Review: Dry by Neal Shusterman



God these pretzels are making me thirsty and so is this book.


No lie I stayed up at night wondering how I could reserve more water in my house. I priced out 500-gallon drums and the feasibility of maintaining a water condenser in my backyard. Suffice to say I came to my senses after yet another day of rain in the Pittsburgh area, but that’s how this book makes you feel. The not so subtle message is the damaging effects of climate change and the way Americans take water for granted (well most of us anyway). The subplot is a story of youthful resilience against the “wolves” of a broken society.


The plot follows a few characters and each is relatable in one way or another. A teenage girl named Alyssa, her younger brother Garrett, the boy next door with a doomsday-prepper family, named Kelton and a slightly older girl named Jackie. Each brings a different skill to the table, even Garrett. Understanding what’s happening around them allows them to acknowledge the dangers the face go beyond lacking water. People take advantage of the young when desperation strikes.


Shusterman tosses in snapshots to bring the reader up to speed about how the rest of Southern California is progressing and ties it seamlessly into the main plot lines increasing the readers' sense of dread when we learn that riots break out, cops shoot thirsty Americans and loved ones get trampled. Just imagine how this is affecting the caravan of youth fighting to survive?


I won’t ruin the outcome, but dystopian don’t always come to the conclusions we as readers naturally reach for.


I 100% recommend Dry, but be prepared to question your survival readiness throughout the whole book and wondering where you would draw the line?

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