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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Drought

Drought (ARC) by Pam Bachorz Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: January 25th, 2011
Pages: 400
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from publisher.

Synopsis via Goodreads
Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.

She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Drought is a dark, intense story about a girl forced to choose between leaving her world in hopes of love and a better life for herself, or staying to sustain the grim life of the only family she's ever known, a family that won't save themselves.

Ruby is a strong, independent thinker who longs for a better life than the one she's been told is her duty to live. I thought she was a very well-developed protagonist and I loved watching her grow and gradually come to realizations about the Congregation. Her motives changed as the story progressed but in a believable way that furthered her character dynamically. Ruby's emotions were both raw and relatable, allowing me to connect with her even more. Then there was Ford, whom, like Ruby, I knew I probably should hate. And while there were times when I did hate his actions, I never truly hated Ford and I found myself liking him just as much as Ruby did. I also think that, being the reader, I was able to have a more unbiased perspective regarding Ford, thus being able to feel a bit more understanding towards him. Furthermore, I did often resent his naivety when it came to truly comprehending what all was going on right before his eyes. Drought also had an array of well-crafted supporting characters including: Ruby's mother, Darwin, Jonah, Ellie, Hope, and more. Some of these characters I had mixed feelings about while others I hated. However, they were all thoroughly developed, distinctly written, and beneficial to the plot.

When I began Drought, I was expecting something that was more dystopian than what I got. Instead, the elements were more along the lines of the cult variety with a touch of historical and paranormal blended in. However, I actually found myself thoroughly compelled by the story, even if it wasn't quite what I'd been expecting. The society of the Congregation that Bachorz has created is vividly imagined and engrossing, not to mention a little disturbing and twisted. The action is evenly dispersed throughout the story and, though sometimes subtle, was always effective. My only true problem with Drought lay within the fact that there was just not enough background concerning the Congregation and Otto. Without that history I sometimes found certain aspects of the plot to be a bit unbelievable or confusing. I couldn't grasp why the Congregation allowed themselves to continuously suffer for so long and there were things about them I just couldn't understand. It was this lack of background history and information that held me back from truly loving this book.

Bachorz's writing style was my favorite part of Drought. She did a haunting, yet beautiful job setting the scene and atmosphere of the story. I felt inexplicably drawn in and captivated by her writing, which flowed swiftly and smoothly.

I had some mixed feelings about the ending, which might be odd because you'd think I would have been happy with the way things worked out. Maybe it is because of how Candor ended that had me expecting something slightly more bittersweet. As a matter of fact, I had thought the ending was headed that way until a certain small twist occurred. Despite that though, while the ending wasn't quite what I'd hoped for, I thought it worked out fairly well.

All in all, Drought is a refreshing and quick read that, despite it's plot flaws, immediately caught hold of my attention and held it firmly through the end. Drought may not be everyone's cup of tea but if it sounds like something you'd like, then I definitely suggest picking it up. That being said, I wouldn't recommend reading this on the sole basis that you enjoyed Bachorz's previous novel, Candor, because while I did enjoy both, the two books are completely different. I certainly look forward to reading more of Bachorz's work in the future.

Characters: B+
Writing: A-
Plot: B-
Ending: B-
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B

Overall: B

Cover: A

Buy it now: Amazon / Kindle / Book Depository


кєяo said...

I like the cover and the book sounds great too.
кєяo's Book Blog

Naj said...

I love how you manage to always bring the good side of the book out despite its flaws. :D A quick and refreshing read? I'd like that as well as to venture into Pam Bachorz's writing. I haven't read anything of hers yet. Thanks for this review Bri!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Wonderful review Briana! You really gave me a feel for the book without giving anything away. I had wanted to read Drought from the moment I saw it, but after reading so many so-so reviews, I decided to put it off. I think I'll have to reconsider it now because even though it's not as dystopian as you expected, it still sounds like a well-written story.

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Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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