Drought by Pam Bachorz

Pages: 400                 Drought

Publisher: Egmont USA

Summary from Goodreads:

A young girl thirsts for love and freedom, but at what cost?

Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved.

When Ruby meets Ford—an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer—she longs to run away with him to the modern world where she could live a normal teenage life. Escape with Ford would be so simple.

But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possesses the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special—her blood—and it’s the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.

Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.


If I had to describe Drought in one word it would be warped.

This book left me with an uneasy feeling the whole time I read it. The message at the end of the novel undermines all of the events leading up to it. Also, there are some odd religious themes and undertones at work that took Drought to a weird level.

The first one to two hundred pages is about Ruby and her community harvesting water. By scraping it off plants. With spoons. One drop at a time. I am surprised that I stuck through that for so long. During this time Ruby constantly repeats herself, yet never takes much action. 

Never is there a satisfying explanation for why Ruby and her family have been captured as slaves. Any information that is given is only repeated over and over. This lack of info did not create an air of mystery but a frustrating experience.

I think that all of the characters have multiple personality disorder. Sure, being a slave for two hundred years would have some negative psychological events, but it doesn’t explain how a character is kind and caring one minute and then harsh and disapproving the next. 

Ruby and Ford have one of the unhealthiest relationships in YA fiction. Ruby is two hundred years behind the times and infatuated with her cult of a religion, and Ford sometimes acts like the crazy slave-driver who controls the community. I missed the part where this is supposed to be romantic. Ford was simply an object of temptation to Ruby.

Drought is a kind of a psychological twister, but most of the plot is very uneventful. As I said before, the ending does a disservice to the rest of the book. The conflicts Ruby faces conveniently go away, which made me upset for having invested so much effort.

At times I thought I would enjoy Drought more than I did, especially at the beginning when there seemed to be so much promise, but I just don’t think I will ever read it again.