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Dry Audio CD – CD, October 2, 2018
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About the Author
Jarrod Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Dry. He has a passion for storytelling across many mediums, with love and multiculturalism as an ethos. Jarrod writes and directs with his partner Sofia, under their company Dos Lobos Entertainment. Together they enjoy traveling the world and learning new languages, living between Los Angeles and Spain. They can be found on Instagram @DosLobosMedia.
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (October 2, 2018)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1508263086
- ISBN-13 : 978-1508263081
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.06 x 1 x 5.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,980,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book actually starts off with the acknowledgements, but this is done with good reason. This first line is dedicated to people who are fighting the effects of global warming. The water drought (also called the Tap-Out) that takes place in the book is never mentioned in the main story to be a direct result of global warming; but including it in the acknowledgements at the very beginning is a strong insinuation to how the world could potentially run out of water. This book had a "not in the too distant future" feel to it which made everything in the book feel both relevant and urgent.
This book is told from multiple perspectives in alternating chapters, with a few news articles and external points of view also inserted to give a broader picture of what is happening outside the group we are following. The external media added a much broader dimension to what we saw and makes you realize how widespread the issue actually is. The multiple perspective are told by Alyssa (the average girl who lives in a middle class neighborhood) , Garret (Alyssa's little brother), Kelton (next door neighbor to Alyssa and Garret and also has a father who has been planning for Armageddon for years), Jacqui (a homeless girl who is really rough around the edges and used to surviving on her own) and Henry (a rich boy trying to capitalized off of everyone's lack of water). I loved how the multiple view points really added to the dimensions to the story and allowed us a glimpse into every socioeconomic status and how each were handing the Tap-Out in their own way.
This story wasn't nonstop anarchy but it did convey how different people become when they are desperate to survive. People you thought you knew and people who are docile suddenly become aggressive strangers who are willing to do anything to make sure they don't die. We also find that a person's character is measured in desperate times. It was an interesting dynamic as it also assisted with character development and pushed some characters to become better people and others to do things they never thought they were capable of.
I loved this story. I was less in love with this than I was with Scythe (also by Neil Shusterman), but it was more of a content issue than a quality issue. Dry was more of an apocalyptic contemporary whereas Scythe was more of a science fiction dystopian. Both were very enjoyable and very well written and I do highly recommend Dry. Dry was an amazing and very well constructed look at what happens when a renewable resource, like water becomes scarce. This was hard hitting and felt so realistic.
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.
I'm sitting there reading the pages that bring me back through childhood memories of Los Angeles, Huntington, and the surrounding forests of the area and I know that each event is real enough to be true. A realistic depiction of what disasters lay should a major city be cut off from something as vital as water. How people behave during it and what consequences lay for those trying to survive.
So intent was I to see what happened next, I hardly put the book or my glass of water down in those two days, guarding them both like my life might depend on it.
A top 5 book on my shelf.
Dry is set in Southern California in present day. And it's about what happens when we actually run out of water. And it is terrifying. And way too plausible. I definitely wanted to run out and buy a few gallons of water while I was reading it.
Alyssa goes to fill her dog's water bowl and when she turns on the tap, nothing happens. And then the news tells them that they are out of water. If we thought the 2020 Toilet Paper crisis was big, it was nothing compared to what it would be if we ran out of water.
Told over the course of only 5 days, we watch people lose their humanity and lose their lives. It's so scary. With her parents missing after going out to find water, Alyssa, her 10 year old brother Garrett, and the goofy survivalist neighbor Kelton try to find a way to survive.
Read it. And then go out and get the rest of Shusterman's books. I haven't read them all yet, but the ones I've read have all been fantastic and engaging. A lot of his books are written for kids 12 and up, but he doesn't write down to kids. I really had a hard time putting this one down.
Top reviews from other countries
What could have been a really interesting look at humanity, and how they cope in the face of abject horror and little hope. fell flat due to the awful awful characters. I hated every main character in this book (and there were a lot) and they all felt so one-note and annoying. I could not see any character development throughout this book and instead they stayed the same daft characters that we started with. They just very much seemed to be stereotypical characters who didn't leave their box. I always find it hard to enjoy a book if I don't love the characters and this is where this book fell down for me.
In terms of the plot, I will admit that some bits were interesting; the different reactions of people to the tap-out were intriguing and I felt vaguely realistic. Events can make good people do bad things and then you have to live with it. BUT this book had too many moments of the characters surviving and getting out of things that they just shouldn't have. There was never any worry about any character because you knew they were never in danger;
the fact that both parents survived and both happened to be in facilities that had water was ridiculous, and then Jacqui ending up being alive at the end like... okay we get it, no one is dead . The ending was just a bit odd and felt entirely rushed. I just really did not enjoy this one.