Author: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2018
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.
Format: Physical Advanced Reader Copy (found at library sale, not given to me by the publisher)
Length: 389 pages
Dry is an apocalyptic-esque thriller, multiple perspective story on the desperation that follows when Southern California runs dry. It starts from people stealing cases on water from each other at CostCo and quickly devolves into doing absolutely whatever it takes to survive.
All of the main characters are teenagers, which means there was a good chunk of the middle where I had to stop reading, turn to my S.O. and say “THESE KIDS ARE SO DUMB!” or “Listen to the 10-year-old! Your plan is stupid.” But hey, I’ve watched a lot of disaster movies so I’m pretty judgy.
This is also my first Neal Shusterman book, so I’m not sure if this is just his style or not, but there were a lot of heavy-handed metaphorical or “deep thought” statements that you’d typically see at the end of an important passage or at the end of books, but that were just thrown around every page or so. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the “momentous” moments these 16-year-old kids were internal monologuing about. (Oh god the more I type, the more I want to lower the rating).
One more gripe. This book had real stakes and bad things happen. But I couldn’t help but feel at the end that none of their decisions actually mattered? Like if they had decided to stay versus go or this way or that, it seems like the ending would’ve been the same. The main characters didn’t bring about the end of the book, so the deus ex machina element to this made the ending a bit of a let down for me.
Ok, so let’s say it’s a 3.5 star that I’m rounding up. If you like Neal Shusterman’s style, you’ll likely enjoy this more than me. I’m still going to give Scythe a chance to see if I like his dystopians more.