The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Published January 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Hardcover, 240 Pages
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.
UH-OH, I think I already read this one......wait I think I watched it...it was that ridiculous movie called an Inconvenient Truth, you know the one that used special effect movie graphics as real Arctic footage only this version revolves around two teens- Vera and Will who are brother and sister and live in a world where water, beverages and food are all rationed and controlled. Water is scarce and like anything that makes the world go round country's and nations are up in arms against each other for the control and access to the little commodity of water that is left. The powerful always dominate the weak in society and in Vera's world governments horde water and give little of it to the citizens, making life almost intolerable with dry chemical showers and fake food. Daily living really isn't about future aspirations or happiness...its mostly consumed with where the next glass of water is coming from. Its amazing to think how useless and invaluable things become when daily survival depends on how much water you can get.
Things change for Vera and Will once they meet Kai, a boy with a limitless supply of water and the teens see a way to life that seems impossible. Fast friendship is formed and Vera even gets a little goo-goo eyed. Unfortunately though Kai shouldn't have been showing of his water supply- he attracts the wrong attention and gets himself abducted leaving Vera and Will in the dust. But those teens aren't going to let the
As far as character development, I thought Vera and Will had a realistic brother/sister relationship and carried enough realism to connect with readers, however the very mild romance Vera and Kai shared seemed very one-sided, thus Vera risking her life and willing to leap tall buildings in a single bound to show her devotion while Kai laps up all the water living life carefree. Wtcrap is that about? Haven't we heard of ladies first sucka? Needless to say I thought the romance was as dry as these characters dehydrated bodies.
The Water Wars was not what I was expecting, defiantly masked as a dystopian, but more for the "all that matters is the environment" readers. I have a hard time with the eco-friendly, forced down my throat go green crap, while Im big on recycling and doing things that help our world Im not a big supporter in all the brouhaha this marketing causes. I thought the over-the-top message took away from the story underneath and defiantly took away from any substance that the characters could have brought to the novel. I guess when it comes down to it WW can be viewed two ways:
- One- that has a realistic premise that will make you love it and want to recycle a little more or
- Two- will come across as a far-fetched Environmental push that may induce major eye rolling.
While written well for a fast teen read, I found this fall into Global Warming is killing us all- Al Gore preachy save the trees lecture novel. Most of us who are reading dystopian (ok maybe not must of us- but for sure me) read this genre to see a world that is unlike our own. A world without water as a resource...wow- brilliant concept...a world were political bureaucrats run everything and the government is trying to save all trees...um- yeah its called the United States. I should have known when I read greedy corporations in the synopsis that The Water Wars was going to be a load of political BS having really nothing to do with literature but a specific push in politics and Global Warming to the young reader still developing political cognizance.
The Water Wars can be enjoyed by most teens. Contains mostly environmental awareness- mild violence and mild if any language. While I wouldn't personally recommend this book, I would suggest you borrow it before purchasing.
Review Copy- ATWT