Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
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.
This book was one of opposites. It was powerful, yet silent, gutsy, yet quiet. I expected something going into this story, and was left with something completely different, although, going back to it, it really was a good something else. Not a Drop to Drink is unlike a lot of books in its genre; really, it’s a gulp of fresh water. It’ll bring a torrent of emotions, but in the end, the hurricane of feels is most definitely worth it.
The best aspect of this book has to be the character development. The simplistic writing, done on purpose to enhance the feeling of this book, really added a lot to this. The development of Lynn as she learns to let in others is such a quiet one, and you barely even notice it’s happening. The other minor characters grow as well, and it’s so nice for a change to have secondary characters that play such a critical and dynamic role in a book. They bring a flood of change to Lynn. But nonetheless, this really is a story about Lynn and how she changes, and it’s executed flawlessly. It’s subtle, yet strong, and it was done fantastically.
Also, the entire concept behind this book is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Water being scarce is something so realistic, and I got chills at various points throughout the book, simply because it could actually happen. That added a touch of depth to the entire setting, and I was sitting rapt whenever the setting was being described. I’m honestly surprised that this hasn’t been done like this before, but I know that this book will trigger more books in a setting like this. Also, all the real knowledge about how to purify water and such was very interesting to read about as well, adding even more to the concept overall.
However, there was a tad bit of predictability, especially near the beginning. I definitely didn’t see some of the things that happened at the very end, but the beginning was extremely predictable. From the moment I opened the book, I could predict several key things that were going to happen. And they did. That just detracted a little from my overall enjoyment, since I basically knew what was going to happen for a large portion of the book.
Overall, this book isn’t your typical dystopian. Achingly beautiful, it focuses upon character development and a wonderfully chilling setting. Even with its slight predictability near the beginning, Not A Drop To Drink is certainly not one to miss, whether you’re a fan of the dystopian genre or not. It has something for fans of all genres. Somehow, magically, this one will manage to strike a beautiful chord in you, just as it did for me.