Thursday, September 4, 2014

[Review: In A Handful Of Dust by Mindy McGinnis]

"In a Handful of Dust"
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #2
Pages: 384
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Date Published: September 23rd
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To In a Handful of Dust,

It's odd that a book will pull on my heart strings and make me want to vomit, but that's what you're able to do. The characters that you house have become some of my favorites. Lynn and Lucy have this thing about them that makes you like them even though you know that they're not all that loveable. Thanks for being such a good home for them and for bringing them to life once again.

-The White Unicorn

Not a Drop to Drink was easily one of my favorite reads from last year and so when I found out that McGinnis was writing a companion novel, I was elated. McGinnis is a master story teller and I couldn't wait to dive back into the morally conflicted world that she's able to create. Let's just say that I was not disappointed by what I just read. McGinnis is back and better than ever.

This book doesn't pick up where Not a Drop left off, in fact McGinnis drops us into the future. Lucy is no longer a little kid and Lynn isn't a teenager anymore. I was so glad that we got to catch up with both characters in this book, because God knows there was a chance that Lynn could have already been dead, even though this book is only 10 years ahead of where the last one left off. Of course the happenings at the end of book one have had an emotional effect on both of the characters and McGinnis doesn't let you forget the crazy shit that's already gone down. 

It was interesting to see Lucy as a teen. She's looking for herself out in the world and trying to walk the fine line between what her mother was and what Lynn is. The beginnings of the book seem like they could go the route of a love story, but quickly that fades away. Lucy and Lynn are forced to build their bond and survive in some insanely hard situations. I love that McGinnis doesn't take it easy on her characters. It means that her characters are pig headed, little beasts, but you love them anyway. 

Lynn isn't much different from the teen we met in Drop. In fact, if anything, she's harder then that girl. She's tough in a way that could make her really unlikeable, but I still find myself connecting with her and rooting for her. It was also interesting to see her playing a mothering role this time around. We got glimpses of it in the first book, but it's one of the main things she's worried about this time around.

The book heavily features Lynn and Lucy, and though there are other characters, they don't get much page time. I think this was a great call. It was wonderful to watch them interact with each other. One is on a mission to protect and the other is searching for what it means to be yourself. Their relationship is unlike anything I've ever read. They love each other in such a unique way and their ups and downs are huge because of the world that they live in.

As always McGinnis adds in tons of blood and treachery and vomit inducing gross bits. Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but she knows where to put things in her books that make you wonder what it would be like to crawl inside her brain as she writes. This book is just as brutal as the first and I couldn't have been happier. 

So, in the end, I say that you need to read these books. McGinnis has a way with her characters and events that will leave you reeling and wanting to read, even when you should be sleeping.

    5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!


The Avid Reader said...

I STILL haven't read Not a Drop to Drink!! I was all about it until I saw a review somewhere that cryptically mentioned a very hard to read scene, and it made me feel like there may be something awful involving a dog?? IS THERE?! Because if not, I want to read these ASAP, but I'm still traumatized over The Knife of Never Letting Go, so now I;m cautious!

Nicole said...

I am very excited to read this, even more so after reading your review. I didn't realize this took place 10 years in the future but I can't wait to see a grownup Lynn and teenage Lucy. I am glad that it focuses on their bond and survival and I am both anxious and excited for all the action that is to come. Great review!