Ellen Gail's Reviews > Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
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really liked it
bookshelves: so-pretty

She twisted underneath him, bringing her knee into his groin and pulling her knife from her boot.
"Mother taught me to carry a knife for always."
She left him holding his intestines in disbelief as she disappeared down the hill, his gun tucked securely in her waistband.


Dramatic voiceover voice: In a world where clean drinking water is scarce, supplies are limited, and disease is flourishing, a mother and daughter must fight to hold on to their water, their family, and their lives.

I totally fell in love with this story! Lynn as a character is hard and raw in so many aspects. She's had to fight and kill and work from such a young age. She also has the ability to be caring and open when given the opportunity, which is not often. She can be warm, but never mushy or overly sentimental.

There is romance, but it's very minimal and natural. Like not even a HINT of instalove. The relationship between Lucy and Lynn is given arguably more development than her relationship Eli. I really don't have any complaints about the characters. Lauren, Stebbs, and Vera, they all contributed to the story in various ways. Especially Stebbs. His gradual integration into Lynn's life was done perfectly.

(view spoiler)

"Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond, the sweet smell of water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink.

Lynn does eventually grow a heart and get "soft" and yada yada yada, but she's still a fierce bitch who will kill to protect her own. She's just learned that what she considers her own might stretch a little further than the clothes on her back and her water supply. There was an element of thirst missing from the story though. I suppose because Lynn & Stebbs were relatively well off when it came to having access to clean drinking water, but the story never felt parched.



Ohh! The writing! I have to compliment the writing! It's so sparse and open, a gritty survival story that doesn't feel false or like it's trying too hard to be tough. It just works.

Not a Drop to Drink manages grit without pretension, a fight for survival with a core of humanity. It knows what the story is, who its characters are, and succeeds in telling a great story beautifully. Bravo!

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UPDATE! There is a cat on my lap again, but the review is written. =)

That sense of satisfaction when a book with a really fucking gorgeous cover turns out to be just as good on the inside. I'm very very pleased.

Review will be written when I can get this cat off my lap. At the moment I am paralyzed by snuggles.
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Reading Progress

December 29, 2013 – Shelved
December 29, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
April 19, 2014 – Shelved as: so-pretty
April 14, 2016 –
page 1
0.32% "I love the cover of this book. It's almost too damn pretty."
April 15, 2016 – Started Reading
April 24, 2016 –
page 1
0.32% "I didn't get around to starting this before vacation. Let's start this for real this time!"
April 24, 2016 –
page 49
15.86% "Off to a good start!"
April 25, 2016 –
page 96
31.07% "This is really good so far. I am impressed."
April 27, 2016 –
page 135
43.69% "I like this. It's gritty and tough without feeling forced."
May 5, 2016 –
page 223
72.17% "Everything is entirely too happy. I smell disaster coming."
May 5, 2016 –
page 284
91.91% "UNEXPECTED PLOT TWIST!"
May 5, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Trish (new)

Trish At the moment I am paralyzed by snuggles.

That is the best excuse you could have. :)


Ellen Gail If only it worked for getting a day off work!


message 3: by Trish (new)

Trish *lol* Yeah, if it did, I'd use it too. ;P


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Excellent review! I forgot how good this one was.


Ellen Gail Thanks Kelly! I bought this one years ago and just now got around to it. I'm so glad I did!


Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell These running-out-of-water dystopias always freak me out because I live in California and we've been experiencing a drought for YEARS. And then I drink a tall glass of water while fretting and biting my nails haha.

Great review. I'm curious to read this, too-close-to-home or no. ;D


message 7: by Trish (new)

Trish Nenia wrote: "These running-out-of-water dystopias always freak me out because I live in California and we've been experiencing a drought for YEARS. And then I drink a tall glass of water while fretting and biti..."

Isn't it great to read a book that has a theme you're immediately affected by? That's why I love reading books about expeditions-to-the-Arctic-gone-wrong in the middle of winter when it's snowing like crazy. Or books about deserts and unsurvivable heat in the middle o the worst sumemr since recorded weather readings (last year).


Ellen Gail Nenia wrote: "These running-out-of-water dystopias always freak me out because I live in California and we've been experiencing a drought for YEARS. And then I drink a tall glass of water while fretting and biti..."

You should try it! Parts of it are actually very cold and snowy, so definitely un-California!


Ellen Gail Trish wrote: "Nenia wrote: "These running-out-of-water dystopias always freak me out because I live in California and we've been experiencing a drought for YEARS. And then I drink a tall glass of water while fre..."

Ohhhhh what was the Arctic gone wrong book?


message 10: by Trish (new)

Trish Several. Simmons' Terror for example is very atmospheric. Also, I've come to enjoy Christopher Ross' books (sort of a guilty pleasure).


Ellen Gail Interesting! I'll have to check those out. I read Dead Mountain last year and it really captures that eerie snowy atmospheric creepy thing. I'd love to read more of that.


message 12: by Trish (new)

Trish Terror is definitely eerie and creepy. Or so I've been told. I started it once but had to abandon it for lack of time (I had exams back then).


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