Kat's Reviews > Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ya, apocalypse, 2013-reads

Not a Drop to Drink was one of my most anticipated books of 2013. I mean, the title and cover were enough to get me salivating, and then the synopsis had me stalking this book like a....well, like a book lover wanting to get their hands on the book that was 'meant for them'.

Lynn and her mother, Lauren, live in near-isolation in their farmhouse, vigilantly guarding their pond - a safe source of water in a world that is suffering extreme water shortage. Keeping it isolated from others means that they are pretty ruthless when people approach them to ask for help, or try to take what is theirs.

Lauren is a character that on the surface may appear selfish and hard, but it's also obvious as the story progresses that her one and only priority is keeping Lynn safe - even if it is at the expense of others. Lynn is also one tough cookie - she is very similar to her mother, but this actually made me like both of them more, rather than less. It's a strong family bond, and together they are almost impenetrable.

The most surprising, and probably the best thing about Not a Drop to Drink, is that McGinnis takes pretty much every stereotype in a genre that has started to feel cliched and turns it completely upside down:

- There's action, but it takes place over a very small, concentrated area and although the world is obviously up the proverbial creek, the characters are really the crux of the book.

- There's a lot of character development, particularly in Lynn, and gradually she starts to transform into an incredibly diverse character. By the end of the book I was had nothing but complete admiration for her toughness, her loyalty and her focus.

- The romance is gradual and sweet, without being super-sappy. When Lynn first meets the boy, Eli, there's not even really a comment on his looks, and only one reference through the book that I remember about the colour of his eyes.

Not a Drop to Drink was so near to perfect, it pains me to say there was only one thing that didn't quite fit to me - and that's the fact that Lauren never really taught Lynn to do in a 'worst case' scenario. I would have imagined that a character like Lauren would have set Lynn up with a complete contingency plan if anything were to happen to her, but it was never mentioned, and felt strange that someone so intent on survival wouldn't do that.

When it comes to the world-building, there isn't a whole lot of information on what actually happened outside the immediate vicinity of Lynn's home. However, the only way to do that would be a big info dump that would have felt completely out of place, so I'm more than glad that it was left up to my imagination. There's no crazy dystopian regime, this is a book about survival, and the lengths that humans will go to to protect their family, their property and their way of life.

I don't want to spoil the book for potential readers, but there's are several events in the story that I would never have thought would happen - they are brave choices, but they make Not a Drop to Drink different from the vast majority of YA apocalyptic/dystopian books I've read in the past few years. I really really liked this book - it far surpassed my expectations, and also took me by surprise in how very brave it is.
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Reading Progress

October 28, 2012 – Shelved
August 5, 2013 – Started Reading
August 5, 2013 –
August 6, 2013 –
August 7, 2013 –
page 63
August 7, 2013 –
August 7, 2013 –
August 7, 2013 – Finished Reading

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Patricia Fantastic review! It's exactly how I felt about the book! Loved it.

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