Thursday, 17 November 2016

Review- Not a Drop to Drink (Mindy McGinnis)

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)


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 one of the most realistic portrayals of a post-apocalyptic world that I have read. It differs from most YA in this category with its lack of zombies and other new world monsters, and sticks to the basics; water. If you were suddenly without it, no longer able to freely access it with the turn of a tap, what would you do?

Lynn and her mother live in an old farmstead. They have everything they need, shelter, a close water source, and a good vantage point for shooting anyone that comes near what is theirs. Not a Drop to Drink is a survival story about something that could easily occur in the not so distant future. The writing is terrific and the author doesn’t beat around the bush describing in depth the hard truths of a world scarce of such a basic necessity for life.

“Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.” 

- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

The book is told from Lynn’s perspective, describing the only life she has ever known, isolated, hard and wary of any strangers, all traits her mother has passed down to her. Along with the most important rule of all, protect what is yours at all costs.

After a series of events, Lynn is left to make a big choice. Does she open herself up to trusting others or does she keep herself shut off from the world continuing to live by her mother’s rules?

“Killing people was easier when the only face I ever saw was Mother’s back then, anyone else was the enemy and shooting at an outline in a scope wasn’t any different than taking down a deer, just in a different shape.”
- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

Wonderful, is the only way to describe this book. I devoured it every chance I got, getting ready in the morning, lunch break at work, or while cooking dinner. It was so difficult to put down because you were never really sure what was going to happen next. The authors writing was raw and gritty, with such a plausible backdrop that you could easily get lost into thinking it was a non-fiction account of real life events.

It was refreshing to have a YA book that was almost void of all romance (there was the smallest mention of some flirting and a crush, but it never came close to being a main part of the story).  Lynn’s background of hardship and devastation makes her a fascinatingly complex character who takes an emotional journey from beginning to end. Unlike many YA contemporary books, where we find angsty teens concerned with such trivial things. We get to follow a strong female lead, hardened by the world with a basic need to survive, slowly letting her guard down and allowing people in.

The ending was perfect if you wanted to read this as a standalone. But lucky for us there is a second book with which we can immerse ourselves (In a Handful of Dust- Review to come soon). I highly recommend you pick up Not a Drop to Drink, to think I waited this long to read it is a shame!

“There's a famous line from a poem about the ocean," Mother had finally said to end the discussion. "'Water water every where, but not a drop to drink.” 
- Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink)

My Rating 5/5


  1. Great review! I enjoyed this book too. It was such a raw and powerful read, focusing on humanity's very requirement for survival. I haven't gotten to the next book yet, but I'm really hoping I will soon!

    Erika @ Books and Stars

  2. Great review! This was fantastic! :)

    Lauren @ Always Me


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