Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Title: Not A Drop To Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Category: Dystopian/ Science Fiction
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/4 stars out of 5
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.

 My Review: 

Boy, dystopian books. Now, sometimes it feels like you can't really find one that feels very original, or one that just captures you. I do encounter that every now and then, however, I must say Not a Drop to Drink was definitely a book that had an original feel to it and hand me glued to the pages. And I have to say, it was a pretty gritty look into a very scarily real world.

What I enjoyed so much was the realism in this book. The world Mindy created is, to me, a very real probability. A world where water can kill you, a world where safe water is so hard to find, and you have to fight just to stay alive. That also made it a thrill to read. The world she describes is stunning, dark, and of course sad it its own right. This also shows in the desperation of her characters, and in the struggles they face.
“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.” 
Though the story is told in third POV, something that I don’t always enjoy, I found that I was really able to get a good grip on the characters' emotions and truly connect with them and their situation. Lynn, the main character, is one character I thoroughly loved connected with. The desperation of her situation, the things she had to face, alone a lot of the times, made me really love her character. I also admire her, because I don’t think I could have done all the things she had to do, and come out okay in the end.

There are only a few  main characters in this book, but each part a nice element to the already grim story. Each character also revealed more of the outside world, their stories and grief’s, and how the world is now operating. While reading, I also learned that this world is very harsh; it burrows under your skin and just takes pieces of your life away. And I really felt that way about the characters. They are also so harden by the situation, and the decisions they have to make are not easy. Again, that was another realistic factor to the book I enjoyed.

The writing style was compelling; it pulled me in and transported me into this world. The description made it even more realistic and haunting. I also enjoyed the pace, though at times it felt to move a bit sluggish, I never got bored with the story-line or the characters.

I know one thing; I got really attached to the characters and their roles they played in the book. I had to know what was happening in this world where water can slowly kill you, and trusting others is like playing a game of chance. Lynn, though she made many sacrifices, is indeed a very strong character and an inspiring one. Her story really took me on a journey. 
“Do you want to die like this?" Mother had asked, that night and every night since then.
Lynn's answer never changed. "No."
And Mother's response, their evening prayer. "Then you will have to kill.” 
Not a Drop to Drink is a very scary-real, gritty, and emotional intense read. I definitely recommend it to others who like a book that can sweep you away and one where you’ll get very attached to the characters.


  1. I was very very curios about this one so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. It really does sound like a incredibly scary world! Amazing review Magen!

  2. I enjoyed the realistic probability and was able to flow with 3rd pov even though normally I don't as well. I loved it up until that person died and just couldn't come to terms

    1. Oh yes, I know who you mean and I couldn't come to terms with that either. I couldn't believe that happened!

  3. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one Magen and it had a unique concept to it. The realism in this book sounds like it would be scary, thinking that something like this could actually happen in real life. I love it when a story can pull me in! You write such amazing reviews! They are always stunning!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  4. It's good to see an original Dystopian! It sounds like one that kept you on the edge of your seat. Great characters and a well built world tend to keep you glued to the pages! Great review Megan!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  5. The realism in this book was also what got me. I actually can forsee something like this happening in the future and I think that's what drew me in. The ending killed me, but I am interested to read the next novel coming out. I really enjoyed Lynn's character too- I don't know that I could do the things she did to survive!

  6. Oh, I'm SO not into dystopians at the moment, but I've been on the fence about this one. I like the unique premise and from what you're saying, it does sound enticing. Maybe when I get back into this genre, I'll give it a try. Great review!

  7. This one has been on my list for a while, but something has kept me from bumping it up. Those quotes are fabulous, and I love everything you have to say about it. I think this one could be heartbreaking, too. You have me intrigued, and I think I just may need to give this one a nudge up on the old TBR. ;) Beautiful review, my friend.


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