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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Parched After Reading~ "The Water Wars" by Cameron Stracher

Published by:  Sourcebooks Fire
Young Adult Fiction
Pages:  240

Book Summary :

Hundreds of millions of people have already died, and, millions more will soon fall--victims of disease, hunger, and war.  The rivers have dried up, the polar caps have melted, and drinkable water is now in the hands of the powerful few.  There are fines for wasting it and prison sentences for exceeding the quotas.

But Kai didn't seem to care about any of this.  He stood in the open road drinking water from a plastic cup, then spilled the remaining drops into the dirt.  He didn't go to school, and he traveled with armed guards.  Kai claimed he knew a secret--something the government was keeping from us...

And then he was gone.  Vanished in the middle of the night.  Was he kidnapped?  Did he flee?  Is he alive or dead?  There are no clues, only questions.  And no one can guess the lengths to which they will go to keep him silent.  We have to find him--and the truth--before it's too late for all of us.

The Bookish Dame's Review:

Cameron Stracher has an important message to give us about the dire need to recognize the probable shortage of water.  Sadly, he was not able to deliver it in his young adult fiction.

"The Water Wars" simply falls short of being a good book for YA's, or even adults interested in YA fiction.  Why?  Because 90% of the book is interior dialog by the narrator and female protagonist, Vera.
And, because the story is so laden with names of environmental and waring factions and government agencies that one becomes lost in which is which.  And, because of the lack of engaging dialog, warmth of character interaction, and development, and introduction of semi-engaging but too splintered "heros," the book fails to keep us involved. 

I understand, as I mentioned above, the importance of Stracher's message, but this is probably not the medium to use to get it across.  Or, perhaps a closer investigation of YA fiction would bring him more in line with what interests and would hold the attention of readers.  I fear with Mr. Stracher's impressive resume and education (Amherst, Harvard Law and Iowa Writers' Workshop...and he's a media lawyer) someone's been too intimidated to be honest about his writing for YA's.

In this case, I have to give this book a 2 stars.  I cannot recommend it.  I had difficulty getting through it, myself, and found it dull.




It's too bad this book doesn't live up to it's promise, because I do think water is going to become a precious commodity in the not too distant future.

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