‘Dry’ Review


Source: Simon and Schuster (Link to simonandschuster.com)

Safa Kamal, Scoop Writer

Neal Shusterman is a young-adult fiction writer who has won multiple different awards for his books and is especially known for his series, ‘Arc of a Scythe.’ Shusterman is a dynamic speaker, and his stories are known to make the readers feel as if his characters are real, with relatable and sensitive issues to his audience. His words are known to be captivating, and his books attract readers to them, like moths to a flame.  

One of his novels, Dry, is a story that reflects fiction onto reality in a terrifying way. The California drought was bad enough, but in Shusterman’s story, the problems that accompany the drought inflate into massive proportions. Everything seems to go wrong one problem at a time, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The story goes to show what could have happened during the California drought. The characters go through severe changes as their situation goes from bleak to desperate, showing a realistic and chilling display of fictional characters feeling life-like to readers.

The story starts out in California, during a drought, or the Tap-Out, as many residents call it, which has actually been going on for a while. Life and people are going about normally, and everyone knows what to do and what not to do. When the tap runs dry, however, the mentally of the people degrades, and they become close to mob-like. Alyssa, our normal teenage protagonist, is faced with difficult decisions when her parents disappear, and she is left alone with her brother and a boy from her neighborhood in what is soon turning into a semi-apocalyptic town. 

This book gives a zombie-esque feel to it as humanity is portrayed in a way that makes them seem more savage than human, with the lingering feeling of being human still within. People become either predator or prey, and Shusterman portrays them perfectly to capture the complexity of the situation.