How would you survive if there was no more water from the tap?


Alyssa Morrow lives with her brother Garett, their parents, and Uncle Basil. When the Tap Out hits, the five-person household needs to act quickly. California residents can no longer get drinking water from taps. While everyone else has gone to Costco to buy the last case of water, Alyssa had the idea to stock up on ice. Garett accidentally dropped bleach into their water supply, so it was now unusable. As a last resort, Alyssa’s parents go to the beach to collect desalinated sea water, but they never return. Now Alyssa and Garrett must venture out to a California that they couldn’t recognize and figure out how to survive.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I loved reading this book. It is an interesting way to emphasize the ongoing water crisis, particularly in California where droughts are common. I also liked the way Shusterman and Shusterman slowly changed the way they described scenery over the course of the novel to set the mood. It was clever, subtle, and it made the dystopia scary, yet beautiful in a way. Their descriptions, such as Alyssa, Garrett, and Kelton's first visit to the beach, really encourage the reader to look at how one's true colors come out in times of crisis.

The plot was creative and disturbingly somewhat easy to relate to. We've all had experiences, particularly in these unprecedented times, where we’ve gathered materials for an indefinite lockdown. Dry could also be used to raise awareness or foreshadow a coming crisis as we continuously diminish our limited stock of drinking water.

I recommend Dry to anyone 14 and older who is a fan of dystopian novels or environmental science. Teens and young adults can understand and appreciate everything that happens in the novel. The book would make a great gift to anyone interested in climate change and environmental problems, as well as any fans of Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who like realism with their dystopia will find Dry a compelling, thought-provoking, and interesting novel. Those who love science fiction, environmental science, and survival stories will enjoy this immensely.

Content Awareness Factors:

The story contains sexual situations and violence.

Type of Book:
This is a dystopian novel set in California that uses water shortages as its premise.
Educational Themes:

Could there be a "Tap Out" in your town? Ask your reader how they would prepare for it. As our reviewer points out, it is easy to talk about environmental crises (warning signs, planning, response) as well as human behavior in times of crisis.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
14 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
A definite buy for science fiction lovers.

Title Dry
Author Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2019 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781481481977
Material Paperback
Cost $12.99
Genres Family, Social Issues
be the star you are Cybils
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