5 stars · dystopia · young adult

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

In a Handful of Dust

Not a Drop to Drink #2

release date : september 23rd

author : mindy mcginnis

pages : [hardcover] 384

memorable quote They found each other’s hands in the dark, and an angel with chipped marble wings watched over them as they slept.

favorite characters : lynn & lucy

summary :

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

review :

Not a Drop to Drink is one of my favorite books and I’d never expected to love it when I first started reading it. While it’s a great book on it’s own, as soon as I heard about a companion novel set in the same world several years after the events of book one, I absolutely had to get my hands on it. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed! Mindy McGinnis delivers again with an action-filled, heart-wrenching story that’ll have you crying, laughing, and thinking of how thankful you are that you don’t need to go through the trials Lynn and Lucy do.

What makes In a Handful of Dust so different from its predecessor is how we’re shown more of the United States as it is after the devastation of the Shortage. I liked getting to see more side characters with their own stories, whether they’re old enough to remember the world before things went bad or if they’re like Lynn and Lucy, never having known anything but this harsh life.

Both books show humanity’s capacity for cruel actions but I think this second book really honed how people were willing to go to any length to survive. I thought that it was bad learning about Lynn’s upbringing, alone with her mother who taught her from a young age to shoot anyone on sight, simply so those people wouldn’t have the chance to take a little of their water. This companion book has many more horrors. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say there were a few twists that had me gagging.

In the first book, Lucy was only a little girl, so it was fantastic to get to see how her personality has developed now that she’s older. Obviously I was also excited to see Lynn; she’s had such a devastating life that she’s one of those characters I just want to hold back and protect from all of the bad things in the world. She’s such a strong woman, though, and her bond with Lucy absolutely makes the book for me. The two of them could be set in any kind of world, in any time, and I’d still love them and the little family they’ve made for themselves.

I really, really love these books and want to recommend them to everyone. Mindy McGinnis is fabulous and I want more of her writing immediately. She makes it so easy to slip into the world she’s created, so easy to fall in love with her characters. Go read her great prose for yourself.

5/5 stars


2 thoughts on “In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

    1. Ooooo! They’re so great! You need to read the first one! I mean, this is more of a companion than a sequel, but it will make so much more sense if you read the first and just reading the descriptions of this might give tiny spoilers for the first. So I’d say it’s just something you should dive into! I read these without knowing much about them at first and absolutely love them 😀


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