4 stars · dystopia · young adult

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis


Not a Drop to Drink

author : mindy mcginnis

pages : [hardcover] 320

memorable quote “There’s a famous line from a poem about the ocean,” Mother had finally said to end the discussion. “‘Water water every where, but not a drop to drink.”

favorite characters : lucy & lynn

summary :

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.

review :

This book has a really interesting concept, an isolated setting, and characters that really intrigued me. So much so that I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one day! This is definitely a turn from the typical dystopian/apocalyptic books that are all coming out now. There is no big movement to save the world; no chosen person can help everyone by sharing fresh water when there just isn’t enough of it to go around anymore. This is a tale of survival and it makes you think about the difference between simply surviving and being able to live.

Lynn grows up only knowing Mother. She can see a neighbor at a distance. Apart from that, the only humans she comes into contact with are the ones who come to drink from the pond and are killed on sight by either her or her mother. She doesn’t know any other kind of life and the devastation to the water supply happened when she was a baby so she doesn’t know much about the outside world or what her life could have been like. At times this was hilarious, because her mother never bothered to explain the ‘birds and the bees’ to her. But at other times it’s really moving and devastating to see how cold she’s become to anyone she meets because of the way she’s been raised. There were fantastic moments of character development in here that weren’t so obvious but gradually showed the change that was coming over her.

Some parts of this plot were predictable. Others took my breath away. There were some moments of tragedy in here that really gripped my heart. There were action scenes that had me rooting for Lynn and others that had me cursing her because of some decision she’d made. I loved reading about such a strong character as well as the others encountered throughout the course of the novel.

If you like dystopian novels but are tired of reading the same thing over and over, I think you should really give Not a Drop to Drink to try. I’ve never read anything like it and think it’ll be one that I’ll read again soon. This book is full of great characters and a great story that’ll stick with me for a while.

5/5 stars


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