Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Not a Drop to Drink #1)
Published Katherine Tegen 2013
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
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.
I’m a big fan of dystopians, and although the genre isn’t as popular anymore, I am still reading plenty of them that I bought during the huge craze. This is one that has only been on my radar for a short time, but all my friends have given it wonderful reviews. And I can see why, but this just wasn’t what I happened to be looking for from this book.
This is a survival story in the wilderness, but I also felt like there was no plot here. It was basically Lynn trying to survive among the elements – which I guess is a conflict (Lynn vs. nature), but there was no action or anything that kept me hooked on the book. Maybe it would have been better if I had more of an emotional connection with Lynn, but I never warmed up to her. She seemed very impersonal to me and I had trouble understanding her character. She was pretty emotionally unattached from anything that happened and I felt like her reactions never made sense.
One part of this book I did really like were the side characters. Characters like Stebbs, Lucy, and Eli were interesting and made the story feel more united. I was pretty worried that it would just be Lynn and her mother through the whole book, but thankfully, there were more characters brought in to help push the plot forward. Also, the world was kind of confusing. Lynn was detached from what was happening in the cities, but I wish that we had a clearer idea of what was happening to Eli and his family before they left.
I was also not a fan of the romance. It felt so much like instalove to me that I didn’t care about anything that came after. Lynn really didn’t know how to handle herself around him, and I got a very weird vibe about what he left behind in the city. I’m avoiding spoilers here, but their relationship didn’t work for me, basically.
Overall, I’m really sad to say that I didn’t like this book. I will probably read more from Mindy McGinnis but not finishing this series. I think it’s safe to say that survival books like this just aren’t my cup of tea.