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Monday, April 21, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Title: Not a Drop to Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 24 2013
Publishing House: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062198501
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


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

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the ponds 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, the nighttime threats, and the gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won't stop until they get it...

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Lynn's okay with the way she lives. It's day after endless day of protecting her pond, looking for food and surviving the winter. She doesn't see the point of moving away from the tiny pond, content with her day-to-day routine. So when stragglers threaten her pond - she's going to do anything to keep it safe, things happen and she's got no choice but to deal with this upheaval on her routine.

The scariest thing about Not a Drop to Drink is how the events that happen in the book could actually happen in real life. It's an intense read about a girl's struggle to survive in a world where water is scarce and if you have it, you'll have to fight to the death to protect it. And that's exactly what Lynn does, with the help of her mother. 

The post-apocalyptic setting was really well done. One of the few post-apocalyptic books that actually feels like a dark, desolate world where people cling to fragments of their old life. The author doesn't drop you in the middle of some wasteland, says it's the aftermath of the war and boom. Post-apocalyptic. She takes time to build the world and introduce her characters.

McGinnis has a strong heroine - Lynn. All her life she's been taught to survive by her mother. Taught how to shoot, to hunt, skin an animal and how to purify water from their pond. She keeps vigil over their house at night by setting point up on the roof. But from the way her mother brought her up - to not trust strangers and shoot before she speaks - it makes for a very lonely life. She's stubborn and set in her ways, but she's totally unsure of how to interact with other people.

When she meets a boy - there will always be a boy - named Eli, she starts acting differently and the book started loosing it's survivalist feel. I get how meeting Eli was totally new for Lynn seeing as how there aren't much teenage boys just hanging around but things start getting more emotional and survival seems to be the last thing on Lynn's mind... I got bored. Mainly because it was't as gripping but also maybe because I wasn't really feeling Eli and Lynn. She's such a capable heroine and Eli's this bumbling idiot who can't do anything to save his own life. Maybe the idea of having to care for someone lesser than her was her thing - she did take in a little girl you know - and regards Eli as a pet. Wishful thinking on my part because it's pretty obvious that they're into each other.

But the book isn't all about the survival of these few people because there are bigger things going on and there are still men in trucks who snatch people of their belongings to looks out for. Obviously, Lynn's got to find out more about these people and when she does, she's going to have to find a way to stop them from bulldozing over her and everyone she's come to care for. 

I'll stop here to keep myself from being too spoilery but if you're on the lookout for a post-apocalyptic survivalist story, pick this one. It's terrifyingly realistic.




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