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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo

Water is precious. Water has made slaves out of Ruby's people. While the rest of the world lives normally, Ruby and the people in what is referred to as the Congregation spend their days gathering water. Although there is a small lake nearby, the members of the Congrega...
Water is precious. Water has made slaves out of Ruby's people. While the rest of the world lives normally, Ruby and the people in what is referred to as the Congregation spend their days gathering water. Although there is a small lake nearby, the members of the Congregation are forced to seek water in the forest. Each one armed with simple tools, a spoon, and a cup, they struggle in the oppressive heat to collect water drop by tiny drop. They are forced by the Overseers, led by a tyrant named Darwin, to gather their daily quota. Failure to meet their quota earns them a beating. Members of the Congregation are unique. Ruby, for instance, is two hundred years old, but she doesn't look a day older than seventeen. Blessed from birth with some special power in her blood, she is destined to be the group's leader, perhaps sooner than even she expects. The Congregants follow a mysterious leader they call Otto. According to her mother, Otto is Ruby's father. He left before she was even born, and now the group works tirelessly and waits for his return and the hope that he will set them free. But the wait is taking its toll on the members. Some are losing faith, and arguments between them threaten to weaken the group. Also, secrets known to only a few could either save them or cause a rebellion. Most evenings, Ruby visits the huge cisterns that stores the gathered water until the Visitor comes to collect from the containers. The purpose of her nightly visits is to add drops of her own blood to the water, creating a life-sustaining element to the liquid. Like her father, she possesses the power that has allowed her people to carry on for centuries. During one visit to the cisterns, Ruby meets an Overseer named Ford. He treats her kindly, and a friendship begins to form. Soon, Ruby finds herself thinking about Ford all the time and watching for him as she collects her quota every day. He may represent her chance for freedom, or her destruction if he reveals the mysterious power of her blood. Pam Bachorz is the author of CANDOR, another unusual dystopian YA novel. DROUGHT presents the secret world of a group still living in the past but working to provide for the world of the future. Bachorz takes her readers into the life of Ruby and her people to illustrate the unreasonable and frightening control one group of people can hold over another.

posted by TeensReadToo on June 13, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

This book stunk!

I got this book on overdrive, thank goodness I didn't actually have to pay for it! I almost always finish a book, but this one was so lame, I quit after about half of the book. I love fantasy and things that aren't all that realistic, but the thought of a colony of pe...
I got this book on overdrive, thank goodness I didn't actually have to pay for it! I almost always finish a book, but this one was so lame, I quit after about half of the book. I love fantasy and things that aren't all that realistic, but the thought of a colony of people living like they're in the 17 or 1800s but in present day and being 200 plus years old and acting like a more than naive teenager is just out there. I didn't find a single character I could identify with, I just don't enjoy a book where people don't stick up for themselves. If that sort of thing bothers you too, I wouldn't recommend this book, in fact I wouldn't recommend it to people it doesn't bother either.

posted by lovin_er_books on May 4, 2011

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Let me tell you that I have read some crazy books but I have never read anything like this. This plot is so crazy and weird. Very weird. This book was very slow to start off with. The reader doesn't get very much information on what exactly is going on. I was confused but intrigued at the same time. I wanted to know more about the characters and their life so I read on.

    Drought is a weird cult book. These people believe in their god Otto, whom supposed came and left. They are awaiting his return. He left them blood which in turn keeps them young. Yeah, so as I continue to read this I thought that maybe they were in some secret town be experimented on. But no, just a bunch a people with a strange belief. What I like most about this book is the great insight on this cult. We see rules, their way of life and how they do things. I loved Ruby but felt at times that she needed to push herself more. I, for one, am super happy that she met Ford. I know without a doubt that without his influence she would of stayed there.

    Ford is a great character that brings refreshment to the book. He slowly opens Ruby's eyes to what is actually going on. He did his best to be her friend and guide her out. I am a little disappointed that as the reader we don't get much questions answered. I am still wondering about a few things.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Water wasnt the only thing lacking...

    This story had me really intrigued once I read the synopsis but unfortunately I found it a little slow and also kind of frustrating. Ruby Prosser is a slave. She has lived her entire life (200 + years) among her Congregation on Darwin West's compound in the woods. Escape has never been a true option. Ruby's mother and the rest of the Elders feel that if they are just patient their savior, Otto (Ruby's father) will return and save them. Darwin West is a cruel man, forcing Ruby and the rest of the community to harvest water under grueling conditions. Darwin has been made to believe that it is the Congregation's act of harvesting the water in the woods that makes it special, little does he know that the secret to the healing powers of water lies in Ruby's veins.

    The beating inflicted by Dawin's and his Overseers on members of the Congregation are enough to kill most but with life-prolonging Water they are able to endure. Then Ruby meets Ford, a new Overseer who appears barely older than her. The attraction between the two is instant and strong. Ford wants to take Ruby away from this life but will she be able to run away with him and leave everything she has ever known behind? And worse can she condemn the only family she has ever known by taking her blood away when she goes?

    One thing that frustrated me about this story was that Ruby didn't really have anyone to turn to. Ford was the only lifeline she had. Everyone else was shady, even her mother seemed more like a villain throughout the story. I felt like the story was a little unrealistic at times. The way that this community blindly followed orders seemingly accepted their circumstances seemed forced. The Congregation was more of a cult in their own right.

    Ford was a character that I would have liked to see developed more. I feel like his mother's illness could have been delved into more. Ruby and his relationship could also have been strengthened to the reader if they had more interaction/outings. I will say that I was pleased with the end of the story (and not just because it was over). The end gave my frustrations an outlet and brought a touch of hope for Ruby and Ford. The ending is what moved it from a 2 to a 3 star rating.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Not your typical YA story

    My thoughts...Drought, the second book by author Pam Bachorz is not a happy go lucky story. It is dark and twisted. It left me cringing and covering my eyes with despair, yet I could not stop reading.

    The story takes place in modern times, though it is hard to tell. The main characters, or Congregation, live under the control of a tyrant named Darwin West. This is probably one of the scariest villains I have read in YA literature. The man is evil. Ruby, the heroine, and other members of the congregation have to harvest water for West. The water, which is believed to have healing properties, can only be extracted by scraping water off leaves in the woods. If the Congregants don't perform as expected, they are punished by starvation, physical exertion, and violence.

    While Darwin West is a horrifying villain. Ruby is an incredibly strong heroine. She and her people believe they will be saved by a man named Otto, who fled from them around 200 years ago. Ruby longs to be free of the life that has enslaved her for hundreds of years, but not everyone wants change.

    As I mentioned above, this book was hard to put down. It was horrifying, agonizing, and painful at times to read. Ruby's mother infuriated me, as did the Elders in the story. The character of Otto baffled me, but the devotion to him was mysterious. I am left pondering why these people have stayed for so long. Was it out of fear? Desperation? Or Faith.

    Overall, Drought was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it. This would be a great book for a club or discussion group: it will definitely evoke some strong opinions and discussions.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Made me insane but liked the pay-off

    DROUGHT, by Pam Bachorz, is one of those books that, while reading it, made me absolutely insane. Let me explain. There is a lot of information thrown at you in a short amount of time. I had to figure out where this was taking place and what the rules of this society were. Not much of it is explained, so it is left to the reader to understand as you go along.

    The Congregants live in a sort-of 'cult' society where they have very little, except for the Water that has kept them alive for over two hundred years. They are enslaved by Darwin West who is a very evil man and proves that to these people each day when he orders his guards (Overseers) to whip the people if their quota of Water are not fulfilled each day. This happens often since there is not much water to be found (title hint- drought).

    In the beginning, this society of Congregants are tight-knit, until their youngest member and future Leader, Ruby, meets an Overseer who does not possess the same ideals as Darwin. A dangerous romance brews between these two and Ruby begins to question their current lifestyle.

    About 1/4 through the book I wanted to stop reading. I searched the book sites for reviews of this book wondering if it would be worth it to continue. One specific review stuck out for me. This reviewer had the same questions I did, but she did say the end was worth the confusing ride. And after slugging through it, I whole-heartedly agree.

    My biggest issues revolved around the Congregants. The Congregants constantly pray to Ruby's father, Otto, in the hopes of his return to save them all. They were afraid of their captors, which kept them on a tight leash but any thought about becoming free from Darwin was something they automatically turned down. WHY? I felt these people were brainwashed into staying because of Otto returning 'someday'. I think if they all rose up together against Darwin they could have broken free. Even though enough time had passed (200 years!), it seemed that they didn't even want to be free. Ruby's mother was at the top of my List (not a good list to be on). There were times I wanted to reach into the book and smack her for holding Ruby back from a life outside their prison.

    With my constant anger over the Congregants, I realized, that is probably the point. Bachorz skillfully pulled those emotions from me and ultimately made me enjoy the book. She made me invest everything into these characters. I enjoyed the strange relationship between Ruby and Ford. They bared their souls to each other and hoped in the end that would be enough for them to be together. After many revelations, I was glad I finished it. I was not prepared for my mind to wander about it days after finishing it. Bravo Bachorz, you managed to make me crazy then crazy for your book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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