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In a Handful of Dust

(Not a Drop to Drink #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,373 ratings  ·  570 reviews
A dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts. ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Popular Answered Questions
OngoingRain If you go to the author's profile you'll see she has answered that question.
She says that right now she doesn't feel like writing another companion no…more
If you go to the author's profile you'll see she has answered that question.
She says that right now she doesn't feel like writing another companion novel , that she has moved on but that "who knows" :)
By the way, did you like the first one if you read it?
I don't know if I should and I could use an opinion :) Thanks!(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  3,373 ratings  ·  570 reviews

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Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“That’s life, little one—lots of little maybes and what ifs all lined up in a row. And if you put your mind to following some of them that never came about, you’ll get lost and not find your way back to the way it really is.”

Mindi McGinni's books are exactly my flavor of dark, atmospheric and incredibly intelligent. I loved Not A Drop To Drink - it was one of my favorite novels in 2013. I didn't think Mindy would write a follow-up, but was beyond thrilled to learn about this companion novel. It
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

One of the things I hate is when a sequel is announced after I’ve read the first book. Not a Drop to Drink was one of my favorite YA post-apocalyptics, but I was still disgruntled to discover I’d started yet another series. Even so, I enjoyed McGinnis’ story enough to be willing to try the next book. Plus, THOSE COVERS YO. The publisher calls In a Handful of Dust a companion, but it actually spoils the events of the first book, s
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book takes place ten years after the events in Not a Drop to Drink. Lynn is no longer a teenager. She is now in the "mother" role of raising her own teen. Remember Lucy, the little girl she took in? Yep that is the girl we get to hear this story from. This book has a different feel to it. In many ways I liked this book better than the first book.

To start with, Lucy is quite different from Lynn. While Lynn was untrusting and cynical from her upbringing, Lucy is full of life, enjoys being so
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

It always breaks my heart when I find out that a standalone which I loved and was satisfied with, has a sequel coming out. Not a Drop to Drink was one of my favourite science-fiction books of 2013 and when I found out that there was a sequel coming out this year, I was quite confused. I mean, what else do you want to write about? Just to clear up some things, this book is a mix between a sequel and a spin-off. Reading book 1 would be a wise choice, because as
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

When I first saw there would be a companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink, I was giddy. The first book in the series just blew me away.

This book is EVEN BETTER. I know, I see your raised eyebrow and look of skepticism. I was worried too, but this one is - it's amazing.

You have Lucy, raised by Lynn, is becoming her own
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult
“We hear you shoot like a man.”
“You heard wrong,” Lynn said coldly. “I shoot like a woman.”

4 1/2 stars. This series is about as insanely awesome as it gets. I can't stop fangirling over it. I finished the first book of this duology a while back, Not a Drop to Drink, and couldn't stop ranting about how much I loved it. McGinnis writes some of the most gripping YA I've ever read. I can't wait to read more by her.

If you're the kind of reader who likes survival, apocalyptic, or western-style boo
Booktastically Amazing
Okay, guys... I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. There's a hole in my heart, I don't think I'll ever be able to fulfill.
It hurts too much for me to properly TRY to say goodbye to this.

I'm going to go listen to sad music, now
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
In many ways, I liked In A Handful of Dust more than its predecessor Not a Drop to Drink. However, the last 15% or so didn’t quite work for me, I was left with a lot of questions. Still, this is a solid contribution to the YA dystopian genre that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Starting out with the positives, the pacing is fantastic. I’m reminded a little bit of The Forever Song because it has the main characters traveling for a large portion of the book, but it was not as tedious or uneventful. Something
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is so gorgeously written, and Lynn is one of the most compelling characters I've ever read. Having said that, I felt that Lynn was such a strong character that she overshadowed Lucy. Not that I minded because I adore Lynn. She does not shy away from getting done what needs to be done. I felt the mountain scenes really showed what she is made of.

The ending felt a little rushed. Things magically happen, and tension is resolved without much explanation. We have this long journey and then it i
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I fell in love with McGinnis' writing after reading her debut novel and was eager to dive right back into the harsh and desperate world she had created in Not A Drop to Drink. I was looking forward to seeing Lucy and Lynn again and hopefully find them in a better place, both emotional and with the world around them.

And while the world was somewhat better, what I was really impressed with was the growth in Lynn. It is unbelievable the change that came over her from not only Stebb's but Lucy's inf
Hannah ◇ReaderintheRough◇
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
"One woman, two lives to manage, and everything falling apart around her. But she did it, and she never said a sideways word to me on the matter. And I did it for you, and I'll keep doing it 'til one of us is gone. In a world like this, you pay it forward, 'cause more than likely you didn't deserve it when you got it the first time."

3.5 stars.

Mindy McGinnis can write a damn good survival story. This book follows Lucy, with Lynn a continual presence in the novel.

I LOVE LYNN. That being said,
In a handful of dust there is not a drop to drink...

An interesting follow-up to Not A Drop to Drink, while I didn't like it as much as the first installment, I did like it…I'm just not completely on-board with that ending.  Overall, a sadness hangs over the whole book…that never really dissipates with the ending, like the Author set out to make a series that puts the dis in dystopian.  She did have some interesting developments in this journey from Ohio to California…some I've never seen the lik
Here's the thing about Mindy McGinnis' books: They are exactly like great outdoors. Harsh and brutal but stunningly beautiful. And when it comes to Lynn, who is now in her late 20s in this book versus her teens in Not A Drop to Drink, I'll say it again. She is hands-down, the best female character in YA in terms of role models. Katniss, Tris, Bella. They don't do it for me the way Lynn does. She doesn't demand to be treated differently because she's a woman but she understands that she is going ...more
I read this book super fast - like less than a day. It's super well-written and the book is filled with tense action and great characterizations. I wouldn't call this book dark..per se, but it's gritty, literally and figuratively. You can feel the dirt and sweat - the desperation. This is definitely a book driven by Lucy (16-yr old girl who was a child in Not a Drop to Drink) and Lynn (26-yr old who was the heroine of that first book). They're friendship/mother-daughter relationship was powerful ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This one is as beautiful and desolate as the first book. Water is still a valued commodity, and life and the struggle of survival is still harsh. Harsher even, as circumstances change.

The story picks up years later, but so smoothly it feels like no time has passed.

It's an awesome sequel. In fact as a series these to novels are brilliant. They're definitely added to my most favorite shelf, and They are staying!!
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
2.5 stars

This was an okay follow up to Not A Drop To Drink, but I don't think it had the massive impact that the original book had.

It picks up about ten years after the first book and Lynn is now a grown woman and Lucy is now a teenager. Water is still an issue in their post-apocalypse world and now illness has become a major issue as well. Illnesses that had been allbut eradicated arenow reappearing and no one has the knowledge or skill to fight them. Lynn and Lucy are forced to travel across t
Starry-Eyed Jen
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The publisher also graciously provided the audiobook version for review. All thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Not a Drop to Drink was a surprising favorite for me last year, despite its bleak tone and gut-wrenching ending. I thrive on books that take a hypothetical situation and make it seem all too real...and possible. That's what the first book in this series did for m
My thanks to HarperTeen & Edelweiss

Point of View: Single (Lucy)
Writing: Third Person | Past Tense
Setting: Various location (view spoiler)
Genre: Young Adult | Post Apocalyptic

All I could think of after finishing this book was... More please!

In a Handful of Dust takes place 10 years after Not a Drop to Drink, the first installment in this ser
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
It’s 10-years since the events in ‘Not a Drop to Drink’, and polio is working its way through the small community where Lucy and Lynn live.
When circumstance forces them to leave their home, will they survive away from the pond? And what is going on in the rest of the world?

I was looking forward to this book after reading ‘Not a Drop to Drink’, but unfortunately, I was ultima
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher-sent
I received this ARC from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review, thanks!

I had Not a Drop to Drink on my to read list for a while now, and I'm kind of glad I waited because I could read it and the companion novel back to back without missing a beat. I absolutely loved the first book, and was a bit worried that the second may not live up to my high expectations. I shouldn't have worried. In a Handful of Dust is one of those rare sequels that surpasses the first.

The first book focused on Lynn
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
It took a really long time to read, mostly because of my slump but also because it was slower than its predecessor. In A Handful of Dust, however, was wonderful. It had a beautiful writing style, lovely character development and an exciting journey. Seeing some loose ends tied up and exploring the post Shortage world beyond Ohio was a joy and I plan to join Mindy McGinnis on whatever stories she creates!
Karen’s Library
Wow, just wow!!! Stunning ending!
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

To this date, I remember and recall McGinnis’s Not a Drop to Drink as electrifying and a serious bold read. It brought tears in my eyes, especially since it was an overall touching read because of the global warming slash dystopian aspects that hit readers all throughout. It isn’t your typical read where the city is messed up but stocked with electronics that people today would die for to have. No. It’s taken
Lauren Stoolfire
In a Handful of Dust is a solid companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink. It's set about a decade after the first novel and you don't have to be familiar with it to enjoy this but it certainly wouldn't hurt. I particularly enjoyed getting to know the now adult version of Lynn who is just as unforgettable as her younger counterpart. Plus, this is novel is a dystopian, post-apocalyptic road trip survival story as the characters have no choice but to travel from Ohio to California. McGinnis is one of ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Book Two of the Not A Drop To Drink series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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
Aj Sterkel
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I LOVED Not A Drop To Drink, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to read the sequel. I enjoyed it. It's a quick read, and there's a creepy twist at the end, but it didn't feel as original as Not A Drop To Drink. I might be burnt out on post-apocalyptic books? This is another apocalypse novel where the characters wander through the wasteland in search of safety. I feel like I've read a lot of those.

Better review to come . . . .
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Why yes, I DID just read three Mindy McGinnis books in three days; why do you ask?

And I'm feeling mildly guilty because I recently told somebody her books were hit-or-miss for me, but I was thinking of SOME OTHER AUTHOR because all I'd read by McGinnis is A Madness So Discreet, which I really liked, and then I just gobbled down these two books as well as The Female of the Species. Whoops!
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Realistic story that really pulls at your heart strings. I am so glad McGinnis decided to revisit this world that I loved so much from Not a Drop to Drink and this was an amazing sequel that I really enjoyed.

Opening Sentence: Maddy died hard.

The Review:

Lucy has luckily grown up in a loving community in the rural state of Ohio, filled with great friends and a loving adoptive mother. The world they live in is brutal and filled with people that wil
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: udate, apocalypse, ya
In a Handful of Dust is a powerful, character-driven follow up to Not a Drop to Drink. I do disagree that it is a companion novel, for me it read far more like a sequel, but it was definitely sequel-worthy.

Lucy has grown up since the events of Not a Drop to Drink, and Lynn has become more and more like her own mother. Although their personalities are very different, right from the beginning, the strength of their relationship is obvious, and is a combination of mother-daughter but also sisterly
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
“But the gray ridge of the mountains that sliced through the map was a weight on her heart, an obstacle to be met.”

In a Handful of Dust really outdid all of my expectations for what this book should have been. When I read the first book in this series, I wasn't sure what to think because even though I really enjoyed the story, the buzz that goes around some books always makes me be a little suspicious. It's not that I don't think they will be good, it just I have been disappointed so
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Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.

While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

Other books in the series

Not a Drop to Drink (2 books)
  • Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)

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“In a world like this, you pay it forward, 'cause more than likely you didn't deserve it when you got it the first time.” 19 likes
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