I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 24th 2013
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Also by this author: A Madness So Discreet
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.
Seeing that my one of my favorite genres is dystopian/post-apocalyptic, this was high on my expectations list. Post-apocalyptic became super popular in recent years and practically all the ways the world could possibly come to an end have been covered. A world where the water has been contaminated and clean water is a precious commodity? I had yet to read a book covering that so I eagerly awaited this one.
The story starts off strong, introducing Lynn and her mother, a duo that has learned to survive on their own in the harsh world. For years it’s just been the two of them protecting the pond that gives them the only hope of living to see another day. The day to day accounting of the daily tasks they performed in order to survive were detailed and authentic. As the book progresses, we’re given vague details regarding how the world came to be and while it was enough to paint an adequate picture it wasn’t sufficient enough to appease my curiosity of this harsh world.
The writing is bleak and subtle, but albeit fitting. It properly depicts a world that we could only dream of; a world where turning on your faucet to get water is no longer a reality. Lynn is the definition of strength and is willing and able to do whatever needs to be done to protect the pond. She reminded me of the character Ree from Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell, another literary figure that was burdened with great responsibility at a young age. Lynn grew up solely with her mother, only seeing glimpses of a single neighbor, and seeing any others through the cross-hairs of her rifle before she took them down. There was no guilt or remorse for those acts, she was simply doing what needed to be done to secure her own personal survival. She was a solid character during the first 1/3 or so of the novel but I had issue with how she changed as the book progressed.
Without giving too many details as most are potential spoilers, more characters are introduced and a romance even develops. Considering the ways that Lynn was raised, being completely unaccustomed to social skills or people in general, the fact that a romance was introduced seemed too far fetched. Personally I felt that her willingness to let people into her life and building trust was difficult enough to incorporate into what we already knew of her as a character, but a romance was simply unnecessary.
Books that I feel are most similar are: Ashfall, The Road, and Orleans so if you’re fans of those you should consider checking this out. If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure, this isn’t it. Not a Drop to Drink is a story that slowly builds with intensity and is predominantly a story of surviving in a harsh and grim world.