Dry, Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman – Readalong

Hello Humans! Welcome back to my second ever readalong post! I’m delighted to be starting Dry, a book that was one of my Christmas presents. That’s the beauty of the TBR Tea Cup I suppose, last year it took me until May to actually read some of my Christmas books!

If you want to find out more about readalongs and why I’ve started posting them then you can check out my post about Mask of Shadows from last Sunday.

Without further ado – let the reading commence!

Goodreads Summary:

dry neal and jarrod shustermanWhen 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.

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The chapters in this book aren’t called chapters they are called days, so I’m referring to those, not days I’ve been reading.

Part One

OH WOW. Ok so, this book is a little bit terrifying already, mostly because it’s absolutely plausible. I’m already thirsty (which I guess was predictable) and I’m starting to see where this is going. We’re just getting to the end of ‘people realising how bad things are’ and getting into ‘oh no things are terrible’ and it’s written in such a way that I’m very nervous for how many characters are going to actually survive this book. Also, there is a dog and I have a feeling the dog will not make it through the book. I really like Alyssa, she’s a great character to read and I’m not in any way a fan of Kelton’s personality but that’s kind of the point. I’m looking forward to finding out how these characters grow and change in the next part!

Part Two

I was right! Things have got much more high stakes (read: there has been more killing) and of course, the terrible aspects of humanity are starting to shine through. I am enjoying the little snapshots of life outside the main characters that you get every so often, it reminds me a little of World War Z, getting to see how life is functioning (or not functioning) as the events progress. I don’t want to talk about anything to do with the dog because I’ll get sad, but I am still enjoying this. I think I could do with a moment of hope? Just as a bit of a contrast to everything else that’s going on, maybe just a happy moment before everything keeps on being terrible. I’m also still on the fence about Kelton, I can’t decide if I’m willing to let him be redeemed from a comment he made in part one or whether I’ll just stick to not liking him. We also have the addition of a new character and her POV which I wasn’t expecting and so far I like her a lot. Time to do some cleaning before launching into part three.

Part Three

Ok so this is (I think in five or six parts but I’m just at the end of part three and I’m most of the way through the book…interesting! Another character and another POV added in and it’s yet another morally dubious character – something that, judging by the characters in the Arc of a Scythe series, seems to be something Shusterman enjoys writing. Also a massive content warning for implied paedophilia, heavily implied. Yes, of course, this is the worst of humanity coming out but can I have one book this year where no-one gets sexually assaulted on or off-page?

In reading this I have confirmed my theory that boys are the worst, seriously all the male characters in this book so far have been at best annoying and most of the time worse than that. I hope that they either improve or get their comeuppance in the coming parts!


Part Four

A teeny tiny part, more of a part-let than a full part. But this was possibly the most tragic part of the book so far, things are coming to a head and I can’t actually work out how this is going to resolve…which is unusual for me!

Please appreciate the irony of me spilling water all over the carpet as I finished this part…sigh.

Part Five and Six

I thought I’d lump these two together as they are quite short, really just the conclusion and the epilogue. I liked how this ended, it was hopeful but also keenly aware that not all problems get magically fixed. I liked how the characters ended up and the tone of everything was very powerful.

Final Verdict

I liked this book a lot, it’s like any YA dystopian novel but with the added sense of ‘this really could happen’ that you don’t always get with zombie novels or similar stories. You can definitely tell that it was being written with the intention of one day adapting it for the screen, in fact, I might go so far as to say it reads like the novel that comes out after the film? But not in a bad way, it’s just that there are moments that read in an incredibly cinematic fashion. I’m glad I read this and I will probably go and see a film version if/when it comes out. I’d recommend it to you if you like dystopian books and you don’t mind irritating/morally dodgy characters.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

All opinions are my own.

The graces laure eve

Reaching into my TBR Tea Cup for my next readalong and it’s….The Graces! This is quite the coincidence as it is actually the other book I received for Christmas – so I suppose we’re doing them in a row. Look out for my next readalong soon!

Is Dry on your TBR? Let me know what you think in the comments below!



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