manipulation, you now only live to see the age of 20 if you're a girl, and 24 is you're a guy. The whole idea of a virus being triggered and killing you (pretty horribly might I add) is definitely scary and not so unimaginable for a med student like me.

A big effect of this, which I hadn't thought of, is that most kids loose their parents when they're 6 years old (if they're lucky, cause that would mean your mother had you at 14). Most kids live on the streets, stealing to make a living. Can you imagine being 5 or 6 and having to look after yourself? I was tucked into bed and read a bedtime story at that age.

The relationship between Rhine and her two sister-wives is very complicated and amazing. I loved how both the other wives had their own voice and were really fleshed out characters. Rhine is a strong girl herself and really just wants to go back to her twin brother, who I hope we'll get to meet in the next book.
Linden, the husband, is a confusing character and so naive I wanted to slap him on the back of the head sometimes. Seriously.
His dad is totally creepy and seems evil, though I get that he wants to do everything in his power to make sure his son will survive.

The romance isn't over the top and while it's there, Rhine doesn't let her universe revolve around it. Which is pretty nice in my opinion. I thought the whole thing was very sweet and would love to see it develop further in the series.

All in all, I thought this book was amazing and it nearly brought me to tears due to something I won't mention, cause I don't want to spoil anything. But in case you want to know, light up the following:
Jenna's death. So, so sad!

Oh, and have I mentioned the cover love I have for this one? The details are incredible (the ring, the bird).
Go read it. Now. I promise it's not overly hyped. It's hyped just right.

My rating: 5 stars