Review: Dry, by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

dry neal shusterman jarrod shusterman

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Young Adult Thriller

Goodreads / Amazon

Dry is the story of Alyssa, a teenager whose normal life gets disrupted irrevocably when the drought suddenly turns into an apocalypse: the taps go dry. There isn’t water anywhere, the markets have been emptied out and there is a promise of violence in the air. When her parents go missing, things become far worse, and now Alyssa must do whatever it take to save herself and her little brother.

I haven’t read many YA thrillers before, and this left a very good impression! The main difference to adult thrillers is definitely the main characters being teenagers and, on top of the problems caused by the lack of water, they also had to deal with crushes and thinking about school, and also the less graphic violence present on the book.

There is an extra layer of tension in this book because I keep thinking – this could be happening right now. In fact, during the first 60 pages, I was so tense I had to put the book down and pick something else up. Then I distanced myself from the book a bit to come back to it – where I come from, extreme droughts actually do happen in some parts. So this book’s story is the reality for lots of people.

Dry is such an interesting story which falls into the sub-genre of climate change thrillers, which have been becoming more common. It highlights the issues we are bringing onto ourselves when we don’t take care of the planet. It’s scary and tense, and makes you value every sip of water you take while reading it. I’ve read that many people feel actually thirsty reading this – I just felt very aware of each sip. The water literally tasted fresher.

Perhaps because I distanced myself from the book a bit, as I said, I couldn’t care too deeply for the characters, and I was expecting something different from the end of the book (no spoilers), so that let me feeling a bit “meh”. Also, there were SO many terrible and a bit improbable things happening one after the other it was difficult to care too much about every single one. I was a bit tired after a while, and felt that the book could’ve been shorter.

Still, it was a pretty great read overall, and I really liked seeing the characters change, grow, become more grey-moral. Little by little letting go of who they used to be just a few days before. A chilling book.

4 thoughts on “Review: Dry, by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

    • Thanks, Emily! I was on the fence for a while with it too, and I think it was also my first book by this author… so I had no idea what to expect. Do you own a copy already? And have you read his other works?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually ended up buying Scythe a couple months ago instead of this one, so I’ll probably end up reading Scythe first, but if I like the writing well enough, Dry’s concept really appeals to me so I’d like to pick it up next! I haven’t read anything from these authors before so I went with the most popular title to start with. I’m not always brave enough 🤷🏼‍♀️


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