May 21, 2014

REVIEW: Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink, by Mindy McGinnis
Published September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: young adult post-apocalyptic
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
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 must admit - I was sucked in by the cover of Not a Drop to Drink. I mean, look at it. It's gorgeous. It helped that the description was super interesting too. That's always a good thing. 

Lynn lives in future Ohio where water is short and violence is high. She has a pond on her property that she has to protect at all costs. When people run into her path, Lynn needs to decide whether to trust them or blow them away. One family in particular has a profound impact on Lynn and the way she looks at the world at large. 

Mindy McGinnis is a beautiful writer. The words that she strings together were so pretty and so impactful. She made the characters really come to life and made me really wonder what a world like this would be like - what I would be like. 

Lynn was awesome. Talk about living a sheltered life - Lynn was raised by her mom, and the only other person she ever interacted with was their next door neighbor, Stebbs. So when a family from the city, including teen hottie Eli, sets up camp nearby, Lynn doesn't know how to act. I loved her awkwardness and cluelessness. It was endearing and sweet and it softened her hard edges. That was very much needed, because Lynn had A LOT of hard edges. She was tough to love. But, through the course of the book, Lynn came a long way. 

I adored the relationship she developed with Stebbs. He was older, wiser, and actually very sweet. He has a tie to Lynn's past that she eventually finds out about, and that tie means that Stebbs has always watched over Lynn to make sure she was okay. He becomes her closest confidant and friend. 

Although the writing was gorgeous and I loved the characters, there were times when I felt the plot plodded along a bit. There'd be a lot of daily life punctuated by a bit of action here and there - at least until the action-packed last chapter. It was also pretty damn depressing at times, as survival stories usually are. I definitely prefer my books a bit closer to the happy end of the scale. 

I did enjoy Not a Drop to Drink, and look forward to continuing Lynn's story.

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