Thursday, September 19, 2013

[Review: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis]

"Not a Drop to Drink" 
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: None
Pages: 320
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Date Published: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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.

My Thoughts:

This book has easily snagged a spot in my top 5 books of the year.  I honestly couldn't get enough of the raw, gritty, unflinching story that McGinnis has brought to life on these thin sheets of paper.  Sure, this book is fiction, but it had a sense of realism that both terrified and enthralled me.  It's a survival story to it's core.  There are bits of fun and a romance that, even though the romance is small, it still packs a punch.  In a way Not a Drop to Drink reminded me of both The Walking Dead and Red Dawn (without the zombies and Soviets of course).  It had that intensity and that underlining thing that makes you wonder if there is any fact in the fiction.  

The descriptions that filled this book sometimes left my stomach reeling.  It's told so subtly and simply, but still McGinnis finds ways to describe Lynn and her mother's life in a way that shows the true horrors that you face when you're just trying to stay alive in a world short on the only thing that can keep you kickin and that's water.  This one is not for the faint of heart, that much is for sure.  

It's amazing to me how McGinnis is able to pull you into such a simplistic story, where in reality the scenery doesn't change much.  Three spots are featured and one is used more than the others, but still you're pulled in.  It's atmospheric story telling at its best.  Lynn, her mother and Stebbs don't know more than that the water is going dry and people will do anything to get it.  All they know is that to survive you must have water and that to keep your water you sometimes have to do things that are horrible.  

Lynn was one of those characters that will stick with you.  She grows a lot in the pages of this book.  She has her simple, survivalist life turned upside down and she has to decide if living the way her mother has taught her to (pretty much, shoot first, take their shoes later) is how she really wants to live, or if there are other ways to do it.  She's hard and though book smart (thanks to her mom), she doesn't really understand how to coexist with other people.  It's just been the two of them for so long.  She's a tough egg to crack and yet you can't help but love her and want to give her a big hug.  (Which she'd probably kick you in the shins for.)

The secondary characters were all amazing as well.  Each one of them has their place in helping Lynn along in her journey of survival and self discovery.  Stebbs is the neighbor who she's never really know.  I love the almost Santa Claus vibe he had going on.  He just seemed like that all around nice older man, even if he did have a wicked sense of humor.  Lucy, Eli and Neva all have a special place inside my heart as well.  Little Lucy was the bright light in all of the madness and tough as nails for a little girl.  Her mother Neva on the other hand, showed us the other darker side of things.

Eli, oh Eli.  He provided a much needed, but none distracting love story element.  Seriously, he was the sweetest.  I loved watching him and Lynn interact.  I ship these two.  I ship them so hard!  What they had was so perfect to the story.  It was unknown and honest and will grab onto your heartstrings, even after the book is over.

Even the ending was perfect for the story.  Lynn had to make some big decisions and everything got tied up perfectly in a big cluster bomb of chaos.  It was a messy, ugly, spot on ending to the book.  We even got a few surprises thrown at us and McGinnis has no fear in her story telling.  Anything goes and I love an author who will do whatever the story needs to get a story right!

I was blown away by Not a Drop to Drink, so much so that Mindy McGinnis goes straight to my instant buy list.  This being her first novel, I can't wait to see what other things she has up her sleeves in the future!          

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this one now!


Giselle said...

Eep! For some reason - dunno if it's the "I'm a dystopian like every other" vibe I got from the cover and blurb but I wasn't expecting very much from this one after my fail with The Ward and all of those. But your review makes it sounds SO GOOOD! The BEST survivor/dystopian story IMO are the ones that have realism in it. I can't be scared if I dn't find it plausible even for a fiction. Like some authors just don't know how to suspect disbelief in a good way you know. Aaanyways, this sounds gritty and dark and I love it already! Funny that I ALMOST started this one yesterday and I was like Eff it I'm gonna skip it it'll probably suck lol. *starts it right meow*

Nicole said...

I am so freaking excited to read this but I am also slightly terrified haha. So glad you loved it!