Friday, September 14, 2018

Advanced Review: Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Title: Dry
Authors: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Format: ARC
Page Count: 352


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 from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.

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. (taken from

As a huge fan of Neal Shusterman's Scythe, I was ecstatic when Simon and Schuster kindly offered me an advanced copy of this new release. I immediately cracked the spine in search of wonderful writing and a unique plot.

Obviously, Dry takes place during a severe water shortage in California. I wasn't really sure where we were going with this idea: is it the beginning of an apocalypse or a new world? Is it a temporary situation or something more? Then, quickly, I realized it's more of a survival story than anything else.

The characters are awesome. The authors did a superb job of crafting believable personas and revealing just how far people will go in order to preserve their own lives. The plot is simple: they're running out of water and must find some to survive while protecting themselves from dangerous people. The characters, on the other hand, are anything but simple, and I loved it.

My one big complaint, if you can even call it that, is based more on my love for Sycthe and its utter uniqueness than anything else. I've already read a handful of other YA books on a water shortage scenario, but I was hoping Shusterman and his son would take things to the next level and throw in some creative concepts. Sadly, the plot remains pretty standard, which is probably why I couldn't give Dry five stars.

Still, this book is good. The Shustermans have excellent writing skills and know how to tell a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Be warned, though: it's IMPOSSIBLE to read this book without an icy bottle of water on hand. Every sentence will leave you parched.

P.S. This book is going to become a major motion picture, according to Neal Shusterman, so be sure to read it before the adaptation hits the big screen.