Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Drought

AUTHOR: Pam Bachorz
SERIES: none
PUBLICATION DATE: January 7, 2011
PAGES: 400
SOURCE: My library
GENRE: Hmm...Survival? Fantasy? Tough call on this one.
OVERALL RATING: Highly recommended; 4/5 stars

SUMMARY: Ruby and the other Constituents have survived much for the past 200 years, waiting for their leader and savior Otto to return so they can be free. Held as slaves and forced to collect scarce water from plant leaves all day, the Overseers beat Ruby's people daily and deny them food and water. When Ruby falls for the new Overseer, she knows it can only lead to trouble, especially if he discovers the secret in her blood.

WHAT I LIKED: When I start reading a book, I try very, very hard to keep my opinion uninfluenced by other reviews. Very positive reviews from others will lead me to high expectations, and I won't end up liking a book the way I might have otherwise. When I added Drought to my Goodreads list, I did notice the very low rating it has gotten from other readers. That's not a good sign, but I continued reading anyway. I am SO GLAD I did.

Drought pulled me in from the very first few pages. The concept is unique, and I read compulsively, finishing it at 4:00 this morning. It's unpredictable and I had absolutely no idea where Bachorz was going with it. Engrossed until the very end, I just HAD to know what was going to happen.

Characters are interesting and never cookie-cutter. I felt very sad when one of them dies tragically (I LIKED that character), and I kept hoping that maybe he wasn't really dead. Protagonist Ruby is a strong, but imperfect, young lady who gives freely to those who are sick, injured, or starving. Somehow, she never comes off as better than anyone else or saintly, and she is just as rebellious as any modern teenager. Her romance with Ford is realistic; it's not just this whirlwind romance where she just gets swept off her feet. Ruby and Ford know they can never be. They argue about their many differences and sometimes do the wrong thing.

I'm sure some readers will criticize the ending, but I found it sadly fitting. The Constituents have lived a certain way for so long, it's no wonder they fall right back into their routine once all the chaos dies down. What are they supposed to do, skip off into the city?

GREAT trailers! I love the dual perspectives; my students will love that. Both are included below.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I found myself really getting worked up about the Constituents and their passivity. FIGHT BACK,PEOPLE! Could fighting back really be as terrible as getting beaten every day for 200 years?

I was so sad when a certain character died. I liked him and thought hoped Ruby would end up with him instead. He is interesting and would have adapted well to the modern world. Sigh.

  • Language: very mild
  • Sexuality: mild-moderate; several kissing scenes, one intense
  • Violence: moderate; people are beaten with chains and starved; one character dies accidentally, another is murdered
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; one scene where Overseers presumably drink beer
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We received it fairly recently; it will be popular considering the number of students who love Candor. The trailers will be a hit with my kids, and I will also recommend Drought to students.



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