Series: Not a Drop to Drink #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Published: September 24, 2013
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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.
This book was on my radar before it was even out and in my possession on release date. I mean a post-apocalyptic dystopian where there is a water shortage that isn’t a series? Yes, please. But for some reason, I never got around to reading it. I wanted to, really wanted to, but it just never happened. Well until now that is. And the bonus, it was just as great as everyone said it was. It was unique and well written and had great characters and a completely new world that hasn’t been used before which is hard in a genre that is heavy in dysptopians.
Not a Drop to Drink is the story of Lynn, a girl that has been raised in a world where water is a luxury people can’t afford. It’s controlled by the government letting the citizens fend for themselves and causing all hell to break loose. Gone are the days were people follow laws. Instead, you have to defend yourself and what’s yours. And that is exactly what Lynn has been raised to do. But after never relying on anyone Lynn finds herself making allies and connections she never expected and work with people that come to mean something to her in hope of saving all their lives. It just a matter of how far you are willing to go to save what matters.
The concept of this book completely freaked me out and made me super thirsty. Ha. But seriously the idea of water being something you can’t just have, that you need to be rich enough to afford, is a world I don’t want to think about living in. Like everyone, I take water for granted and Lynn was the exact opposite. She grew up having to know its worth and knowing what she had to do to protect it. And for me, that is no way to have to live. But even with all the struggles and her outer hardness, Lynn had a huge heart and made difficult decisions. In the beginning, I didn’t see that about her but as the book progressed and the plot moved along I really grew a soft spot for her and by the end, I liked her a lot.
What really made the book for me though was McGinnis decision to add in a core group of secondary characters like Lucy, Eli and Stebbs, that made Lynn likable and less self-preserving and more team orientated. The addition of Lucy was a genius move. Lucy was some much-needed lightness in a story that is pretty dark and disturbing. Sure the addition of Eli added another fun layer to the story and Stebbs brought out the softer side of Lynn. But it was Lucy that really eased the hardness of Lynn. With Lynn having grown up too quickly without having a childhood having 5-year-old Lucy with her brought that back to her. It was an added level and it worked.
The one thing that stopped this book from getting 5 stars was simply the fact that the story just jumped in with no background. I was unsure why they had no water, why they were shooting people, why people were after their stuff, for a good majority of the book. Sure I was able to just assume and figure it out, but it wasn’t actually explained in detail until I was almost halfway done. Also, I had a problem with the danger from the south and how it seemed to just be tied up quickly in a couple of chapters. They had been a problem for most of the book and I just thought it deserves a little more time to come to a head and for some truths to be revealed.
But even with those 2 minor issues I truly enjoyed this book and completely get why just about everyone called it one of their favorite of the year. It was gritty and interesting and a dark look at what could easily be a place we live in. It was well written, had great characters and a good plot. Mindy McGinnis gave us something we haven’t read. I for one am grateful for that.