NEAL & JARROD SHUSTERMAN
Characters & their development: 4.5
Personal enjoyment: 4
-the show of humanity, both good and bad
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.
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.
Dry is a book that shows off what humanity comes to when the world around us crumbles. For months, the state of California has been getting lower and lower on water, and even as they cried out for help, the rest of the world ignored them. Until one day, the taps finally run dry. People become either the worst or the best side of themselves thanks to the lack of water, and our main characters, Alyssa, Garret, Kelton and Jaqui are left to survive on their own, trying to find any way to make it through the tap out.
The first thing I really enjoyed were the characters in this novel. Only Alyssa and Garret, the sister and brother were painted in a positive light from the beginning. Kelton was the creepy neighbor, and Jaqui was thought of as dangerous. This was interesting because they all ended up working together, and normally, the MC’s are seen positively from the get go. It was really cool to see Kelton and Jaqui show their true side, the side that chooses life. They both had some major character growth throughout the novel and I really appreciated that.
The set up of this novel was also very realistic. Other states cutting off California’s water supply, everyone ignoring i until its a tragedy and worst of all, humanity crumbling. Neal and Jarrod set up a world that I could believe in, I could see this happening in America even next year, and that’s a frightening thought.
Overall I loved the show of humanity. We saw characters like the water angel, who shined in the harsh situation. They did everything they could to help others and keep everyone alive. But then we also saw people like Henry, those who crawled and slithered their way around, just trying to keep themselves alive without considering how their actions could affect others. It was polarizing to see the two different sides.
However the pacing was quite off with this novel. I found it either sped along, or dragged out. There was no consistent pacing and it did make it boring at some points and confusing at others though it was never bad enough to make the book unreadable.
For me, the originality and characters were the highlight of this novel, they really sold it and made it something worth reading. I would recommend this to lovers of Dystopian books and anyone who has already read books by Neal Shusterman.