Customer Reviews for

Not a Drop to Drink

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
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(21)

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(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Ten Likes/Dislikes: 1. (+) Lynn, the protagonist - Kick-ass pro

Ten Likes/Dislikes:

1. (+) Lynn, the protagonist - Kick-ass protagonist extraordinaire. Lynn had to kill her first man at the age of nine (first line of the book - not a spoiler) and has always had to help her mother purify water for them to store and later drink. Help...
Ten Likes/Dislikes:

1. (+) Lynn, the protagonist - Kick-ass protagonist extraordinaire. Lynn had to kill her first man at the age of nine (first line of the book - not a spoiler) and has always had to help her mother purify water for them to store and later drink. Help her gather wood and cook the game that they muster before the winter chill sets in and forces them to hibernate in their all-too-vulnerable house. This has made Lynn into a pragmatic, no nonsense heroine who is willing to get the job done right and well even when the task is hard. Does that mean she's not emotional? Not at all. Given the things that Lynn has to do and given how she suffers, it's easy to identify with her and her struggles. And hey, this protagonist knows how to wield a shotgun. Knows to strip a body for goods and to take night watches on the roof of her house -- it's hard not to admire someone who's so determined, so smart and loyal and fierce and utterly competent.

2. (+) World-building - This is where the book excels. Mindy McGinnis paints a world that is so stark and realistic that it's frightening. Honestly, as she unveiled how the world degenerated, I realized that that kind of situation could actually happen. And you know it takes true talent to make that backstory and the individual details of the world itself come to life. You learn of Lynn's water purification system, the cholera endemic, and survivalist details like how to cure animals, how to witch water and set fires that don't just give off smoke. You learn about the city and its population standards and law makers and the wild where Lynn lives, and how the Shortage originated and was handled politically across the world. You learn about coyotes and gangrene and both the ugly and beautiful sides to nature. To contrast all the lovely details are random famous English poems (i.e. one from Yeats, some from Frost, etc.). The plot is firmly set in the little every day details of this world and what it means to live when water is in limited supply.

3. (+) Romance - Here's the thing: Eli doesn't do much for me as a romantic interest - we don't learn a lot about him - but I'm okay with that because the focus isn't on the romance, that side plot. The romance is good for what it is. A lightening factor. A thread of hope and love in a dark world, brimming with the stink of death and the chill of harsh winters. Eli is a city boy matched to the country girl, Lynn, and he teases her in such a way that immediately endears me to him. He never mocked Lynn for her ignorance, instead treating her with a soft kindness that made him adorable. He alternates between brave and desperate, teasing and gentle, secretive and real, but at the end of day, like Lynn, he's only trying his hardest for the ones he loves.

4. (+) Unconventional - You know that Frost poem that says "I took the road less traveled by--and that has made all the difference?" This book quotes that and quite appropriately given its unconventional context. For one, you've got a dystopia that doesn't involve a lot of action and isn't wholly symbolic a la Matched or poetic a la Wither. Instead you've got a dystopia that focuses on the harsh edges of humanity and the thin balance between survival and morality and meaning. You've also got a feminist bent on a wildly harsh, almost Western-esque (minus the Ohio setting) story and an author who's willing to take huge risks across the board. And because this book was so unconventional, I was honestly thrown for a loop when it came to some of the plot twists.

5. (+) Humor - If this story was only about survival, I probably wouldn't have been as interested or drawn to its characters. What makes this story work are the few bouts of humor, sometimes bleak and dark to fit the story but most of the times humor due to Lynn's ignorance. Having been raised in the middle of nowhere with only her Mother and paranoia for company, Lynn doesn't know how to flirt and has that awkward sex-ed talk way too late in her life. Yes, a lot of books have humor based on sexual naivete, but there's a wonderful authenticity to this shown in Lynn's pragmatism and no nonsense attitude except for when the right moment comes. It works well with the feminist aspects.

6. (+) Character Growth & Relationships - Particularly the strong female relationships - let me mention that off the bat; if you're looking for more strong friendships in YA lit, look no further than this book. In order to grow, Lynn must make open herself to strangers instead of blithely shooting at everyone who dares to approach. In doing so, she meets some particularly awesome characters who become her family, her meaning, her guides to how to live the life that she wants/needs but doesn't realize just yet. I thought that each of the relationships that Lynn had with the characters (even if I wanted more information on the characters themselves) was well developed.

7. (+/-) That Special Spark - Really, Not a Drop to Drink is everything the synopsis says the book is: Minimalist prose. Kick-ass, competent heroine. Not a lot of action, but a lot of thought-provoking details on the wilderness and how to survive and what it means to survive (the themes are really great, explored well and have the potential to be extensively discussed). This was a great read and executed well. However, it probably won't make my favorites list, because as much as I appreciated the quiet steadiness of this novel, a part of me also longed for more excitement. As usual, special spark = personal preference.

8. (+) Writing - The summary describes this writing well:  there is not a single wasted detail on the setting, the labor involved in various tasks, etc. and when it comes to action? Ooh, the bloody images. McGinnis does not spare you, which of course fits with the survivalist feel. This also means for some beautifully simple yet evocative prose (Another low moan rose from the grass. "That was a good shot," Mother said, nodding toward it. / "Not good enough." / Mother shrugged. "It was dark." She rose and stretched out her stiff body, a sign that she truly felt safe. "You'll get better." / Another cry. Mother licked her finger, tested the wind, and fired once into the night. / Silence fell. (p. 21 in e-arc, quote may change later.)). There are also a lot of scene breaks.

9. (+/-) Pacing - Because this book focuses on the every day life of Lynn and the others near her pond, the times when things do happen seem to hit you in the face, if that makes sense. The book has a traditional, linear storyline in the sense that you can tell Lynn's got her character arc and that the book builds to a climax, but the climax, while epic and brutal, wasn't as long as I would have hoped and in between those spurts of action, I felt restless, wanting more.

10. (+) Cover - This is still quite possibly my favorite cover of 2013. The bold font, the symbolism in the colors, the depiction of the plot and the setting, Lynn standing on her roof, shotgun in hand. SO beautiful.

If you're a lover of the wilderness, of the scope of the settings in the Fire and Thorns trilogy, this book is for you. If you wanted less visceral, heart-pumping action from The Hunger Games and more focus on the survivalist aspects, this book is for you. In fact, some of the action reminded me of No Country for Old Men (the blood spatter! the hard choices! Lynn and her shotgun and spending "every minute living working against dying"), but this book also has a feminist twist. The author described this book as Little House on the Prairie on steroids, or LHotP meets The Hunger Games. These are both truly accurate descriptions, and although this book fell just short of being a favorite, I can do nothing but recommend it and hope that it flies off the shelves and gets well stocked at libraries.

posted by ChristinaReadsYA on September 24, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Another book where reviewers full of them selves believe we want

Another book where reviewers full of them selves believe we want to know how well they write and review.
Ten likes and one dislike! Really?
To all of you who think we just can't do without your wonderful synopsis, well, we can. And because of you, I won't read the book ...
Another book where reviewers full of them selves believe we want to know how well they write and review.
Ten likes and one dislike! Really?
To all of you who think we just can't do without your wonderful synopsis, well, we can. And because of you, I won't read the book but since I must rate it, I give it one star. Probably unfair, but blame yourselves.

posted by Boston8b on December 5, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    The best of both worlds: gritty realistic frontier adventure pa

    The best of both worlds: gritty realistic frontier adventure paired with a futuristic dystopian world view. Quality literature for teens and adults!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Such a good book! The survival aspect reminded me of "The W

    Such a good book! The survival aspect reminded me of "The Walking Dead" (and truly, I expected zombies up until the very last page). Lynn was such a kickass, stoic heroine that I was transfixed by her character development - where most survival stories seem to be about going numb, it was incredible to watch Lynn develop compassion and I was rooting for her the whole time. She kind of reminded me of Tris from DIVERGENT, in that she goes from being aloof to passionate, kicking ass the whole way.

    I love that this book stands alone, and the way this story is as brave as our main character. There's no pandering to be found here. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Would recommend it to anyone - adults, teens, Hunger Games fans, Little House fans, readers who don't like genre-fiction and readers who DO.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    moving

    Loved this book, couldnt put it down, it was set in a real life enviermeant. Im sad to read wut happined to the boy, but it really add to the seriousness of the world Lynn lived in. Great read, look forward to more from this aruther.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2013

    Loved it so freaking much! From page 1 to the very end, I was co

    Loved it so freaking much! From page 1 to the very end, I was completely captivated. I read this whole book in two days because I just couldn't put it down. Not a Drop to Drink is the best book I've read in 2013

    Completely perfect in every way, Not a Drop to Drink is gritty, emotional, beautifully written, and most important of all, real. This book felt in real in every way. I had the chance to meet Mindy and I could really tell how passionate she is about water conservation and it really shined though into the book.

    I truly have nothing negative to say. At all. I actually re-read a few pages, looking for something negative and I couldn't find it.
    I could go on and on about how much I freaking loved this book. Thank you Mindy McGinnis for getting me out of a reading rut I didn't even know I was in.
    Not a Drop to Drink is fast paced, exciting, had me on the verge of tears more then once, and I did cry I little at the end.

    I would recommend this book to everyone. Not just YA readers but seriously, everyone. I will force every single person I know to read this book because I loved it so. Freaking. Much.

    The ending was just... Epic. I couldn't believe what I was reading and my heart stopped beating a couple times.


    Overall, I loved this book and everyone should read it.

    And thanks Mindy McGinnis for writing an outstanding debut novel that I'm so passionate about. I'll read anything with the name Mindy McGinnis on the cover.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    Loved it

    Fast paced and kept my attention to the end. Stayed with me long after i finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    A Book That Grabs You at the Cover

    From cover to cover, I was engrossed in this book. It's a story about a world that could be our own if we don't take care with the resources we have. This is a book that grabs you at the cover. A story line that doesn't let you go. An ending that leaves you wanting more yet satisfied.

    Mindy McGinnis did a wonderful job introducing her characters and telling their story. I cried and cheered them on as I grew to love these fictional people. It's a story of hardships, perseverance, friendships and love. I even enjoyed the story of Big Bastard.

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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    I'm not usually one for post-apocalyptic books but for some reas

    I'm not usually one for post-apocalyptic books but for some reason when I had read the blurb of this book it drew me instantly, so I did what I usually do and put it on my TBR list. I stupidly left it there for far longer than I should have because this was an AMAZING book. Not only was it well written it was also set at a good pace.

    I especially loved the small amount of romance that came into play between Eli and Lynn. Lynn's character was awesome. Brought up to be an unforgiving killer who never second guessed why and whom she shot to protect her pond and home. After the death of her mother she starts to view things and life differently than what she has always known.

    Now, I battled very hard with my self whether to give this book a 4 or 5 and was leaning towards the 4 only because of the ending (I'm not spoiling it for all you who haven't read it but u NEED to buy this book ASAP!!!) I know there was an epilogue but I would have loved a little bit more detail about what went on after and I always want a happy ending so perhaps Mindy McGinnis would spare us the torture of guessing and write a sequel I would be eternally indebted to you ha-ha. Anyways so in the end I chose 5 stars because I couldn't bring myself to click the 4 stars. It was an amazing book that left me up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get through as much as I possibly could because I just couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Shockingly Good

    My jaw dropped several times while reading this book. I love books that make me go wow did the author really just do that. Best book I'v read so far this year.

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    Great book!

    excellent book, interesting, well written, held my interest the whole way through. The premise reminded me of The Hunger Games but without the 'games'-- I recommend it very highly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Spellbinding

    I read a lot. This book held my attention. I kept reading it. So
    engrossing that I stayed up later than normal just to read a little longer. There was violence and some harsh conditions but the author brought the reader into a new world. Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Good

    Really different. Started slow, but I'm really glad I finished this book. Look forward to more ofthese characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    tgerber432@aol.com

    Add

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  • Posted October 24, 2013

    A book that grabs you at the cover.  A story line that doesn't l

    A book that grabs you at the cover.  A story line that doesn't let you go.  An ending that leaves you wanting more yet satisfied with the perfect ending. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

    This is such an amazing story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce. The captivating cover caught my attention while the 1st sentence / paragraph drew me in completely. The characters are very well written making me feel like I knew them personally. I felt thoroughly invested in each character (including Big Bastard) and how their lives were entwined with each other.

    Needless to say, this book had my heart pounding, my eyes ready to spill over with tears of sadness and tears of joy. Although the selfish part of me would love to read more of this story, it really had the perfect ending for a stand-alone book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    AWESOME

    SO AWESOME!!! KEEP IT IP!!! /)^3^(\

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Vynx

    SO BUCKING AWESOME!

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Nightmare Rarity chapter 24

    Spike didnt wait for answer." I gave you a fire ruby, remember? Remember when i left on the Dragon Migration? You tried to stop me! And you forgave me when i destroyed the city! You were genorus, and kind, and you were the most beutiful pony in all of Equestria! No, the world! You dreamed of living in Canterlot, and you were always giving your friends dresses and gifts. Twilight always said i never had a chance with you. I always said ' what does she know?' But i guess she was right. I dont have a chance. Ecspicially now that your a monster. What happened to you, Rarity? What made you do this? But i brought you this. Maybe you'll remember." Spike handed Rarity the Fire Ruby neclace and started walking away. Nightmare Rarity stared at the neclace. As she did, she started to rise into the air. The sound of static filled the air. Spike turned around and started to float, too. Nightmare Raritys coat turned white, the aromor changed back into pajamas, her mane and tail went back to normal, and her cutie mark went back to blue. At the same time, Spikes eyes glowed white, and an Element of Harmony appeared around his neck. It was a green cupids arrow. Then both fell back on the roof.

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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