Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well during this strange and scary time. As always, feel free to reach out to me if you want to chat through anything. Today I thought I would recommend a novel that has been on my mind since the COVID-19 outbreak… Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. This is an “end of the world” novel about the earth running dry, with no signs of water anywhere. It is incredibly written and super engaging. However, if you are feeling a bit anxious and scared about everything and would like something a little less pandemic-y, go check out my Top 5 Books to Read while Self-Isolating post! Those are some great, distracting reads that can provide an awesome escape.
I wanted to write this review on Dry because I couldn’t stop thinking about this novel. I actually read this book more than a year ago and I still think about it almost weekly. This book has multiple POV’s of different teenagers and their experience with the global drought. We follow Alyssa, a 16 year old girl, and her next door “survivalist” neighbour, Kelton. These two characters are thrown into this end of the world story in trying to save both of their families, and each of their character arcs are really well done and super interesting to read. I personally loved Alyssa because she had incredible love for her little brother who she was constantly looking out for and it was a great catalyst for the story.
This book is really spectacular because of the absolute realness that the Shusterman’s portray. While I was reading this novel I was actually scared for myself! The writing was so descriptive and immersive that I found myself feeling thirsty and needed to grab water to remind myself that this was a work of fiction. Although, it could definitely happen in real life. That was the scariest part. Even though I knew at that moment in time I was fine and had access to safe water, I knew that at some point we could enter a global drought and the end of the world would be happening.
I think now would be a great time to read this novel because of how relatable it is in our current global crisis. There is one scene that I think about constantly where Alyssa, her little brother, and their Uncle go to Costco to purchase water and other necessities and they are attacked by other customers. The shelves are barren at the store and people have turned selfish and immoral. Something that we have all experienced due to COVID-19. When I was reading this book back in 2018, I never thought I would enter a grocery store and see shelves upon shelves of emptiness. Clearly, I was wrong. It is insane to me that Jarrod and Neal were able to so accurately portray this crisis moment and how real it felt while reading it.
I remember when I read this book I was telling my dad about it because of how well it was written and the amazing immersive qualities it had. I was saying how scary it would all be and how I couldn’t even imagine experiencing something like that. I know a global drought and COVID-19 are very different things, but in a way, they are similar in the sense that the world has changed completely. There is no way the world could go back to normal after a global drought, at least for a few months, and that pertains to COVID-19 as well. We are going to be in this pandemic state for a while and I think reading a text like this will prepare us for what could possibly happen.
This book is definitely an eye-opener on how quickly people can turn selfish and immoral, but it is a must-read in my opinion, especially right now. This novel deals with so many hard hitting topics that are immensely relevant, and even though it is a work of fiction, everything written in that novel could happen in real life, and it is better to be prepared than scared.