Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Review: Dry

Title: Dry
Author: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopia | Survival
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Source: ALA Annual
Format: ARC

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive (goodreads).

Dry was hard to put down. 
Plot: Dry read like zombie apocalypse novel butt on a topic that hit a bit closer to home than the flesh-eating undead. Dry took place over the course over a week with the desperation climbing with each day. Both authors did a fantastic job of capturing the emotions that ranged from "surely the government will fix this by tomorrow" to preparing to kill for a sip of water on day 5. The thought of losing water is a terrifying thought, and Dry made me think about what I would do if I were placed in this situation. How far would a human go when placed between a rock and a hard place? 

I had one mild complaint that I'm unsure is a spoiler or not, but I would have loved to see the characters be put in more dangerous situations. 

Characters: There were four perspectives in Dry, four unlikely teenagers who were thrown together in the face of tragedy. Of course, there were voices I preferred over the other, but I thoroughly enjoyed how this scrappy group survived together, and the unlikely friendships that formed. 

Throughout Dry, there were snapshots of how others were reacting to the water crisis and the choices people made when it came to making difficult decisions. These chapters made the situation feel more real and more empathetic to see the what they were willing to do. 

Worldbuilding: It's not hard to imagine a world where the water finally runs dry, which made this book terrifying. The world was extremely realistic which was due in part of the snapshots that the Shustermans provided and the trek that Alyssa's unlikely group made across the southern county. We saw how the water shortage impacted the poor, middle class, the rich, and the few people who anticipated the day when chaos reigned. 

Short N Sweet: Bravo to both Neal and Jarrod for this book, it's thrilling, scary, and will have you holding your breath. 


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