Authors: Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
*I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program. Thank you so much, Miss Print!*
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.
After finishing Scythe, I knew I wanted to read more by Neal Shusterman. When I heard he was cowriting a book with his son, I jumped at the chance for an ARC. I was definitely not disappointed.
My favorite thing about this novel was how eye-opening it was. The drought in Southern California and the tendency of the human population to neglect the environment are very real, serious problems. Dry shows us what may be in store for us in the future if we don’t start to take precautions. And let me tell you, it’s terrifying. Between the violent acts that occurred as people fought for water and the actual effects of dehydration, Alyssa’s world became increasingly dangerous at an extremely fast pace.
At first I had a bit of a hard time getting into the book because the pacing of the first few chapters was a little slow, but it definitely picked up after that. By the end of it, I had an incredibly hard time putting it down because I just wanted to know what happened next. As the Tap-Out progressed, you could sense the desperation and panic growing out of control. The authors did an amazing job of creating suspense.
The characters in Dry were interesting and we got to learn about several of them through multiple POVs. However, I think that because the chapters alternated between so many perspectives, the characters just weren’t as flushed out as I had hoped. I thought they were well-written overall, they just didn’t feel as developed as they were in Scythe. One additional aspect that I loved though was the “snapshots” of how other random people not in Alyssa’s area were being affected by the Tap-Out. It really portrayed the idea that when it comes to a crisis like this, the effects are widespread.
I’m so glad that I read this book because it was so entertaining, and I’m so glad that it was written because it really illustrates how desperately we need to take better care of our environment. It was incredibly realistic and it’s scary to imagine the world around us falling apart the way it did for Alyssa and the other characters in Dry. I loved the tone of the writing and the suspense it created. While it wasn’t perfect, I think it has a lot of important messages and is a gripping, worth-while read.
Are you planning on reading Dry? Have you read any books lately that were very eye-opening or spoke about similar real-life topics?