What’s Ashley Reading?: Dry

Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman

First line: The kitchen faucet makes the most bizarre sounds.

Summary: When a severe drought hits California people are forced to make extreme choices in order to survive. Cutting back on water usage sounds doable until the water runs dry. As people start to experience life threatening thirst they become animals. Life has become a war zone and people are going to die.

Alyssa, a high school student in California, is shocked when the faucets stop working. Her family try to stay calm and find new water sources. However, when they don’t return from a water run Alyssa decides that she has to take matters into her own hands to keep herself and her younger brother alive. With the help of the neighbor boy, and his prepper family, she thinks that maybe they will survive the Tap-Out until one night when the rest of the neighborhood turns on them.

My Thoughts: This story felt oddly familiar. I feel like in a way we are living this reality right now. People are scared. The world has changed. Life is almost unrecognizable. I don’t know if this made the book even more intriguing or scarier.

I have to say that I learned a lot about dehydration and how the human body needs water for survival. Hopefully this will never become a reality because it is terrifying. I found myself drinking a lot more water while reading this.

I enjoyed the characters. There were some I liked and others not. I liked how the author incorporated news casts, snapshots into other people during the crisis and then sometimes gave those snapshots bigger parts later in the story. My heart was pounding and I could not put the book down during the last 150 pages. I had to know if Alyssa and her crew were going to survive.

I love that Shusterman brings important issues to teens. Water conservation is something we need to be careful about and plan for at one point. I highly recommend reading this. It gives a scary but realistic view into what could be a future world disaster.

FYI: Also try Scythe by the same author!

*This is my pick for category #11 (A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) novel or book about a natural disaster) for the ReadICT challenge.*

What’s Ashley Reading?: Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

First line: We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill.

Summary: Society has finally learned to conquer death. The world is no longer starving, dying from disease or dying in general. However, one small problem remains. Overpopulation. The solution is the Scythedom. Scythes are people who are chosen and trained to take human lives in order to keep the population of Earth to a manageable level.

When Citra and Rowan are chosen by Honorable Scythe Faraday as his apprentices they are less than thrilled. Life as a scythe is one of isolation and loneliness not to mention death. As their training commences they learn that there is more to the Scythedom than they originally knew including some darker secrets at its core.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved and devoured this book! It was recommended to me by one of the booksellers at Watermark Books. I finally bought myself a copy because I could not wait for the library one to come back in. I am so happy that I did. It was fast, fun and crazy. So many different twists and turns. I loved the characters. The world is fascinating. Shusterman did a great job of creating a real Utopia but also bringing in some very dark themes as well. As soon as I finished it I immediately downloaded the digital copy from Sunflower eLibrary. If you need something to suck you in from the very beginning then this is that book!

FYI: Lots of death and violence but I don’t think it is over the top. It would be hard to avoid this topic in a book all about bringers of death.