Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most important, 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. And, 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, the nighttime threats, and the gunshots make it all too clear that 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 from our own.
©2013 Mindy McGinnis (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Not a Drop to Drink is a grounded, atmospheric, slow burn of a YA (the heroine is 16) novel. Unsparing, it harkens back to the days of the old frontier, when guns carved out a difficult existence for those attempting to settle the land. Although the premise may sound like it is a constant gun battle defending the pond, in reality this is more of a soul searching, moody piece with a good story not needing constant gunfights to carry the plot.
The story is deceptively simple. Lynn and her mother guard a small pond somewhere in Ohio with deadly dedication. Their lives are a constant struggle just to survive in the harsh dystopian landscape where the water has become scarce or poisoned. Wild animals, nature, or human predators are a constant threat that must be dealt with on a day to day basis. But it is an unsustainable existence: eventually, something (or someone) will get through.
The premise and writing are sound and the action at the beginning and the end is very captivating. The romance is downplayed and not the insta-love cliche and more along the lines of fulfilling need and loneliness issues. The characters are well drawn and complex - none overly good or evil and all acting within their own capacity in the harsh landscape.
In all, a deftly woven, engrossing story of survival in a not too distant future.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
‘Not a Drop to Drink’ is a YA story which is good for non-YA as well as I didn’t find to too YA. It’s well written and has wonderful character development but I had few issues with the plot. First is that for something in the post-apocalyptic genre there isn’t much action or drama. Some at the beginning then a dry spell for about half the book then some more at the end. This middle part is a good story though and where all the character development happens, but it would have been nice to have a bit more drama mixed in. Second is that the crux doesn’t really become apparent until the last 20% of the book. As I was making my way through I kept thinking, this is going to be a ‘to be continued book’ where nothing really happens then you’re left with a cliff-hanger. Thankfully that didn’t happen and everything was wrapped but in short order, but there wasn’t a gradual building to the crescendo but rather a steep climb that felt a bit rushed. That being said overall it’s a good story and one I enjoyed. I like books that are part of a series but are also self-contained so that you don’t get a complete story unless you go on to the next book so that’s another plus in my opinion.
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