Thursday, June 19, 2014

[Book Review] Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis

Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Personal Purchase


Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

If you're looking for a dystopian book that isn't like your typical dystopian you've come to the right place. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis deals with a man vs. nature rather than man vs. society/government post-apocolypse. I really enjoyed reading about Lynn and her experience, and while occasionally slow, overall the book was well-written and suited the survival story aspect of the plot. While I don't think it necessarily needs a sequel, I will definitely be pickup up the companion novel, In a Handful of Dust, coming out later this year.

The main reason I loved this story so much is because it truly is survival story in every sense of the word. It frankly can get a little tedious to read another reason why our government has failed and collapsed, so it was refreshing to read about a dystopian world in which mother nature failed the world. I think Lynn was the perfect narrator for the story. She was not always likable, but as the story progresses she grew on me, especially as she developed as a character with the help of those around her. Stebbs, Lucy, and Eli were all great side characters that had a vital part in the story, not just as side characters, but as people themselves.

One detail I wish was included was how the world came into such an intense water shortage. As a generally curious person, I love to see how dystopian worlds come about and the scientist in me would have loved to know why a lack of water became such a problem. I suppose it can be left up to the imagination and as readers we, on our own, will begin to come up with a thousand different reasons as to why. Nevertheless, it's a detail I personally wish was included, although it did not retract from the story itself.

Even though it was a dystopian, I found it to be very realistic and believable, because McGinnis did not gloss over the tough parts and like real life, not everything wraps up with a happily ever after. Without giving too much away, I will say that some tears were shed at the end, but overall it was a very satisfying ending. Originally, one of the reasons I pickup up this book was because it wasn't going to be part of a series, and occasionally I want to read a book that ends at the turn of the last page, However, In a Handful of Dust, the companion novel releasing later this year, seems to be more like a stand-alone set in the same world, rather than a sequel. And I have to say, I'm not at all upset to be returning to the wonderfully crafted world Mindy McGinnis set up in Not a Drop to Drink.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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