Book Review: Drought

Book Review: DroughtDrought by Pam Bachorz
Published by Egmont USA on January 25th 2011
Pages: 400

A young girl thirsts for love and freedom, but at what cost? 

Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved. 

When Ruby meets Ford—an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer—she longs to run away with him to the modern world where she could live a normal teenage life. Escape with Ford would be so simple.

But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possesses the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special—her blood—and it’s the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.

Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.

Drought is a thought-provoking novel that despite a few flaws had me quite captivated. It tells the tale of Ruby who lives in a cult like environment, and who longs for the day that her people can be freed from the tyrannical Darwin West.

The world that Pam Bachorz creates is quite different than what is found in your typical YA novel. In a lot of ways, it is a world within a world. You have the "normal" society which evolves and changes, then there is Ruby's world. A world that is frozen in time. From the beginning, I really wanted to like Ruby's world, but something held me back. Part of my issue centers around how choppy the details were while being revealed. Readers are given glimpses into this society one piece at a time. And while certain aspects work at making the world seem darker and more mysterious, others just frustrated me.

Drought's biggest highlight is how thought-provoking it is. A cult like society awaiting desperately for the return of their messiah. Having to endure inhumane living conditions and violence day after day just because of their belief in Otto. It is quite heart-wrenching to watch them endure so much for a person that may or may not ever return. And in a way, taking this glimpse into this society made me think about all the other cult like societies out there that society at large ignores.

Drought quite simply is not a novel for everyone. It is a dark and at times depressing look into a society that really does not know how to fight for itself. Even more it is really hard for me to place the novel into a specific category. The term dystopian has been associated quite a bit in reference to Drought. And while the novel does have some dystopian undertones, I personally would not categorize it as a dystopian novel per se. All in all, Drought was a pleasant read. The kind of novel that you not only read but feel.

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