Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they left behind.
Determined to get to Manhattan and find Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan, the two press forward, amid threats of being captured again…or worse.
The road they are on is long and perilous—and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and men die at age twenty-five, time is precious. In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price—now that she has more to lose than ever.
Read an Excerpt
WE RUN, with water in our shoes and the smell of the ocean clinging to our frozen skin.
I laugh, and Gabriel looks at me like I’m crazy, and we’re both out of breath, but I’m able to say, “We made it,” over the sound of distant sirens. Seagulls circle over us impassively. The sun is melting down into the horizon, setting it ablaze. I look back once, long enough to see men pulling our escape boat to shore. They’ll be expecting passengers, but all they’ll find are the empty wrappers from the packaged sweets we ate from the boat owner’s stash. We abandoned ship before we... see more
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Reading Group Guide
by Lauren DeStefano
Guide written by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
1. Is freedom a right or privilege?
2. Is freedom worth fighting for?
3. To what extent will individuals go to be free? Discuss examples.
1. Having stolen a boat, Rhine and Gabriel are on the run. From whom are they running and why? Where are they planning to go?
2. Describe Madame Soleski and the carnival world she rules. Why does she hold Rhine and Gabriel hostage?
3. In what way is Rhine different from the other girls under Madame Soleski’s care? How do the other girls and boys treat Rhine and Gabriel?
4. Who is Maddie and how does she become separated from her mother? Why is she a vital character in the story?
5. Maddie is a young child, yet she has learned to be resourceful to survive. Cite evidence from the text to support this statement.
6. Why does Lilac want to leave with Maddie? Does she make a good decision in attempting to leave? Explain.
7. How do Rhine and Gabriel manage to escape from Madame Soleski? Might they have been able to escape on their own? Did they make a wise decision to run? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
8. In desperation Rhine and Gabriel seek shelter at the home of Annabel see more