Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Climate change, bad politics, and greed have taken their toll on the water supply in California… and finally one day, it just stops running. Two teens in a Los Angeles suburb must band together to help themselves get out of the riots and mobs of water-zombies… The Tap Out is in effect.

Alyssa and her brother see their household start to dissolve and with it their neighborhood. Some families are trusting the government and others feel they can only  trust their own families. One neighbor has been ready for years; the McCrakens have been prepping: water, food, power, weapons, a bug out (a place in the hills to escape to). Their son has a tenuous relationship with Alyssa, but when her parents go missing on an excursion for water, Kelton turns out to be a key ally in the disaster. A trip to look for them turns quickly into a run for survival.

I liked the premise of this one and felt it was realistic for most of the narrative, but there was some awkward phrasing in some places and a couple lines that just made me cringe. It may be a personal peeve, but I really dislike the naming of items like “Gatorade Cool Breeze flavor electrolyte drink.” Some readers or authors may see this as “details,” but it seemed like commercialism and branding to me. And there were some other moments we all have in reading, that feeling of “that would never happen or no one would ever say/ do that.” I know you have to suspend some disbelief in a book like this, but people are people, and you have a gut feeling about these things.

Dry has a decent YA “run and chase” plot, but stilted dialogue and some of those cringe moments take away from my overall enjoyment. It’s a very fast read (I made it through in a couple days), and a good escape.

10 thoughts on “Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

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  1. There a couple of Neal Schusterman’s books that have drawn my attention, but not this one in particular. I’ll probably leave this off my TBR based on your review. I agree with your “gut feeling” for what feels like something is possible/would be said or not. Even in fiction, it has to work or else it’ll never pass for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. This one was hard for me to review. Equally good things and things that were kinda pet peeves for me. I think the premise and characters and pacing were very good.


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