By Mia Santangelo
The growing water crisis in Southern California serves as the backdrop for Jarrod and Neal Shusterman’s new book Dry. All the people affected by this crisis remember the moment when the taps ran dry. The main character Alyssa and her family experience ‘Tap-out’ for the first time which is when there is no longer any water coming from the taps. They struggle to find water, conserve it and live on the supplies they have. Shops start to be broken into, houses are destroyed, and riots break out in the streets, all because of the citizens’ need for water.
The story is unique with an adventurous plotline, complex characters, enticing writing, along with an important theme. Dry also shows the reality of climate change. The “taps running dry” is something that may happen very soon in certain countries such as Bolivia, South Africa, Bangladesh and many other countries who have a massive water crisis. This book is important to read because it makes us aware of how much water we waste and makes you realise that we don’t have a never-ending surplus of water, the “tap” will run out on us.
Dry is an extremely entertaining novel that always leads to questions about what happens next and whether there is any hope for the citizens affected. The story is also told from various perspectives. There is Alyssa and her younger brother Garret who search for their parents who disappear after going to find water. They also have the help of their neighbour, Kelton and we are also introduced to more characters along the way. Throughout the story, there are snippets from the news from the book. These highlight how drastic the situation is and keeps you up to date on what’s happening.
Neal Shusterman, the author of the award-winning book Scythe, and Jarrod Shusterman write in a style that is both intriguing, interesting and will keep you hooked. For example, there is one moment when you fear for the character’s lives because it really does seem like they have no hope of finding water. The setting is vivid, which makes this situation seem much more plausible and slightly terrifying.