Early Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

August 23, 2013 Review 4

Early Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnisNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 24, 2013
Genres: Dystopia
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Sexual Content: Kissing. Numerous references to rape.
Reviewed by: Abigail
5 Stars

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.

NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a grim, startling portrayal of survival in a post apocalyptic world where water has become the rarest resource on the planet.  Lynn and her mother endure daily struggles to defend and safeguard the pond that ensures their survival.  They fend off ravenous coyotes, packs of merciless marauders, and the endless cycle of natural forces that attack them.  It's essentially  a post apocalyptic version of Little House on the Prairie and it's riveting.

In this bleak day in and day out struggle, Lynn's mother has hardened herself against the world around them.  She's taught her daughter how to shoot a man at three hundred yards and strip him of all his valuables.  She taught her how to field dress a deer and purify water.  She taught her how to survive when most of the world around them has died.   She taught her well, and yet skipped over so much that became irrelevant when their only  'neighbor' is a man that Lynn hasn't spoken to since she was a child.

As an ardent Little House fan (the books not the TV show), I relished watching the ingenious ways that Lynn and her mother survived each day.  Everything from the elaborate and labor intensive process of purifying water to various ways they found and preserved food.  The animal and human threat was constant and survival often meant unbelievably hard choices had to be made.  As a result, Lynn is such a capable and strong character who, understandably, has a stunted concept of compassion.

Painful, bloody, and tragic, NOT A DROP TO DRINK doesn't try to soften or sanitize the realities of this world, but it does temper them with love, sacrifice, and hope.  The prose isn't elegant or showy, but it's no less powerful.  Gutting is a better word for some of the more devastating scenes, but they only made the triumphs, the romance, all the more tender.  Mindy McGinnis is definitely an author to watch.

Series Titles:


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4 Responses to “Early Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis”

  1. HollyB

    Great review!! I can’t wait for release day — so ready to hear Mr. UPS Man ring my doorbell!! It feels like I’ve been anticipating this one for forever! I love that Mindy does not hold back from portraying the true darkness and bleakness of a true post-apocalyptic world, from which too many authors (especially in YA, but also in adult books) shy away from depicting. It would (will??) NOT be a pretty sight, should potable water sources dwindle to near-extinction. I can’t imagine having to stave off groups of desperate, and sometimes evil, people who want to get their hands on my water source!! Heck, I can’t imagine having to teach my child how to field-dress a deer, for cripe’s sake!! It all makes me shudder to imagine.

    Anyway, just wanted to say your review makes me even more eager to read NaDtD! I’m so excited for it to arrive. Loved your mention of the Little House books 🙂

    • Abigail

      It will be worth the wait! I loved this book. Surprising and sad and exhilarating. Hope you love it just as much 🙂

  2. DaydreamerN

    I have this book and have been looking forward to readin it. Being a little house fan too myself I now am looking forward to the book even more.
    Great review!

  3. Kt.

    This one’s up next on my reviewing queue so I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I can’t wait to dive in now!