Dry by Neal Shusterman is a young adult dystopian novel set in a near-future California ravaged by a severe drought. The story follows the journey of several teenagers and their families as society collapses due to the lack of water. Tensions rise, resources become scarce, and desperation drives people to extremes. The novel explores themes of survival, morality, and the fragile nature of societal norms in the face of a crisis, highlighting how quickly humanity can unravel when faced with a life-threatening shortage of one of its most essential resources.
The most compelling aspect for me was how the author crafted this not-so-distant future where water scarcity isn't just a looming threat, it's a harsh reality. The tension and urgency that build up as the characters navigate the chaos of a society running out of water is very compelling. The word to describe this book is definitely dry but also tense. It’s very harsh without one of the most essential resources so the entire book was very tense. I was disappointed with the pacing a little. It felt as if the very intense parts went by too fast. We also did get to see some backstories but I feel like we weren’t able to understand most characters. However, it was still very good and the actual concept of no water was also very good. I would recommend this to people who love dystopian fiction and stories that make you question the status quo. If you're into fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrillers that also make you wonder about the bigger picture, Dry is a must-read.