Jarrod Shusterman, Neal Shusterman

fiction science fiction young adult
dark tense fast-paced

390 pages | first published 2018

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival,

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

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summary of 864 ratings (see reviews)

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tense 94%
adventurous 84%
dark 78%
emotional 36%
challenging 31%
sad 21%
reflective 15%
informative 10%
funny 5%


fast 61%
medium 38%

Strong character development?

Yes: 81% | It's complicated: 12% | No: 6%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 33% | No: 33% | Yes: 27% | N/A: 5%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 56% | Yes: 31% | It's complicated: 6% | N/A: 6%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 70% | No: 17% | It's complicated: 11%

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