Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink
 Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegan books
Expected Publication Date: September 24, 2013
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.
My Thoughts:
Not A Drop To Drink is about a mother and daughter who live in the basement of their farm house and by day and night protect their pond from the roof of their home. This survival story is one that touched me and was different from other dystopian novels I have read.
Lynn was a product of her environment. Her mother instilled survival instincts and the intelligence of doing so, but what this young lady lacked was friendship. Companionship was uncommon as Lynn and her mother lived in a desolate area and the only interaction was with wild animals and the occasional rogue. There is one exception, and that was Stebb. He lived off in the distant woods in what looked like a shack. Their interaction was very slim, but when Lynn needed someone the most, is when the reader truly got to know this man.

Their situation wasn’t uncommon, however, with the shortage of fresh water, they did what was necessary to protect the one thing they knew would alter their lives had they not had it; the pond. They had a daily routine of fetching buckets of water, heating it, and storing it for later use. This was sterilized which was important, as there was bacteria that could make them sick, or worse yet, be their demise.

The strength and courage they showcased was admirable. They weathered the roughest conditions and threats. Cutting their own firewood, fighting off ravenous wild animals, growing what food they could, killing those animals for meat, gutting, cleaning and storing of it as well.

These characters were well written and tough cookies. When an accident occurs, Lynn is left with a guilt and an unknown future. And enter Stebbs. Being alone with her mother her whole life, she is timid and unsure of the friendly guy.
The story really picked up when Lynn meets Eli. She develops a personality and it was a nice change of pace from the bland persona I had been used to. Trouble ensues and Lynn is forced to explore new emotions and step outside of the box so to speak.

Throughout the book, Lynn slowly opens up and evolves into a woman. She was no longer under the strict thumb of her mother and the pacing of this was perfection. I was relieved the further the story got and the change that Lynn made.

There were plenty of obstacles and twists thrown in, but some were so touching and heartbreaking I can’t even express. I had tears in my eyes on a couple occasions and I still, after a month ago reading this, can picture those scenes and my heart just throbs thinking of them. The decisions Lynn had to make, was just unfathomable. I think the author did an excellent job pulling the reader into these characters lives and world she created. She didn’t hold back on brutality of these characters lives and what they had to do to survive. I loved that about this story. It didn’t feel contrived, but very real for their situation and I give props to her for “going there.”

I would recommend Not A Drop To Drink to anyone. It was a wonderful story filled with survival, action, emotion, and a little bit of romance (Which was very well done in my opinion).


  1. Diving into this one soon, Amber. Great review. :)

    1. Thank you :) I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.

  2. I loved this one so much! It's seriously one of my favorite reads of the year. The characters and the story were just so good and done so well! This was a great review!

    1. Thank you, Christianna. So glad to hear you loved this book :)