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Author duo Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman have joined together for the first time for one of this year’s most astounding novels yet: DRY. The novel is a futuristic climate change-inspired dystopia in which the drought in Southern California has only gotten worse to the point where there’s no water left. Once the drought starts, everyone becomes desperate for water, and people slowly start dying from thirst. DRY has more than five different points of views, but our main characters, Alyssa, Garret, Jacqui and Kelton, are forced to join forces on the search for water.

"DRY is...a well-researched and carefully written novel.... If you’re looking for something that’ll take you on a roller coaster of feelings, DRY is the book for you."

The thing about DRY is that though it is portrayed as a dystopian fiction, it is horrifyingly close to becoming our reality; Neal and Jarrod Shusterman do an amazing job showing this. When I was reading DRY, I was completely convinced that this was going to happen in our world. The novel is so convincing, that while reading it, I wanted to go to grocery stores to buy water just to make sure I was safe. Few books can do that, but DRY is such a well-researched and carefully written novel that it could do this to readers. Everything that happens in this book is realistic and creatively written to the point where it’s terrifying. If you’re looking for something that’ll take you on a roller coaster of feelings, DRY is the book for you.

DRY is definitely not a novel for those who don’t like annoying or morally gray characters. In this novel based on the theme of trying to survive, all of the characters are forced to do things they would never admit to, and while it can get a bit irritating, it makes us care more for the characters. By the end of the novel, I was completely hooked and feared for what would happen to these characters I had fallen so in love with. There was one character that fell flat for me, but it didn’t affect my experience with the book that much.

DRY is definitely a novel that I think everyone will get something out of. The characters are realistic, the world is masterfully built and the writing is just outright amazing! The plot is slow, but simply to build out the world a bit more, and picks up the pace quickly after the first half. DRY is an un-put-down-able, engaging novel that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

I am also happy to say that Neal Shusterman has become one of my new favorite authors after reading DRY. Those who love Neal Shusterman’s novel SCYTHE will love DRY just as much. I haven’t read Jarrod Shusterman’s short stories before, but after reading this I hope that he will continue writing novels like his father for a long time to come.

If you couldn’t tell, I loved DRY by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman and highly recommend it! It definitely took me by surprise and is a book I won’t stop talking about for a while. I can already tell that it will become one of my favorite books of the year, and I think many would agree with me.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on October 16, 2018

by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

  • Publication Date: October 2, 2018
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1481481967
  • ISBN-13: 9781481481960