1.24.2011

The Water Wars || by: C. Stracher

Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Pages: 240
Dessert: Apple Pie- crisp and flaky.
  
My Summary: To sum it all up, The Water Wars takes place in a futuristic world drained of Earth's most valuable resource, water. The government and a handful of unimaginably wealthy citizens controls access to what's left of the world's freshwater supply, and have developed artificial means of frugally sustaining life. The book focuses on a zealous teenage girl named Vera, who witnesses something unspeakable before the bus ride to school. The unmistakable act of a boy intentionally spilling water. Through this encounter, he and Vera grow to become something a little closer than friends. But of course, this is until she finds out he has a secret. A secret the world is willing to kill for. Welcome to a future where water is more precious than oil or gold. 


My Review: Everything about this book, even the cover, screamed DYSTOPIAN to me! I was so excited to see The Water Wars lined up on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. This book was released on January 1st, 2011, and even though it's 24 days later, I still wanted to get my review in before the end of the month. Anyhow, I have to admit the entire plot and futuristic feel weaved by Stracher was magical, in a hi-tech sort of way. The world is parched, and the author never forgets to remind us of the all the luxuries we take for granted. (I will relish every moment in a swimming pool from this day forth.) It was something like, a subliminal message to "conserve water". Not that I minded, since I think it's great authors are learning to turn their green messages into best-selling books. As much as I love the cover, it's not enough to cover up Stracher's inexperience in writing young adult literature. Everything seemed fascinating enough until I was halfway through this slim book and realized that I was becoming more and more disinterested. Towards the end of every couple chapters, the same thoughts would pop up:

1. The characters lack depth. It's clear that Stracher tried to portray Vera as the "headstrong and fearless" heroine, but she lacked many elements that would make that type of character phenomenal. Vera possesses a very limited emotional spectrum, ranging from scared to very scared. She's emotionally dependent on her brother, and I think he stops her character from blossoming into an independent young woman. Having a big brother and a lover are very different.

2. The plot does not build up. A 240 page book leaves very little room for bottling up suspense. I found myself skimming the pages from the halfway point all the way through the end. The journey itself was far from cliché, however all the action scenes felt clipped short and not very dramatic. Stracher describes very little of what Vera or any of the other characters feel, except maybe nervous, scared etc. and does not venture far out into any tactical explanation. 


3. The relationships between characters did not transition smoothly. This might have been my biggest pet peeve of all. 

Vera & Kai: Vera and Kai (the boy who spills water) meet and become familiar over a period of two months. Unfortunately, Stracher gives us very few details about their progressing relationship. As a reader, I didn't feel that trust building between them, and after a few pages of finally getting used to the prospect of Kai and Vera becoming more than friends, they suddenly start breathlessly making out.What?!? There was no constant rhythm or even romantic feel to their relationship, it seemed somewhat forced. 


Vera & Will: Sibling rivalries are very common, but Vera and Will are just the opposite. They get a long a little too well, sharing mattresses and even secrets. Vera's relationship with Will, I believe, disrupted the intentional romantic dynamics between her and Kai. Her brother loves her. Kai loves her. There's usually no question that the main love interest is the heroine's significant male figure, but Will seems to take more priority in Vera's life than Kai. 


Vera & Ulysses: Don't worry. It's not a love triangle. Ulysses is the capable leader of a motley pirate crew who see's Vera as a daughter figure. But what confused me was that she was fearing for her life one minute, and then caring for him like a father within the span of 5 pages. I don't see how they grew to be unbelievably close in the length of a chapter. 


4. The ending was weak. Worst of all, the ending was a disappointment. No author or reader wants to hear this, but it  just so happens that I have the unfortunate luck of informing you. It didn't seem like a very thought-out conclusion, and the plot was wrapped up in quick blur of events that didn't seem too important. What happened to the big government battle I was looking forward to? Will they be safe? How will the public react?  I'm not going to spoil anything, but I will end by saying that the story did not leave an impact.

Rate & Recommend?: I wouldn't hesitate to give this book a 2.5 out of 5. The plot, as it remains, is intriguing, but the author executed it poorly. It's sad to see a story of such great potential end weakly. The story lacked suspense and as I usually always love a headstrong heroine, I didn't find myself rooting for Vera. Although I wouldn't go so far as to not recommend this book, I would warn readers not to get their hopes up too high. 




4 comments:

  1. OO gosh, I was looking forward to this one. Maybe I will still add it anyhoo

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  2. I agree! I was highly anticipating this book, and the storyline sounded phenomenal, but there were just somethings that didn't add up. It still makes for a great adventure read!

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  3. Oh bummer about the book, but awesome review! Just discovered your site and I love your dessert rating. New follower.

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  4. oops, you don't have a follower button!

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