Melinda’s preg review of Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival,
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; neighbors 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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: Road trip! So water (staying hydrated), Dunkin’ pumpkin flavored iced coffee because I’m basic, & chocolate milk during the duration.
Spoiler-free Overview: The water has been running out in Southern California and it’s finally tapped out. A group of suburb kids set out on a search for water and safety, grappling with humanity and what it takes to survive. And whether the two are compatible.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: Wowzers that was dark! I’m still reeling from it. Totally engrossing—I just need to know how it ended. But um should I start stocking up on water? Geez.
Side note – It also just occurred to me that I recently read Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan, so maybe I’m just interested in drought/climate change dystopias now?
Characters: Big fan of who I would consider the two mains: Alyssa & Kelton. Especially for Alyssa, I really appreciated her self-assurance through it all. Kelton’s survival knowledge was really great and family dynamics, I mean wow. Per YA norms, there was a small child to take care of that were supposed to find precocious, but I was just like “Jesus, why are you running away. AGAIN.” The side mains Jacqui and Henry were pretty good, too, especially with the end unveiling.
Plot: So the tap has been turned off and people are panicking. When Alyssa’s parents go missing, she and her brother Garrett need to find water and safety. She turns to her (much better prepared) neighbors, including Kelton, who has long had a crush on her. The three go out to find out what happened and it turns into a survival situation for them all. Can’t say much more than that without spoilers!
World Building: Like I said, I was digging it. I felt like the authors did a really great job of setting up exactly the mindset(s) of the community at the time of the Tap Out and the lead up. So easy to picture.
Writing Style: Probably too many perspectives for me (as always looking at you small child), but it’s fine.
I really appreciated Alyssa’s self-assurance about her actions—I agree that they were warranted to get all of them through. Though so glad they didn’t end up making A & K into a love story thing, even if they teased for the future. And the Henry reveal! It was great.
What to pair it with: Water! And vodka so think vodka and soda/tonic/water + lime
Rating: 4/5 shots