Book Description via Goodreads:
Welcome to a future where water is more precious than gold or oil-and worth killing for
Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget.
Source: Sourcebooks Fire, Paul Samuelson (Thank you!)
The earth has run out of water. What used to be something that was used for leisure was now used very wisely. Every drop mattered. Vera’s society craved for water. The loss of water and its importance in the world and in our lives was really shown in this novel. The loss extended to lifestyle, health and even life itself. Stracher created a world that was terrifying and slowly transitioning from full of life to lifeless. Death and suffering were everywhere. The violence in The Water Wars was done out of greed and desire for power, in pursuing self-interest. This kind of thing happens even in real life. It made the novel more realistic.
The Water Wars was a story of loss, hope and friendship. When I read the synopsis, I never expected that this novel would take me this far into its futuristic world. The element of surprise at everything that has taken place increased my admiration for this dystopian read. Vera was a very loyal and caring girl. She valued relationships so much. Seeing her interact with Will and her parents, no matter how strained at times, made me see how strong the ties were. The family dynamics and strong ties were something that I do not usually read about in YA novels. Most families were portrayed as disconnected. This kind of family was refreshing for me because it was close to what families here in the Philippines are like. Aside from that, Vera’s friendship to Kai – and crush – propelled her to keep looking for him. This was what I would call an innocent and pure infatuation. The romance between them was childlike, not really sweet but pure.
When Kai disappeared, Vera and Will went looking for him. What started out as a simple quest to look for Kai blew out for proportion and turned into a chaotic chase. Preconceived notions were proved wrong. The unexpected happened. With a new addition to the team, and an occasional loss, Vera and Will came face to face with the bitter reality.
I liked the hierarchy in this novel. The merging of politics and business was a nice touch. As always in dystopian novels, the controlling body never fails to be cruel, although the politicians played a smaller role than the businessmen. I just wished that the ‘water wars’ were explored more. I wanted to see the actual scenes of the wars. I appreciated the nonviolent ending though.
The Water Wars is a likable dystopian novel with an environmental thrust that will leave readers pondering about the next drop of water. I recommend this to fans of environment-related dystopian and patient readers.