Dry by Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication: Oct 2, 2018
Read from: Aug 29 – Sept 3
Format: ARC
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.


My thoughts


Also, I might have slipped some mild spoilers in this review.

I’m sorry but I have so much to say. So sit tight and grab some popcorn as I try to process everything I just read. I remembered holding my breath during the last few chapters or feeling quite anxious for the characters.

While the story had been engaging, the writing can be dry at times. Then again, considering the subject matter, I think the authors did a pretty good job in portraying a dystopian novel where water is scarce in a dry place. I mean, we all know that California is a desert. Right? Eventually, the book becomes hard to put down. Just know that when you’re reading the short snippets and wanting to get back to the regular chapters (just to know what happens to the main characters), sit tight because it will get there (eventually).

As someone who live in California, THIS is scary. These characters, for instance, went to Costco (and I also go to Costco) but imagine if everyone in California is in need of water or liquid sustenance and everyone’s fighting for it in a supermarket. To most of you who may not know about Costco, it’s like a warehouse (I describe it as a HUGE supermarket) that sells food items in BULK. Imagine when this warehouse runs out of items necessary for survival, THIS is essentially that book. The authors wrote about a compelling story with compelling circumstances. Additionally, they talked about environmental issues, its harrowing effects, and how other characters dealt with them. And like real life, some fortunate things just happen because of sheer luck.

I think the main character, Alyssa, is supposed to represent (generally) everyone. She’s a character who was supposed to represent an ideal person who didn’t expect this California drought to affect EVERYONE. And along the way she is joined by her brother (Garrett) and neighbor, Kelton. Kelton’s family is kind of unusual who always expects the worst hence they were ready for this natural disaster. They’re the most stocked-up house in the neighborhood so naturally their house becomes a target for others who are scarce with supplies. Also, Alyssa, Garrett and Kelton met Jacqui and Henry as they try to make it out alive by reaching a reservoir (that may or may not have access to water). But you know, they desperately tried to keep HOPE alive.

This book oddly reminded me of The Twilight Zone because the reader gets to see the ugly side of humanity when lives are threatened. Really compelling stuff, but most of the time the reader doesn’t get any conclusion on some of the characters especially minor characters. For instance, there were short snippets on some random characters and some were never heard from again. Others were kind of minor characters and were given a pov (i.e. Henry) but they just weren’t compelling enough. I’m not going to elaborate, except Henry sort of represents the business side of things during this drought. He can be infuriating, charming, and deceptive. Definitely how some people are, but his circumstances were unusual. I would be willing to let this go because I liked this book and this book’s fiction (or is it?).

Kelton reminds me of Rowan (a bit) especially at the last half of the novel. Alyssa can be a bit like Citra at times, shrewd but she still showed some compassion. Then again, the reader also gets to see the ugly side of Alyssa which was something I was expecting to make her character seem believable. I mean, wouldn’t you rather help your brother instead of a stranger? what would you do? Then there’s Jacqui who was dubbed as someone with “dissociative disorder with nihilistic tendencies.” It was either the author/s don’t know what they’re talking about or Jacqui just has some neglectful and ignorant parents, which is frankly a common trope in YA novels. Then again, I will let this one slide because of her character development. Despite her high IQ, she just learns about “no man’s an island” in a literal sense because of their traumatic experience/s.

All in all, I would recommend this to absolutely EVERYONE. I hope this inspires people to conserve water because I freak out every time people would leave the water on when washing the dishes. Sometimes I feel like this book’s for me. I can’t help but feel some sort of connection with it. Haha. This one’s such a good dystopian book because the threat is there and people actually suffer, or this book has good world building (albeit not perfect) with complex characters. This alone should be enough to compel readers to read this one.

This book comes out tomorrow!

Hope you guys decide to pick it up.

reading read GIF


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