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Monday, December 12, 2011

MEN in YA: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (Review + GIVEAWAY)

Genre:Young Adult, Thriller, Dystopia
Publication.Date  January 1st 2011
Pages:240
Published By:  Sourcebook Fire
WebsiteCameron Stracher
The Water Wars - Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository




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.

"Let us pray that the world which Cameron Stracher has invented in The Water Wars is testament solely to his pure, wild, and brilliant imagination, and not his ability to see the future. I was parched just reading it."-Laurie David, academy award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth, and author of The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming
(goodreads.com)





We lived then in time of drought and war. The great empires had fallen and been divided. The land was parched and starved for moisture, and the men who lived on it fought for every drop.
Out tongues were like thick snakes asleep in dark graves.
"A butterfly beating its wings over Basin today," Mrs. D. said "can change tomorrow's weather two thousand kilometers away."
In a pinch I could drink tap water, but that could really make a person sick. The hospitals wouldn't even treat a patient who drank tap water; they claimed it was a "self inflicted" injury. 



    
     In his most recent novel, Cameron Stracher paints a vivid picture of what the world could become if the water shortage were to occur. It's a realistic and terrifyingly plausible scenario that will definitely make you reflect on many political and economical issues of modern times. The Water Wars is a dark and disturbing environmental thriller. It carries a profound message that will resonate with readers.

      Cameron Stracher created a breathtakingly grim and horrifying reality. A world almost completely deprived of water. Or with not enough water left for people to live normally. Just the idea of that makes me instantly thirsty and, frankly, I can't imagine anything more horrible than dying from thirst. In fact, that's exactly what happened in the world created by Stracher. Hundreds of millions of people have died due to dehydration. There is no free access to drinking water anymore. Lakes, rivers, ponds.. everything have dried up and now the only source of drinking water is controlled by the government. The government gets to decide how much water you get per week. They can also send you to jail for wasting it, even if its just a few spilled drops.

      Vera and Will get by just fine on the Government assigned rations. Sure, they sometimes have to survive a day or two without drinking anything, and even the water they get to drink, the one provided by The Water Authority, isn't anything like the fresh water in old days - it's a desalinated ocean water that tastes of chemicals and something burned. That is all they have, though, they can either drink it or die. Many people, including their mother, get sick and no one can tell whether it's the water, the air, or something else. Will, however, is convinced that it's something in the water that is making people ill. When they meet Kai, a mysterious boy who seems to have access to fresh water, they're intrigued and hopeful. Before they can learn his secret, though, Kai disappears. Moreover, evidence point to him being kidnapped! Vera and Will decide to find him. That, however, proves to be 100 times more difficult and more dangerous than they expected!

      May I be absolutely and painfully honest? (Permission granted? Alright then...) I wanted to love this book so much. It seemed like s thrilling, profoundly meaningful read with a fascinating premise and well-thought out plot line. And then there was this drool inducing quote at the cover, suggesting this book to be "a rousing adventure in the tradition of The Hunger Games" and yes, I drool at every mention of Suzanne Collins' fabulous trilogy. Maybe it was the totally missed comparison that took away the pleasure of reading this book, maybe I just expected something totally different, or maybe I just had a bad week or something. I don't know. I just can't help to feel slightly disappointed with this read. What promised to be another brilliant and ground-shaking dystopia, turned out to be more of a bitter political rant. Well written, interesting and meaningful, but a rant nevertheless. I absolutely loved the premise and found this book to be utmost brilliantly written. Intelligent, thought-provoking, disquieting and often scary. But I would never in a thousand years compare it to Hunger Games or any other YA dystopian story. Why? Because, in my opinion, it should not have been written as a Young Adult in the first place. It didn't have the typical YA feel to it. The parts where author tried to convince us that he wrote a book for teens where not convincing enough. Sadly, they felt forced and awkward. It often felt as if Cameron Stracher had to hold back to fit the story into YA frames. I felt there was so much more he wanted to say, but had to bite his tongue, make it look nicer than it was so that the kids wouldn't get scared too much. I have a feeling I would enjoy this story so much more if only it was an adult book!

      I had a hard time connecting with the characters and ended up not caring about what will happen to them. Their actions seemed quite random and, well, weirdly motivated. Would I risk everything for someone I just met? Probably not. One might argue they weren't really interested in helping Kai, maybe they just wanted to save him because he held the secret to fresh water source. I guess that would make sense, considering they needed water badly for their sick mother and themselves. But at the same time I didn't feel like they needed it at all. I didn't pick up any stronger emotions coming from Vera and Will, no heartbreaking thirst, no burning desire to save Kai. They didn't seem overly concern with their mother's well-being either. Their emotions were flat, gray, non-existent. They didn't know Kai well enough to care about him. They met him how many times? Twice? There was no reason for this weird rescue mission at all.

      The storyline is anything but fast-moving. I found it to be quite slow, even dragging at times. It's not necessary a bad thing, I kind of liked it that way. The narrative voice seemed quite authoritative and wise, which was one of the things that made me feel that it shouldn't have been a YA book. There is some action, though, and quite a few moments when I actually shifted uncomfortably in my chair, so yes, you could say the story was quite gripping. Once you get past the bland characters and their arbitrary choices, you get quite an interesting and compelling book. Not exactly a page-turner or a wild thrill ride, but definitely a solid, absorbing, well thought-out and intriguing read. The Water Wars' power lays in its strong scientific basis and the fact that a scenario like this one could easily be part of our own future. It's a book worth reading.




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Thanks to the fabulous 
SOURCEBOOKS FIRE
I have one copy of The Water Wars up for grabs!
To be eligible to win all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and enter through Rafflecopter below.
This giveaway is open to US only (sorry guys, Publisher's request!)
Ends: December 30th


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This review is posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)


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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing

56 comments:

Kat said...

I'm disappointed that it didn't meet your expectations. I will still probably end up reading it, though, because the summary just sounds so good! :)

Evie said...

@Kat Thanks for commenting! :) The summary sounds really good, right?! It's not a bad read at all, just not as great as I'd expect a book to be when it's compared to Hunger Games :)

Lena said...

I tried to do the out my name in the GRC thing for the rafflecopter but it didn't work.
my GFC is Lena Marsteller

Lena said...

Thanks!!! for the giveaway!!!!

ashley said...

Wow I feel like I would have the same reaction I was so excited when I read the premise but then everything was not what I expected. I can say I was disappointed and this did not feel like a YA book for me either!

I Love the cover though its just awesome!

Christy (Love of Books) said...

Ah, this sounds like something I would like. I mean, Cadillac Desert is one of my favorite books, so I'm weird like that. lol.

I wasn't able to enter my GFC name, but it's what I'm posting with now. And I entered as Christy D.

manda-rae said...

The plot sounds intriguing. For some reason, I'm thinking of the movie "Water World". Thanks for the giveaway!

Evie said...

@Lena Sorry the new rafflecopter totally sucks! ;/ Thanks for entering tho! :)

@Ashley Yeah, the cover is absolutely gorgeous! I keep on staring at it even now! :D

@Christy I know, the new rafflecopter SUCKS! ;/ Thanks for commenting and entering! :

@manda-rae Water World hahah :D I didn't think about that! :) You're welcome, fingers crossed!

M.A.D. said...

GFC Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.]
zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

I'm thoroughly fascinated by the concept behind The Water Wars [plus that cover is wicked awesome!]... kudos to Cameron for such an epic debut novel!!! :D
This is going on my TBR list asap, and I'm crossing fingers & toes to win lol

Bookish in a Box said...

I'm disappointed that The Water Wars wasn't amazing but it sounds like it's got some thought-provoking moments.

Lieder Madchen said...

This sounds like an interesting story, even if not one that is a lot of fun. It sounds a little like Dune to me with all the politics and lack of water, and, since I love that book, I have a feeling I will enjoy this one. :) Thanks for the chance!

tattoogirlreads said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I've been wanting to read this for a long time. But it is disappointing that the book doesn't meet up to your expectations.

Rafflecopter, FB, & Network Blogs Name: Michael Byers
GFC Name,: Mai in Wonderland
Google Plus: Mai Speak

Evie said...

@Bookish in a Box Yes it does! it's definitely a food for thought kind of book! If you like that kind of reads, I'm fairly sure you will enjoy it!

@Lieder Madchen I so need to read Dune! :) Thanks for the comment!

@tattoogirlreads It's slightly disappointing, but mainly because it was totally unnecessary to compare this book to Hunger Games. It's very misleading!

@M.A.D. HAH! It's definitely one of the most beautiful covers I've seen this year! :) Fingers crossed for ya!

Thanks for all the lovely comments!

Melissa said...

I couldn't get Rafflecopter to let me enter my GFC name either, but it's Melissa R.

Now I understand your tweeting frustration earlier! =)

SpadesHighReads said...

Holy cannolly that is an updated/high techy rafflecopter entry!! I seriously hope I did it all right, I entered using via facebook =) Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I've been wanting to read this one ever since I saw the cover for the first time. It rocks.

Giselle said...

I LOOVE this cover so I knew this book wasn't going to be amazing haha. It sounds sounds alright though but if I can't connect with the characters that's usually a deal breaker for me.

Giselle
Xpresso Reads

Julie S said...

Hmm it still sounds pretty interesting even if it does move slow. I prefer fast moving plots also.

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...

Wow, read your review, Hopefully it's not the same for everyone, though the plot for the book is great, maybe with the way it was written maybe the author could have put it as a adult instead of teen. Bland characters though...XD

ebaker said...

I'm sorry that you didn't like it as much as you thought you would. I still want to read it and I love the cover it is intriguing!

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

Just thinking about this book scares me a little bit! ok, a lot. I can't imagine a world without water.

I think the slow pacing would bother me a little bit. I have been so busy lately, that when I sit down to read a book I like it to go somewhere.

I think it sounds like a really interesting concept though so I would like to see how it plays out.

Asenath said...

I thought the premise of this book was really cool, but it didn't live up to my expectations either. Still, I think some of my students might like it.

latishajean said...

Thank you for sharing your review I do love the cover would still like to read it! Thank you for the great giveaway!I could not put my GFC name in! GFC-latishajean

Arianne Cruz said...

GFC: Arianne Cruz
Not sure if I like a slow-pace book but the blurb sounds interesting enough! Another dystopian novel?

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

I'm glad the novel continues with its promised theme, even if it doesn't fit into the YA category very well. I actually somewhat disliked The Hunger Games and other dystopias that focus on the action, arena-like fighting plit rather than the deeper social implications.

druidgirl said...

Thanks for the giveaway


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

Karli said...

The cover IS really gorgeous on this. I read it about... 2 weeks ago? Maybe more. It was OK, but I wasn't blown away by it. Great review!

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

ok, wow. this one has been on my tbr since the second i first heard of it. and honestly, i think i still want to give it a go. the premise sounds incredibly fascinating, and i love the way that you mention that it would be a better adult fiction book -- because i think MANY times that is the case...

still, i desperately WANT to give this one a whirl. i can't imagine living in this plotline in real life, so i'd like to experience it through a read.

i LOVE when you mention this --> "quite a few moments when I actually shifted uncomfortably in my chair, so yes, you could say the story was quite gripping" --> that makes me kind of want to read it even more...so even though this fell a little flat for you, evie, you've sort of pumped it up a little bit for me. i wonder if the comparison to the hunger games might have been what made it fall flat for you? i think sometimes that does it for me.

at any rate, another brilliant review, and i love the honesty. thank you!! xoxo

April X said...

It sounds interesting, I think I'll give it a try when it comes out :) I remember voting for a cover for this book, I don't really remember what site or why they were letting people online choose the cover, but I really like this one :)

(It was TeenFire, all the way back in 2010 lol)

Bhand35 said...

Always a pleasure to read your review thank you. I'll be picking this one up.

Adriana C said...

The description sounds good and I like the cover.

Mandroid said...

I'm disappointed to hear that it's slow moving. The subject matter is pretty unique and it sounded really intriguing. I think I would still like to give it a try, though perhaps it's not so high up on my TBR list anymore.

Sam said...

The first time I've come across this book! Even though you didn't think it was quite worth 5 stars, I'm still pretty intrigued by the description (and the cover!) so would love to pick it up soon and see what I make of it. A great review! :)

samantha35 said...

great giveaway
follow via gfc
drakebdog@gmail.com

BookStacksOnDeck said...

Great giveaway! I've been wanting to read this for awhile! Sorry you didn't enjoy it more :(

BooksforCompany said...

I find that it's always more disappointing when you want to like a book but can't!
Sounds like you have food reasons as to why you couldn't get into it.

Nedraw said...

I'm always so disappointed when a book doesn't live up to my expections. I would definitely have bought this one though just based on the cover and type of story.
Thanks for the giveaway!

I could not enter my GFC name in the RC either. GFC is Nedraw

vampireprincess said...

Shows awesome cover may mean a bad book

Anna said...

I've been wanting to read this for quite some time (mostly because of the stunning cover), but I might have to skip this one now. Thanks for your great review :)

Krysykat said...

I loved this quote '"A butterfly beating its wings over Basin today," Mrs. D. said "can change tomorrow's weather two thousand kilometers away."'

entered under Krysta B.
GFC- Krysta Banco
+1: Krysta Banco
Networked Blogs- Krysta Banco

ItszLo said...

THIS BOOK LOOKS AWESOME!!!!

Hoot said...

I love the sound of this book. I can’t wait to read it.

Bybyutza said...

I saw this book 2 mouths ago.I love the cover and the summary but i was realy sad because that book it's not in my country:(

My name on GFC: Bybyutza

Danielle Smiley said...

Impressive review. I do also love the premise and am definitely intrigued enough to want to read this and would love to win it.

Thanks for offering a giveaway!

I'm a new follower and fellow blogger. Here's my link...

http://knowntoread.blogspot.com/

:)
Danielle
artist_wanna_be@yahoo.com

Danielle Smiley said...

Hey! I can't find the network blog box or the +1 .... let me know if I'm blind or they are missing. lol.

Thanks!
Danielle
artist_wanna_be@yahoo.com

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...

Seems like its bit different... & Interesting!

K . R . Guidera said...

Wow, I am loving that cover...might have to check this one out!

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

Thanks for review. I think I need to check out even knowing the negative aspects.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Thanks for your honest review. If I ever get the chance to read this, it will definitely be for the science and the satire, but not for the story. I don't like implausible plots any more than you do, but I am very curious about the premise of this dystopia. We already say that there's "something in the water" all the time, so Cameron Stracher must have at least tapped into the right paranoid vein.

andrea b said...

from the start I liked the premise (and the cover!), but if the book isn't really that much like YA (and as you mention, slow) then I'm not so sure if I'd enjoy it that much...
I'll still keep it in mind, I may end up reading it eventually...

thanks for the review!

medinahusa said...

Really interesting plot. The only thing that bothers me is how you said it was kind of hard to connect with the characters. In my opinion, that's what makes a book a great book.

Grace Lo said...

I've heard of The Water Wars somewhere, but just forgot about it. I'm sorry that you felt it wasn't amazing, but I'll still go check it out. Thank you for the honest review!

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

To be honest I've only ever heard of this book two weeks ago by accident. I loved the cover but wasn't sure how interesting it would be

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

To be honest I've only ever heard of this book two weeks ago by accident. I loved the cover but wasn't sure how interesting it would be

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

To be honest I've only ever heard of this book two weeks ago by accident. I loved the cover but wasn't sure how interesting it would be

Jaime Lester said...

I tried this one. I really did. I don't DNF often, and I don't like to do it. It makes me feel like crap. But sometimes, it happens and it can't be helped. I have such a huge TBR pile, and there are tons that I want to read. When one just doesn't fit, it doesn't fit.

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