Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 24, 2013
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A gripping and fresh story of a teenage girl's fight for survival in a near-future landscape where water is more precious than gold. If she has water, she has life.
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 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 ability to get by, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. 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 gutsy and unwavering efforts to survive in a harsh frontierlike future.
This is what I wanted Life As We Knew It to be like. The world that Mindy McGinnis creates is extremely realistic a world where America is slowly running out of fresh water and what you would do to defend your one lifeline. This isn't a fast paced novel, so if that’s what you are looking for this might not be for you. Not a Drop to Drink shows a different view of post-apocalyptic fiction. It shows the day-to-day routine of one girl trying to survive. Lynn never knew any other way. The world has been like this since before she was born. Survival is all she knows.
I liked the main character, Lynn. She never had a chance to be weak. The weak don't survive. Her mother drilled that into her that from a very young age. Lynn grew up alone with only her mother for company and each other to rely on. She knew one thing and that was to defend their pond against everyone. Anyone or anything new was viewed as a threat and needed to be eliminated.
Lynn was extremely blunt, but naïve at times. As tough as she was Lynn did not know a lot of things that others took for granted, like ice cream. Her birds and the bees chat with her neighbour had me laughing so hard. Lynn changes a lot throughout this book. At the start she is hard and unforgiving in defending her land, but after she has a run in with same new characters she begins to change. She realizes (reluctantly) that maybe not everything is so black and white and she can help others survive too. I loved her relationship with Stebbs. They created an odd uncle/niece type relationship where they each made it seem that they barely tolerated each other, but really they cared a great deal about the other. The parts that had me laughing were the back and forth between those two.
While this is a slow paced book it still contains some action. I was glad that it wasn't filled with fighting as that’s not the story being told. While the parts with it were great I loved the rest, the day-to-day mundane of Lynn and Lucy’s routine. The epilogue did wrap everything up nicely and it was very refreshing to see a YA post-apoc novel as a standalone and not made into a series.