Have you ever seen The Happening directed by M. Night Shyamalan? He is one of my favorite directors and I had to see this new movie when it came out because there was so much hype. There were gruesome scenes of corpses hanging in trees and the audience was forced to watch multiple people kill themselves. It was really thrilling to watch, until it got to the end. So what was the reason for all of this death and destruction? Mother Earth was mad because humans were being mean. I could almost hear the “Wah, Wah, Wah”. The movie turned out to be a total bust even though it had so much potential with the story’s premise.
This was how the Water Wars by Cameron Stracher turned out. It was a complete disappointment because it was so driven by a “Save the Planet” mentality. I mean, I love the planet. I’m all for going green and recycling; however, Stracher made the biggest mistake a writer can make: He told, he didn’t show. Throughout the entire book, Stracher’s personal voice broke through the narrative shoving environmentalism down the throat of readers until we’re all throwing up seaweed. This book left nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
Water Wars read more like a textbook than an adventure. It had all the components to a good novel: a romance, a controlling society, and a drive to make things right. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t there. It was poor execution. The romance was minimal and there wasn’t any character development. The only hint at a possible relationship was a random kiss, not the good kind of random where you’re talking and he leans in to kiss you, more like totally out of the blue why-did-that-just-happen kiss. To make matters worse characters kept popping in and out of the book, and within a sentence or two, there was a huge “best friend” connection between the main character, Vera, and all of these people who were trying to kill her. It made no sense.
Stracher, I don’t believe you.
Also, Stracher apparently needs to get in touch with teenagers today because Vera read more like a 10-year-old instead of a teen. It was borderline offensive: Does he think all teen girls are like this? Even MORE offensive was other reviewers comparing Water Wars to Hunger Games. Not even close, sorry. This entire book was a collection of random happenings put together to be an adventure by a lawyer turned YA novelist who wanted to shove environmentalism down all our throats. So do I want a second helping? Not in a million years.