Not a Drop to Drink

( 46 )

Overview

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.

Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond ...

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Overview

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.

Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond against every threat: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and most important, 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. But when strangers appear, 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. . . .

For more in this gritty world, join Lynn on an epic journey to find home in the companion novel, In a Handful of Dust.

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  • Not a Drop to Drink
    Not a Drop to Drink  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Lynn is an American teenager, but unlike most we know, she doesn't get out much. In fact, her life in the dystopian world of Not a Drop to Drink is focused on a tiny pond, the only source of water for her and her mother. Guarding it from encroaching humans and coyotes requires constant diligence and a maturity that most adults, much less youngsters, are never forced to muster. Mindy McGuinness' debut novel would hold our attention even if we didn't know that our planet's fresh water supply could indeed become endangered—even without a cinematic apocalypse.

Publishers Weekly
In an understated but gripping debut, McGinnis offers up a tale of survival in a world where a scarcity of usable water has led to a brutal conflict for what remains. Lynn and her mother eke out a hardscrabble existence, protecting their farmhouse and small pond with lethal force against wildlife and trespassers alike. When Lynn’s mother is killed, the 16-year-old is left to make her own way. To her surprise, she soon forms a surrogate family consisting of her crippled neighbor, Stebbs, and some newly arrived refugees, including teenage Eli and five-year-old Lucy. When they’re drawn into a desperate struggle against raiders who’d steal everything they possess, Lynn discovers just how hard she can fight for those she loves. McGinnis paints a stark picture of a world not far removed from our own, concentrating on Lynn’s gradual emotional growth as contrasted against the physical harshness of her existence. Character-driven but with intense moments, this story works best because of its narrow scope and focused setting, with world-building details largely left to the imagination. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary Services. (Sept.)
VOYA - Heather Christensen
For sixteen years, Lynn's hard-as-nails mother has prepared her to be completely self-reliant. As summer turns to fall, her days are spent preparing for the long, cold winter—purifying water for drinking, gathering food from the garden and woods surrounding their home, and always, always, protecting their pond from anyone—human or animal—who might attempt to steal their precious source of water. An excellent shot, she has been taught to shoot first, ask questions later. Sure to appeal to fans of dystopian stories like The Hunger Games and Divergent, McGinnis offers her own spin on this popular genre. Rather than fighting against a brutal, controlling government, Lynn's conflict is with a fanatical outcast, and—perhaps more importantly—with herself, as she questions her mother's isolated life of extreme independence. The intensity of action moves the story forward, but not at the expense of character development. The complex, authentic characters are neither fully evil nor unbelievably good. Although romance certainly plays a role, it is secondary to Lynn's personal journey from a naive girl cut off from the world around her to a strong leader who has become part of a community, confident in her own abilities and those of her companions. The honest and hopeful ending—while not "happily ever after"—will resonate with readers and leave them asking for more. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
Kirkus Reviews
While defending her resources in a lawless world where water is a rare commodity, Lynn learns about life and humanity. Ever since Lynn was a small child, she's known the hard truths of the world--chiefly that anyone who approaches her mother's pond leaves thirsty or dies, by Lynn's gun if necessary. Besides her mother and a single neighbor, visible only at a distance, Lynn has more experience with the coyotes than with other people. Two bands of strangers appear near their land; one group, armed, encroaches on Lynn's land, so she must be ready to protect her beloved home and water source from attacks that could come at any time, providing urgency and tension. After a tragedy forces her to team up with her neighbor, Lynn learns that the other group is just a trio of refugees who have no idea how to survive in the wilderness and will surely die without help. Despite her mother's hard-nosed teachings, Lynn finds herself with growing compassion for them. The third-person, past-tense narration gives the story a gritty tone, and the only break from the realism comes in the form of characters who can successfully dowse for water. The epilogue jumps to a future that fulfills Lynn's character growth. A high-quality survivalist story for readers who enjoy internal story arcs as well as external dangers. (Speculative fiction. 13 & up)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
The intensity of action moves the story forward, but not at the expense of character development. The complex, authentic characters are neither fully evil nor unbelievably good. The honest and hopeful ending—while not “happily ever after”—will resonate with readers and leave them asking for more.
Michael Grant
A brutally beautiful debut, not to be missed. NOT A DROP TO DRINK is an unwavering story with incredible drama, danger, and power. This writer is for real.
Kendare Blake
I can’t say enough good things about the writing, and the characterization. If you’re looking for grit, realism and heart, you found it.
Jodi Meadows
Deftly written, Mindy McGinnis’s NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a frightening picture of a potential future without fresh water, which left me ridiculously grateful for my working faucet. This post-apocalyptic survival tale is about so much more than just survival. I loved it.
Ilsa Bick
Set against the grim backdrop of an all-too-possible future, McGinnis’s very fine coming of age novel doesn’t stint on lifes hard lessons—or its triumphs. Lynn’s story is what Laura Ingalls Wilder might’ve penned if she’d traveled a frontier imagined by Cormac McCarthy.
Booklist
Those in search of fierce female survivalist characters need look no further than this.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In the not-too-distant future, water has become scarce. Those who carve out their lives in the wilderness will fight to the death to protect the water on which they've staked their claim. Lynn and her mother are good shots, picking off stray travelers who are tempted by their pond. Cholera outbreaks throughout the world mean that even when water is available, it could be deadly, and the 16-year-old and her mother spend their days purifying the pond water, hunting for food, persuading meager crops to grow, and standing sentry on their roof to guard against strangers. After her mother is killed by coyotes, Lynn tries to be self-reliant, but she knows that in time the men from a nearby settlement will attempt to seize her land. When her taciturn neighbor Stebbs offers help, she slowly opens herself to his friendship, and her lifelong solitude is further fractured when she meets a family that is trying to survive on the banks of a nearby stream. Lynn grows attached to the little girl and takes her into her home when Lucy's mother, who is starving and in labor, is unable to care for her. Lynn finds herself drawn to Lucy's uncle, who is about her own age. Things come to a head when Lucy becomes deathly ill and the band of men from the nearby settlement attack Lynn's house. An overreliance on expository dialogue leads to clumsy and unnatural-sounding exchanges. The story might appeal to teens who can't get enough of dystopian survival stories, but in a crowded field, this one offers nothing new.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062198501
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 34,313
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English literature and religion. Mindy has a pond in her backyard but has never shot anyone.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(20)

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2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    18 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2013

    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 but since I must rate it, I give it one star. Probably unfair, but blame yourselves.

    5 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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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 September 26, 2013

    Awesome book for a first time author

    This book grabbed my attention from the first sentence. The plot was new, even though there are a lot of dystopia type books out there. The characters were likeable and you found yourself rooting for them. I wonder if this will be a series, I almost think not based on the epilogue. If I had one complaint about this book it would be that I was left with too many questions, the author didn't spend time explaining the past... what started this new world?!? I would have also liked to know more about Lynn and her mother's relationship and past. If the author does write another book to follow up on this one, I would recommened starting where the epilogue left off and having Lynn learn more of the past by her new neighbors in conversation. Overall, this really was a great read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Plot spoilers

    Too many plot spoilers too full of themselves rewriting the book including the reviewer with her synopsis and her likes and dislikes. Excuse me? We have the overview as a synopsis. We dont need your idea of a synopsis which includes giving away the entire book, and we really dont care about your likes and dislikes either.

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Great

    The cover and title of this book took me suprise and i was so excited to read it. In a few short words, inspiring, captivating, astonishing, and many more words. I really enjoyed this book. The authour brought a new type of character to th scene, a charater whos motives and actions were much dfferent from characters that i had previously read about in books. It was very interesting and totally worth reading. Loved it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2013

    When I first heard of this book, I was put off of by the title o

    When I first heard of this book, I was put off of by the title of it. An entire book about having no water? But then I realized what that would mean if it were to ever happen... Death to humans, plants, and animals alike, and this story became a lot more interesting and I needed to know what would happen. 

    Something I will say, McGinnis is not afraid to give her readers the FEELS. They were all over the place in this book. From heart stopping moments to awwww moments. It was full of them. I would love to explain, but I can't for fear of spoilers. Just be prepared if you're planning on reading this sometime soon.

    One thing I did think it was lacking was adventure. I wanted the villain to appear a little more just to make them fight more. Had the events in the end of the novel been spread sporadically through out it, I would have rated this 5 stars. But for the most part I was a little bored. There were times when I was like O_O but then nothing like that what happen again for a bunch more pages.As for the characters. I liked them and the writing because they fit together so well. I couldn't really connect with Lynn, but I felt that was because she had a hard exterior due to the situation she was in. And the writing flowed so nicely, ironic in a world where water doesn't anymore. I just wish I could have been given a clearer picture of the world surrounding them. I'm a huge fan of world building (which is why I'm not a huge fan of dystopians... I haven't found one I just LOVE yet.) and while McGinnis gives us a glimpse in the beginning and then again when winter starts, I was still left wanting more.    In short, this was a good dystopian to help me start expanding my horizon  It had a solid romance and some thrills that I didn't see coming. This was a solid debut that gave me all the feels! I can't wait to see what else McGinnis has up her sleeve.  

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2013

    Buy this

    In the manner of "Dog Star," this post apocaliptic nover is thoroughly a fast moving, gripping and sad novel. I loved it. Lucy and Lynn are heroic. This is a different kind of survival narrative. Ms. McGinnis did a nice job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Great book for teen through adult readers.

    This book really makes you think about what you would do & how you would feel if you were placed in the situation.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    4 or 4.5/5 My first thought after reading this was "huh.

    4 or 4.5/5

    My first thought after reading this was "huh." From reading the synopsis, I expected this to be gritty. Well as it turns out this book is gritty, dark, and brutal. It does not make light of the circumstances AT ALL. McGinnis paints us a world where we are turned to almost a primal state. Find water or die. Simple as that. Something one could see happening to our world. Imagine taking away something we all take for granted. A turn of a knob and we get limitless clean water. We don't worry about wasting it or over using it. We never worry about running out or becoming diseased because of it. I love the glimpse into life turned upside down.

    Lynn is a remarkable character. Her entire life it has been just her mother and her. She hasn't ever even spoke to another person. She is taught at a young to kill or be killed, and has no problem doing so. She has to learn so much about people and herself through this story. She must learn to adapt to survive, something she really has no skills for. She is not a character full of dreams and aspirations. She lives one day at time and to protect what is hers. She has not lived a happy life, just one that is about survival.

    I love where this story takes us and the ride we get to go on. It took it's toll on my emotions. There were parts when I wish I could reach through the book and strangle our dear author. Sorry dear. I did mention this book is brutal right?

    This is a great book to read for those of us who enjoy the post-apocalyptic type stories. It is not a light hearted read. We are not given the happy ever after we get with so many other YA novels. This is a book about survival. About finding even a thread of hope when there seems like there is none to be had.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I have been wanting to read this for a very long time. So when I

    I have been wanting to read this for a very long time. So when I checked Edelweiss the other day, I was pleasantly surprised with an approval from HarperCollins Children. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

    Lynn lives off of the small pond in her back yard. She has spent her whole life defending it alongside her mother. But one autumn day, things go terribly wrong and Lynn alone is left to defend it. The coarse personality she's grown into starts to soften though when she meets Lucy and Eli, two city-dwellers who don't have a clue how to survive in the harsh Ohio winters.

    Not a Drop to Drink is not your typical dystopian. It's really about Lynn surviving from day to day. It actually reminded me of Hatchet, which is about a boy surviving after his plane crashes in the middle of nowhere. But, unlike Hatchet, Not a Drop to Drink never got boring and had more than two people in it.

    Miss McGinnis spends just enough time showing us what day-to-day life has always been like for Lynn for the beginning events in Not a Drop to Drink to seem out of the ordinary. So what if someone approaches your house, right? I mean, we deal with that every day. But the beginning of the novel is essential for us to understand what simple acts like that truly imply in Not a Drop to Drink.

    Lynn lives in a very brutal world.

    Eli was so wonderful. He was sweet, kind, and didn't let his hardships stop him from smiling or flirting. If Lynn had met a boy that wasn't like Eli, I very much doubt he would have survived. Eli is literally the first boy her age she's ever met. The very light romance was appropriate to the story and ultimately endearing when it comes to Eli.

    Lynn herself was.... I wouldn't want get on her bad side. But she learns a lot about human interaction when she takes Lucy under her wing. Lucy was the perfect thing for Lynn and very cute. Only five or six, Lucy didn't quite understand all the danger around her at a level that she probably needed to, but she understood enough that she never became annoying. Her role as an innocent little girl living in a brutal world was written to perfection.

    Even with all the character development, Lynn was fundamentally the same character we started the novel with but she wasn't a completely different girl either. She understood the world she lived in a lot better on both the good and the bad scale. Her mother raised her to be a certain way for sixteen years, so I find it appropriate that even at the end of the novel, she was cold and direct when it came down to what she felt she had to do to keep herself and others safe. It was never really a question of revenge. It all was just what she thought she had to do.

    Miss McGinnis is a very talented author. The writing style was definitely unique in a good way. It was this cross of first person and third person on a level I've never seen before. She used the third person pronouns (she, he, it, etc.), but the voice itself felt like first person with the refinement of third person.

    I wouldn't recommend this one to younger readers what with a lot of the language and some things other things. I wouldn't say Not a Drop to Drink was gory, graphic, or anything like that. I think it was realistic to the setting the main character was in and that setting is brutal. But I'm glad I finally got to read it and enjoyed the taste of something of different.

    1 out of 3 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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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Wow. I totally can't imagine living in a world like this and can

    Wow. I totally can't imagine living in a world like this and can't help but think that I would be one of the people who couldn't survive. So, when I meet a strong and capable main character like Lynn, I am always in awe. 
    Lynn grew up with her mom, and her mom taught her everything she knew. In this world, their pond is the most important thing, and they defend it with their lives, and for them that also means taking lives. Lynn knows how to shoot, purify water, cut down trees, skin and dress a deer basically everything that keeps them alive in a world without help, stores, electricity, or running water. 
    It is so hard to review without spoiling things, but basically Lynn grows through some of the people that unexpectedly comes into her life and makes her question some of the things she was taught about outsiders. There are also some that prove everything right. There is such character development and that is one of the things that I love. 
    Through a little girl Lucy, the most change, determination and strength came out in Lynn. She not only had a helper in Lucy, and someone else to teach how to survive, but she also had a lot to learn from the little girl. Seeing the bigger picture, survival, and not bothering the adults even with something that should have needed their attention, she was selfless and caring to others. The theme of family, togetherness, and friendship really shone through these two characters in particular.
    The romance is sweet and subtle, a slow build, my favorite kind. Lynn knew nothing about men except they were evil from her mom, and she realizes that just like women, they can be good or bad, or some shade of gray in the middle. So it is really fun to watch her learn what flirting is. 
    The story would have been a five star if it weren't for the ending. I guess that for some it would be great, realistic, and fitting for the story, but for me, it did not work. I was so heartbroken and though the way it ended up was full of hope in promise in others, I still couldn't get over the shock and the loss. 




    Bottom Line: Loved the main character, and 3/4 of the story but the ending was NOT for me.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Not A Drop T

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
    Publication Date: September 24, 2013
    Rating: 3 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    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…




    What I Liked:




    As you can tell from my rating, I'm right in the middle, with this book. I don't know what to think about it. I don't have a solid opinion (yet), so I'm going with three stars. On the one hand, I guess I liked the story at least a little, because I read it and finished it without too much trouble. On the other hand, I'm feeling a bit apathetic, which is never a great feeling.




    Lynn and her mother are out in the wild, living alone (together, but alone), guarding their pond. Water is scarce, fresh water is basically unheard of, and any source is as good as any. The pond is precious, and Lynn and her mother will do anything - even kill - to keep the pond from others. Strangers arrive by the stream. Changes are afoot. This is Lynn's story of survival, as well as the story of survival of others.




    One thing that I can tell you know is that I really liked how McGinnis killed off characters left and right. I mean, it's a post-apocalyptic survival novel, so would you expect any less? But it took me aback, because many times in YA literature, authors are afraid to kill off characters, because they don't want to upset their audience. Yeah, whatever. McGinnis axed so many characters. I liked that.




    That really stood out to me. Otherwise, this book was kind of meh. I guess I liked it, but it's one of those books that is just sort of there. It didn't jump out and grab me by the nose, but it didn't make me feel like I should strangle something with my bare hands.




    The plot was meh (see below), the cadence of the book was meh (see below), even the romance was meh. I guess I liked the romance a bit, because it wasn't overwhelming. At the same time, it was barely even there. I feel like Lynn and the guy barely had any scenes together, until the last major part of the book, and of course, that's when many things change. 




    Yeah, I'm not sure what else to say. The ending was meh. I honestly was not invested enough to get upset or delighted or whatever I should have been feeling (like a normal person). This could be just me!




    What I Did Not Like:




    My overall feeling is apathy, so I don't really know what to say here either. I wasn't the biggest fan of the plot. It kind of just meandered along, and I wasn't really sure to expect from the climax and ending. Like, I was almost to the end, and I was like, what could McGinnis possibly do to actually have a climax in this book? I was confused. I guess the plot was more of a narration than Freytag's Pyramid, which is... okay, but not interesting, for this type of book. Yes, it's a survival story. But it's a story. It should have a plot. And climax. In my opinion.




    The feel (mood) or cadence of the story was also very meandering-like. In music (I play the piano), I would call the tempo of this book "andante" - very much like walking speed. Things happened very slowly, and when actual things happened (besides Lynn killing people at her house), they happened in a way that you could probably miss them if you weren't reading carefully. And then you'd be like, who's this person? When was she introduced? Why is that person catching grasshoppers?




    As far as survival stories go, this one isn't my favorite. It's an interesting take on a very significant topic (scarcity of water resources), and as an environmental engineer, I approve of the use of a major environmental issue in a YA novel. But the survival aspect of the story didn't really appeal to me.




    Honestly, neither did any of the characters. I really did not connect with any of the characters - and if I *might* have, there was a good chance that McGinnis would kill them, so in the back of my head, I probably told myself not to get attached. But in all seriousness, I didn't really connect with Lynn or anyone else. Which is too bad.




    The romance, eh. It wasn't really there, in my opinion. I liked and disliked this. On the one hand, at least the romance didn't take over the novel. On the other hand, I feel like Lynn and the guy barely connected. They weren't even together, like, in the same scenes, for a good part of the book!




    The ending - see above. I'm very meh about the ending. Like, by then, I really didn't care.




    Would I Recommend It:




    Uhm. Yes and no. Yes, in that maybe you'll actually feel something towards this book, unlike me. It could have been circumstantial - maybe it wasn't the right time for me to read it, or I wasn't in the mood, but honestly, I highly doubt that. So, at the same time, not really (would I recommend it). My goal is to read all of the Friday the Thirteeners books, and this is one of them, so there's that.




    Rating:




    3 stars. Eh. Meh. Could have been better. Could have been worse.

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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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