Book review: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

The Water WarsThe Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Where to start with this book?

I did not enjoy it, as marked by the unfortunate two star rating that I gave it. The idea of the story was very interesting, which is why I picked it up at the book faire in the first place — but it wasn’t handled properly, in my opinion.

I’ll start with the main character, Vera. She bored me to no end, there was nothing about her that was even remotely something I identified with or that I could appreciate as a part of her personality. She went from simply being interested in friendship with Kai to wanting to kiss him within the timespan of a month, aka forty pages and it rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since Kai wasn’t just a random normal kid.

Kai spilled water when there was a lack of it, Kai was rich when everyone else (the majority of them anyway) was not and had to deal with processed water. Water is scarce. People kill for natural water. He’s spoiling it. Why then was a romantic relationship the most important thing to her? It bothered me a lot and my irritation started right when Kai brought her to the site of the abandoned well and brought her to a spot in the ground where she found natural water. For those who have read the book, you know that this is also the moment where they kiss — forty pages in and completely unrelated to the situation. I mean, she found water, actual water, unprocessed water. Granted he is the one who kisses her, but even in that setting, it’s not normal that when he pulls back her first reaction is, “No, don’t stop.” YOU FOUND WATER. HE BROUGHT YOU TO WATER. YOU’RE NOT THE LEAST BIT ECSTATIC AND FOCUSED ON THAT?

In general I wasn’t interested in Kai either. The only part that got my attention was that he was able to find water and that that was a gift, but that’s where my interest in him faded. I did not find him to have any interesting characteristics besides that that made him stand out, which is why he kind of blended in with the rest of them.

Moving on to her brother Will, I found him to be equally as boring, but not because he himself is a boring character. I felt like Will could’ve been a lot more interesting, if it hadn’t been for the story’s obsessive need to make Vera always right. Brothers and sisters argue, they fight, they disagree on everything. Will and Vera had these moments too, but I never got the feeling that Will actually stuck to his grounds and his opinions because — wahey! Vera has all the answers, of course! It was literally constantly a case of Will saying, “I think we should go left,” and Vera going, “No, definitely right,” and that Will went, “Oh, okay.” It happened several times and it bothered me greatly, because Will was probably one of my favorite characters and he could’ve been so much better if it weren’t for his sister.

I’ll be brief about the side characters and bad guys — I felt no connection or sympathy whatsoever to Ulysses, even when he was basically being presented as Vera’s on-the-road pirate father or when they mentioned that Vera (naturally) reminded him of his (naturally) deceased daughter. The bad guys had no room to be bad guys because oh gosh, everyone was so taken by Vera and her apparently sparkling personality or ‘feistiness’ which left them unable to actually be truly bad. Shooting a man in cold blood but refusing to hurt Vera for some reason does not up you on the bad scale, it just makes you seem like someone who’s trigger happy.

As I was writing this review (and I’m trying to keep it small) I realized that I really have no reason to mark it with two stars, so I’m adjusting it to one star out of five. It’s the first book to receive a terrible rating like that and I honestly feel bad about it, but I’ve honestly never been this annoyed and downright disappointed while reading a book.

On a side note there were a lot of weird sentences and lots and lots of exclamation marks (IN DESCRIPTIVE TEXT EVEN) and all of it was so unnecessary. There was even a line going, “neither of us noticed that blah blah,” yet somehow I’m still learning about the happening from the main character. You didn’t notice — how are you telling me this?

I wish I could give it a 1 and a half star to honor the cool book idea, but that’s not an option on Goodreads. One star on Goodreads then, 1 and a half is my official rating.

View all my reviews


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