Not A Drop To Drink – Mindy McGinnis
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: First, I need to point out the cover of this book. I think it’s stunning. It definitely got my attention right away. Whoever designed it deserves a serious pay raise.
I’ve lost count of how many young adult dystopias I’ve read over the past few years. They’ve all started to blur together in my mind, but once in a while, one stands out. Not A Drop To Drink is a standout. It isn’t about a war, a plague, or a sadistic government that needs overthrowing. It’s just about people doing their best to survive. That’s a refreshing addition to the genre.
Lynn and her mother own a pond in a world where water is scarce. They spend every day defending their water from the people who need it. Lynn has no trouble shooting anyone who gets near her pond . . . until she climbs down from her rooftop sniper perch and starts talking to her thirsty neighbors.
The writing is sparse, gritty, and powerful. I love the subtle differences in the way that the country characters and the city characters speak. This is a beautiful debut novel, and Mindy McGinnis may become one of my new favorite authors.
The characters are the second-best part of the book (after the writing). Lynn is so tough. She reminds me a lot of Katniss from The Hunger Games, but Lynn is a more-willing participant in the deaths of her neighbors. She’s strong minded. She knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. I enjoyed seeing her change as she learns to trust the people around her.
I’m having a hard time coming up with something that I didn’t like about this book. The romance probably could have used more development. Lynn is very inexperienced with physical affection. At the beginning of the book, she doesn’t understand what “Flirt” means, and she doesn’t know anything about sex. She doesn’t even know how to kiss Eli, her love interest. Lynn and Eli’s relationship becomes physical very quickly. It’s not unrealistic, and they don’t have sex, but it still creeps me out because she’s so much less experienced than him.
Not A Drop To Drink is a quick read with a lot of action. I read it in a few hours and loved every second of it. I’m looking forward to the sequel.