Dry, by Neal and Jarod Shusterman


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Hardcover, First Edition, 390 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Original Title
1481481967 (ISBN13: 9781481481960)
Edition Language

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; neighbours 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.


My Thoughts…

This book was so amazing, when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it.  That is just how invested I was into this book.  I knew Neal Shusterman could write an amazing book from reading Scythe and Thunderhead but writing with his son makes the book even more a masterpiece. Also make sure you have plenty of water handy while reading this book, I drank so much water while reading it was crazy!


I loved all of these characters, and was very attached to each one of them.  We of course start out the book following Alyssa and her family.  I of course grew attached to her younger brother and his innocence very fast.  Alyssa starts off the book showing how smart she is when they first get the water shut off.  I couldn’t believe how ingenious some of this plans were in this book, I would’ve loved to have seen the web browser of both Neal and Jarod during the writing of this book.  She’s not sure who she can and cannot trust in this book.  It’s amazing who will stick up for you in the end.

Kelton while starting out as the “creepy” neighbor turns out to be super helpful with all of his dooms day prepping.  Honestly now I’m kind of hoping one of my neighbors is a doomsday prepper.  At first he flip flops back and forth on whether he strong enough in this new world of a dry CA.  I really enjoyed getting his POV every single time we got it in the book.  He had a lot of extra insight I would’ve never thought of during this trying time.  His feelings were also very valid and needed to make the book what it is.

Jacqui is such a wild card character; you never know what she is going to do next.  I loved her spitfire, it was just what the other two characters seemed to be lacking here or there.  Her backbone from where she was before the Tap-Out began has led to her being the one they lean on when things get tough.  She even gets Garret the younger brother going at some points where I wonder if his innocence will be forever scarred from this situation.

This book was so fast paced, and very well thought out.  I am so impressed that father and son wrote so fluidly together.  I hope they do many projects together in the future.


About the Authors..

Jarrod ShustermanJarrod Shusterman is the author of the short story “UnDevoured” in bestsellingUnBound. He writes for film and television, and his talents extend to directing films and commercials. He was the story producer on the television movie Zedd—Moment of Clarity, and he and his father Neal Shusterman are adapting Dry for the screen. Jarrod lives in Los Angeles but enjoys traveling internationally, and is currently studying Spanish. He can be found on Instagram @JarrodShusterman.


Neal ShustermanAward-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal’s talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful “How to Host a Mystery” game for teens, as well as seven “How to Host a Murder” games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.

Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers — such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.

Of Everlost, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure…”

Of What Daddy Did, Voice of Youth Advocates wrote; “This is a compelling, spell-binding story… A stunning novel, impossible to put down once begun.

Of The Schwa Was Here, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman’s characters–reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli–are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children’s classics.

Of Scorpion Shards, Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept, and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination makes it stunningly believable. A spellbinder.”

And of The Eyes of Kid Midas, The Midwest Book Review wrote “This wins our vote as one of the best young-adult titles of the year” and was called “Inspired and hypnotically readable” by School Library Journal.

Neal Shusterman lives in Southern California with his children Brendan, Jarrod, Joelle, and Erin, who are a constant source of inspiration!




Have you read Neal Shusterman before? Or any of his son’s work?? 

7 thoughts on “Dry, by Neal and Jarod Shusterman

  1. Oh man. This book sounds terrifying! Why must we torture ourselves with these types of novels?!?!

    I’ve never read a Shusterman book, but Scythe is high on my TBR list.

    Can we also appreciate the fine male specimen that is Jarrod Shusterman? LOL


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