Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Published: January 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
My Rating: 5 stars
Tags: YA | Sci-Fi | Adventure | Dystopian
First Lines: The year before he joined the Reclamation, when he was still seventeen, my brother Will set a new high score at the YouToo! booth at the gaming center.
Saying the world was experiencing a drought would be an understatement. In Vera's world, fresh water is almost impossible to lay your hands on. Which is why the remaining drinkable water belongs to the government and there are serious laws about wasting water. In this futuristic world, millions of people have died or gotten sick and everyone is battling to survive. Then Vera meets Kai - a mysterious boy who doesn't even hesitate to spill his remaining drops of water on the ground. They quickly become close friends, until one day he goes missing. Vera and her brother Will set out on an adventure to find him, not letting anything get in their way.
By the first few pages my mouth was already dry. This fantastic author has a way with words and he vividly described the earth so well that I had to continue getting up and getting a drink of water. He created a frightening futuristic world, that I hope we will never live to see. I liked how Stracher provided the background information of how the world became so dry throughout the novel. He didn't just compile it all into the first chapter, but instead weaved it into the novel so that the reader didn't fully understand until halfway in. This story was full of adventure, action, amazing characters, and a suspenseful and creative plot.
From page 3
Once there had been a row of stores at the edge of the lot, but now all that remained were the skeletons that scavengers hadn't sold for scrap. Torn insulation and loose wire dangled like innards from pitted aluminum struts. When the wind blew, they made a sound like mourning.
It took me awhile to dig into Vera's character. For a long time it just felt like she could be any girl and she wasn't that memorable of a main character that I longed for. However, as the story progressed, she became much more independent and courageous - she knew what she wanted and was determined to make it happen. I grew really fond of the two allies she and her brother made along the way, too. So even though I did want a little more characterization, I think the intense plot and book overall made up for it. I never got bored; there was always a new adventure waiting to unfold. At times it seemed like Vera and Will had too much luck on their side, but it was still a very fun and gripping read. I really admire the author's descriptive writing style, always having a little movie going on in my head of what was going on. Speaking of which, I think this would make a killer movie! The ending felt a little strained, it was kind of left open for the reader to decide what will happen. I was really impressed with this novel and urge everyone to flip open the pages and settle down with a nice cold glass of water, too.
Cover Thoughts: This cover is astounding. I love the effects and editing, how the picture wraps around to the back of the cover, and the text. Overall, this is such an eye-catching cover and really grabs your attention.