Published: October 2nd, 2018
Synopsis: Even after trying to conserve water, the taps run dry in Southern California. The story follows a group of teens on the dangerous journey to find the substance essential for life: water.
Oh man. I did not expect this book to give me all the feelings it did, or to make me a thirsty as it did. The story is mostly first-person, switching between our main characters, with brief “snapshots” of events not directly affecting the main characters or story. I thought this was a really clever way to really show the gravity of the situation without always having a news broadcast on or something in the background of the main story. I felt like there were plenty of twists in this book and I would figure out what they were right before they would happen, so I would just sit with my mouth open thinking “nooooo“. It was really intense and kept me gripped (and thirsty) the entire time.
I thought the characters were so-so and I didn’t particularly like any of them. At first, I honestly found them slightly annoying, but as the story went on, I was totally rooting for them. It was cool to see their little group grow, since it started with Alyssa and her younger brother Garret, who are joined by their neighbor Kelton, whose family are end of the world preppers. They are later joined by badass Jacqui and conman (conboy?) Henry. The group dynamics as they became more and more desperate were very interesting to read, especially since they were mostly strangers to each other and their personalities were fairly different.
The thing I loved most about this book was just seeing what people do in a dire situation like this. There were definitely people in this book who did whatever they had to do to survive, including stealing, killing, etc. But there were also people in this book that proved the strength that can come out of a disaster like this. There were a few examples in the book of people who joined together their resources to make sure they all survived, instead of trying to take advantage of anyone they came across that had water.
Overall, I thought this book was intense and important. The dedication of the book is to people who are helping reverse the effects of climate change, and I feel like that set the tone for the novel. Droughts and the lack of drinking water are just a small part of the changes our planet is going to see more of if we don’t do something about climate change. I think the scariest part of this story is that it isn’t just some made up dystopian situation; it is a reality.
I will end with my favorite quote from the book:
When we’ve lost the strength to save ourselves, we somehow find the strength to save each other.