Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

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Not a Drop to Drink
   by: Mindy McGinnis

Publication Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Dystopian
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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.
 

I was so excited to get my hands on this one! McGinnis has created a desperate world, where survival is everything. Yet this book is so much more than a book about survival. It's about learning to trust and place faith in others after being raised to trust and depend on no one but yourself. What would you do if water was a precious commodity? If the government controlled how much water you were allowed and how much it cost- how would you handle that? Would you scramble to the cities where it was offered and try to survive? Or would you head off and try to find a way to purify water on your own?

I think what I liked most about this book is that it was realistic to me. I could see something like this occurring in the future and it's quite scary to think about. McGinnis tells of a world that is not plagued by mythical creatures like zombies and vampires, but of a world overcome with disease, lack of resources, and desperate men and women who would do whatever it took to ensure their own means of surviving.

I love books with strong heroines and Not a Drop to Drink certainly delivers us one! Our main character, Lynn, is hardened by years of living with her mother and learning how to survive. With the world's water supply being the way it is, people have become desperate. People have ventured towards their home and Lynn's mother is a 'shoot first, ask questions later' kind of woman. Really, can you blame her? The thought of two women living alone who have access to their own pond and shelter is tempting to any desperate person. After a tragic accident takes Lynn's mother from her, Lynn must survive on her own. Thankfully, she has been well taught- she has been raised to hunt, gather, purify water, and protect her home. However what she wasn't taught was human compassion. It really takes her awhile to open up to the idea of needing and depending on others. Their neighbor, Stebbs, ends up being a true ally to Lynn. She was reluctant to trust him and felt conflicted about helping him for awhile.

However, my favorite characters were Lucy and Eli. Lynn stumbles across them and reluctantly takes Lucy, a young girl on the verge of starvation and infection, home to care for her, as her mother and uncle are unable to do so at this time. Lynn not only provides Lucy with food and shelter, but she also provides safety. In turn, Lucy provides Lynn with companionship. Lynn didn't want to admit it, but she felt herself growing more and more attached to Lucy as time went on. Lucy is a sweet, little girl and I loved how she adapted and warmed up to Lynn. Eli, her uncle, has stayed behind with his sister-in-law, who will not leave their spot by the stream. I really like how McGinnis handled the romance in this book. It's slow building, but it works best this way. Lynn doesn't want to think about Eli, yet she finds she can't help it. As cold hearted as she is in the beginning, she slowly lets these people work their way into her life. Lynn's primary concern is no longer herself. She has other people she cares for and wants to make sure they are kept safe as well. Eli is protective of his family and of Lynn. I like that he wasn't some city boy who was afraid to do what was necessary in order to survive. He had to learn quickly and I really admired him for that.

I will say that McGinnis is not afraid to break your heart. She really challenges Lynn and while it helps her grow as a person, it really makes your feel for her. While this book has a rather somber tone, it does fill you with hope at the same time.

This is not an action-packed book, though. Yet, McGinnis's writing style lures you in and keeps you turning the pages to find out what is going to happen. I also like that she didn't reveal the backstory of the water shortage until late in the novel. I was left wondering how life became the way it was for quite some time. If you're looking for a powerful novel about surviving the odds, this book is definitely worth the read!

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18 comments

  1. I have had my eye on this one for a while, but I wanted to wait to see some reviews first. You have me really excited to read this one now. It sounds like a great read and the whole concept is very intriguing. Great review!

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    1. I think thats what I loved most: the concept! There wasn't a whole lot of action going on, but McGinnis just made the whole idea work so well!

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  2. This book sounds really good! I love it when an author steps out of the norm and hands it to you, ya know? Awesome review :)

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    1. Thanks girl! Yes! I love when authors do that too! This was definitely a cool one!

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  3. I loved this one for the same reasons you did. It felt more real than lots of other YA dystopians and, although it was grim, it was also hopeful. Great review!

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    1. Definitely grim! I was so bummed at the end, but realized it was real life and life is messy and gritty, especially in those circumstances.

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  4. This sounds chilling! I cannot wait to read it, so glad you enjoyed it, I think like you said the fact that something like this could occur in the future makes it all the more terrifying!

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    1. Yes! I immediately talked to my Dad about it, since he's all into that conspiracy-government takeover stuff. LOL

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  5. Absolutely LOVED your review! Can't wait to read this myself!
    Awesome job!!!

    Michelle
    Because reading is better than real life

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

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  6. Awesome review! I am absolutely loving the sound of this one and your review really makes me want to check it out. I like the sound of the characters and I am definitely interested in how the water supply was diminished.

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    1. Thanks girl! I felt this was a pretty solid dystopian! Definitely need more of those!

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  7. I love when books like this have such a realistic premise. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jessica!

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I do like more realistic novels every now and again- it reminds me that not everything is sunshine and rainbows!

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  8. I can't wait to read this! At the tour stop tonight, Mindy said that she got her idea after watching a documentary (Blue Gold I think?) about water and she said it was like hey, this COULD happen. I'm excited for this, esp since I drink SO much water. I can't even imagine what I'd do!!

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    1. Oh that's awesome! I would have loved to hear her talk in person about where she got her ideas!

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  9. I have been really excited about this one and I'm so glad you did enjoy it!! I will have to pick it up :) It just sounds like such an interesting read!

    Great review!

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    1. Thanks Magen! It was SO interesting and that's what made it so appealing!

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