What would you choose? Your life.. or your soul?
When enduring a crisis that is threatening the lives of thousands of people, choosing between ethics and survival becomes a challenge. Dry is a dystopian novel set in Southern California where a sudden and complete water shortage occurs. The story focuses on the journey of Alyssa, Garett, Kelton, and Jacqui. As the novel progresses, the series of events that take place become more and more startling. The authors do a wonderful job of projecting the sanity of the public, slowly spiralling out of control. Almost every interaction between the characters and the public is nerve-wracking, and always leaves you wondering… what would I have done in their place?
This novel is structured very uniquely. ‘Snapshots’ are placed throughout the novel, which focus on the lives of different people and how they were impacted by the ‘Tap Out’. In the ‘snapshots’ we see different people affected by the crisis in different ways. Many succumbed to violence, and others were forced to make some drastic decisions in order to get the smallest amount of water. As the snapshots were placed throughout the novel, it created both a deepening sense of despair, as well as a kind of rude awakening towards human nature.
It just goes to show how deeply unprepared we are if something like this were to happen in today’s society.
The character development in this book is a thing to be noted. Not a single character remained the same as how they started in the novel. Every battle to survive changed each character in subtle ways, which built up to true character development towards the end. The relationships the characters build with each other is a testament to how bonds can be created even in the most unlikely situations.
Dry is a very thought-provoking novel and honestly such a slap in the face. We as a population are truly unprepared for a water crisis of any scale. Yet we’re happily willing to ignore this truth and move on with our daily lives as if it isn’t inevitable.
This novel isn’t much of an exaggeration, it’s a projection of our future generations. Our leaders have a habit of believing that we’re invincible somehow… that this could never happen to us, tending to sit back and relax till the problem is just at our doorsteps.
I read Dry while in quarantine due to COVID-19. The way our leaders handled the virus was eerily similar to the oblivious and reckless decisions made by the leaders in the book. Their shortsightedness led to numerous avoidable deaths. Many people also acted as if they were somehow invincible to this virus letting it spread exponentially rather than be responsibly following self quarantine.
In both the book and our society, the cumulative shortsightedness of the public and the government proves to be catastrophic. Unfortunately the majority of our population is composed of, as Kelton’s father calls them, sheeps who let themselves blindly believe in the system to take care of them and are completely unwilling to acknowledge the inevitability of real danger.
But all in all, Dry is a really amazing read. There is a great deal of character development and the creation of the bonds between them is captivating. The ending is fitting and leaves the reader satisfied.