The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
The drought that ultimately leads to the Tap-Out in Southern California begins slowly. So slowly, the citizens of SoCal don’t realize they’re in trouble until it’s too late and the taps run dry. Alyssa and her young brother, Garrett find themselves alone after their parents leave for provisions and don’t return. Along with their weird neighbor and disaster prepper, Kelton, the kids embark on a harrowing journey to survive the Tap-Out.
This horrific fantasy could easily become tomorrow’s headlines if we don’t make the necessary changes to reverse the damage we’ve done to our world. I respect the authors for their tireless research to bring the reality of such a situation to the forefront of their reader’s minds. The book is dedicated to “all those struggling to undo the disastrous effects of climate change.” Clean, drinkable water is such a readily available resource to those in the developed world that we take it for granted. But how long would we last if that readily available resource suddenly vanished? Humans can survive three, maybe four days without water. In a disaster such as the Tap-Out depicted in Shusterman’s Dry, the window of opportunity for FEMA and other disaster relief organizations to react is just too narrow as Alyssa and Kelton experience almost immediately during the rush to gather available resources in the first few days of the Tap-Out before Marshall Law is enforced.
The story is told from alternating points of view from a variety of characters. Each of the main characters has an important story to tell. Snapshots from seemingly random people are also disbursed throughout the book, showing an almost news article-like look into these random characters—some we get to see again before the end.
Masterfully told, Dry will make you rethink everything you know about water and remind you you’re only a few sips away from your own life or death disaster.