Book Review + Book Giveaway: The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

I love a good dystopia. I am a huge fan of this genre for some reason or another. No matter what the controlling government or post-apocalyptic plague the characters are facing, I'm there. I will pretty much read any book in this genre, and was terrifically excited to read this one.

The Water Wars is the story of Vera and her brother, Will, who live in a section of the re-apportioned US called Illinowa. There are now only 5 such sections of the US, and they are not friendly toward one another. Much of the coast of the US, Canada, Greenland, and Mexico has been lost to disastrous flooding.  Of course, the all of the flooding from the polar ice caps has melted into the ocean and is undrinkable. Rivers have been dammed, and drinking water is at a premium. Pirates, government agencies, and ordinary citizens are all fighting for one precious commodity--water.

Shortly after Vera and Will become friendly with a mysterious boy named Kai, he disappears. It seems like he's been kidnapped, from the state of his ruined apartment. As it turns out, Kai and his father know where to find water--and dangerous people are vying to control Kai for his secrets.

Vera and Will begin to search for Kai and are quickly swept up in an international battle. They get to experience just how far people are willing to go for clean, drinkable water. And once they start this journey, they can't turn back. Too quickly, they are in deep and know that if they every want to see Kai alive again, they've got to find him.

I did read this book in one sitting, but that had more to do with the fact that I didn't think I'd pick it back up again if I set it down. This is not to say that the book was completely boring, because it wasn't. I just didn't really connect with the characters. Because, when a book presents an entirely different world from the one that I know and understand, I need to have a good relationship with the characters. Books like The Hunger Games and The Uglies series and Matched developed great worlds and great characters.

I just felt pretty much nothing for Vera and Will. I mean, I didn't want anything bad to happen to them, but I didn't not feel any sense of urgency about whether or not they were going to make it to the end of this story. That said, the world of The Water Wars was pretty believable. Just yesterday, it was a balmy 40 degrees here in Western Maine. We barely have any snow! We should have feet by now and the temperature should be right around zero, or at least in the low teens. I completely know that Global Warming is taking place and believe this book. It's just the characters that are a little shallow for my taste.

All badness aside (and it's really not that bad), I do have an extra copy of this book. In my haste to get it and read it, I bought two without realizing it. So, I am going to give away one copy to a lucky commenter. It'd be great if it went to someone who's participating in a dystopia reading challenge or who likes this genre. But, I'll give it to whichever person chooses!

This giveaway is for those with US addresses only. It closes on 1/10/2011 at midnight (EST).  
To enter, simply leave a comment with your email and an answer to this question:

What is your favorite dystopia? Classic, YA, adult, whatever. 
I just need fun titles to look forward to!

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Good Luck!

**This book counts toward my tally in the Dystopia Reading Challenge 2011**
(There's still time to join!)