by Pam Bachorz
# of Pages: 400
Age range: 14+
Release Date: Jan 25th
Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from struggling to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive--and Darwin rich. Escape from her certain, dreary existence, living as if it's still the early 1800s, when the Congregation was first enslaved. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient to the Water: her blood. So she stays, and prays to their savior Otto, who first gave Water to the Congregants... and fathered Ruby before he vanished.
When the Congregants discover Ruby's forbidden romance with an Overseer, they beat Ford to stop her from running away with him. Ruby steals their store of Water to save Ford's life and is banished. Ruby has everything she's dreamed of: a modern life with Ford. But the modern world isn't what she thought it would be, and Ruby can't forsake the Congregation. Love and loyalty push Ruby to return and fight for her family's freedom...at a terrible price.
Look at that cover, is it not fabulous or what? From the second I saw this book I was drawn to it, so props to the cover designer! Cover or not, this book is fascination. With an original plot that begs for attention and impressive writing I'm sure Drought will catch the eyes of many YA readers.
The book started off with main character, Ruby, working in the Forest with her mother, collecting water. I was a little confused as to what exactly was going on but within the next few chapters most questions get cleared up. Over 200 years old, Ruby and her community has lived under the brutal control of Darwin West, their slave master, waiting for their savior "Otto" to come and bring them to freedom. I will admit, the cult-like society Ruby lived in was a little weird and annoying at times but it helped develop the plot. With blood that heals, Ruby must provide for the society, and has never questioned her role, until she meets Ford.
Ford is a guard, but he is different from the many that watch and torment Ruby and her friends. He wants to help. And despite her better judgement Ruby starts a rocky relationship with him, one that will change her and the society forever. Done with being a prisoner and waiting for "Otto" to save them, Ruby begins to take action, but not without consequences that will have a huge impact on herself and her role among her people.
This wasn't a quick read, or heart-warming, but it grabbed my attention and evoked emotion from me that I was surprised to find. Instead of watching the characters like a movie and seeing how it played out, I was rooting for them, and I got mad at them. I wanted Ruby to do things she didn't, and I wanted her to takes a stand. I actually cared about what happened to the characters, which means the author did something right as I usually don't feel this involved.
Many may find this book strange due to the "cultness" and the evil that is present throughout, but I think many readers will be intrigued by this unique plot as I was.
Either way I definitely think it is worth a try, so be sure to check this book out, and if you like it, check out the following books as well:
Running Out of Time
The Chosen One: A Novel
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Vidsit Pam Bachorz here