book review YA fiction


Is this fiction? Or a peek at the future of California? The most riveting YA book I’ve read all year. Scary in the way that plausible situations are. Frightening in the way that magic and monsters are not because humans are the most terrifying and most unpredictable creatures on Earth.

The “Tap Out” begins quietly, one day there isn’t water. We get to see how this plays out through the different characters’ point of view. It’s the kind of slow horror building that Stephen King excels at creating. On day one the family hops into the car assuming they’ll buy bottled water at Costco- I was already thinking- “Well, that’s not gonna work out.” The thing about a crisis is that by the time you wrap your mind around the next step everyone else is there with you.

There are, of course, good people in this story, but as in real life, it is hard to tell anyone’s true intentions. Just when I thought the plot was somewhat predictable, it wasn’t.

“The worst part about doing something inexcusable is that you can never take it back. It’s like breaking a glass. It can’t unbreak. The best you can do it sweep it up, and hope you don’t step on the slivers you left behind.” 
Neal Shusterman, Dry

After you read this book and become sufficiently freaked out, head over to Ready.Gov and check your supplies against their list. That’s what I did, after I swigged a giant glass of water. (Also, this is not a beach read)

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarred Shusterman

By Jenny Naughton

JENNY NAUGHTON and her husband share their 1930's era Chicago home with four sons and a daughter. A voracious reader, Jen reviews books before their release for dozens of publishers on her page: Windy City Reader. Jen also blogs (on WordPress!) about classical, mostly secular, home education at Good Enough Homeschool.
In her spare time, she runs an online book club for teens and helps other home educating family match their kids with the perfect book for them.
You can find Jen misbehaving on social media on
Twitter: @jennynau10

4 replies on “Dry”

I bought this book but I still haven’t read it. Shusterman is a favourite of mine. Your review has me excited to dig in, but also a little anxious, haha.

It was pretty stressful! Haha, riveting indeed. The plot was definitely well-thought out. More than once I had to pause and take a breath after being shocked by something.

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