03 February 2015

Today's Read: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnisWhat if global warming can't be reversed? In the future world, water will be the prized commodity, and the haves will do whatever is necessary to keep it from the have-nots. For Lynn, daily survival depends on only four things: her, her gun, her mother, and their pond.

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. Mother had killed the people who came too close to their pond before, but over the next seven years they fell by Lynn's gun as well, their existence easily wiped out first by a bullet, then by the coyotes before the sun could rise. Death and gunpowder were scents from her childhood, but today the fall breeze brought something less familiar to her rooftop perch, and her nose wrinkled.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books, 2013, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: the future; in a rural area
  • Circumstances: Lynn and her mother know that their lives depend on defending the pond and preserving food for the approaching winter. When Lynn's bleak but workable life is shattered, something will have to change. She must weigh everything she knows to be true against her gut instincts; if she makes the wrong choice, she'll be dead.
  • Characters: Lynn and her mother; their neighbor, Stebbs; outsiders
  • Genre & audience: dystopian; YA with adult cross-over
  • The new and different: Unlike other young adult dystopian novels, Not a Drop to Drink has a strong feel of realism. There is no Big Brother government breathing down Lynn's neck, no games or mazes, no one living the life of luxury just around the bend. This world is simply about the hard business of individual survival. The book is more along the lines of adult dystopians—like The Road, for example—than the usual teen fare.
  • The same old: (warning, possible spoiler→) What's a teen dystopian without a little romance; it's not totally insta-love, but almost. Fortunately, this does not take away from the overall mood of the story.
  • Miscellaneous: I'm not sure McGinnis is planning a long series, but the second book, In a Handful of Dust, was published a few months ago. The new installment takes place about decade after Not a Drop to Drink ends, and I hope to read it soon.
  • The author: McGinnis was inspired to write the novel after watching a documentary on what the future could be like if we truly start to run out of fresh water. You can listen to (or read) an NPR story in which McGinnis talks about her book.
  • Recommendations: I'm still reading, but I'm in agreement with almost everyone who has reviewed this book: Not a Drop to Drink is well written, bleak, realistic, and gritty (had to use the word, sorry). Despite the target audience, Mindy McGinnis has given us a mature story about an all-too-possible future. Now excuse me while I start digging a well and look for a shotgun.


nishitak 2/3/15, 5:53 AM  

Sounds pretty grim. I'd be interested to read your review once you're done with this book.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 2/3/15, 7:13 AM  

I like the intro and the cover. Thanks for sharing as I hadn't heard of this one.

Kim@Time2Read 2/3/15, 7:27 AM  

Not sure this one is for me, but I hope you enjoy it!
Today I'm featuring Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar.

Sarah's Book Shelves 2/3/15, 7:57 AM  

This isn't usually my genre of choice, but I did like the intro. The whole premise kind of reminds me of One Second After - a story about what life would look like if we were attacked by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Guns become really important in that scenario too!

Unknown 2/3/15, 8:17 AM  

I finally got this one! I'm hoping to start it soon. I hope you are enjoying it.
My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/02/03/teaser-tuesdays-100-one-more-day-what-if-tommorrow-never-happens/

Cleopatra Loves Books 2/3/15, 8:40 AM  

I'm not entirely sure this is for me but I did like the teaser and your fact sheet (which is always useful) Here is my TT https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/teaser-tuesday-february-3/

Anonymous,  2/3/15, 8:46 AM  

That's a hard life! Mine this week is a murder mystery, but a much lighter book. http://wp.me/pZnGI-iW

JoAnn 2/3/15, 8:58 AM  

This one probably isn't for me, but I'll keep an eye out for your review before deciding.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 2/3/15, 9:21 AM  

Sounds all too believable and a bit scary,..

My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/02/first-chapter-first-paragraph-92.html

sherry fundin 2/3/15, 9:29 AM  

Cool cover and I am liking the sound of this book.
sherry @ fundinmental My TT

bermudaonion 2/3/15, 9:37 AM  

This sounds scary only because it sounds like it could come true!

Laurel-Rain Snow 2/3/15, 10:05 AM  

This one sounds very frightening; in fact, because it could likely happen, it terrifies me. I don't know if I could read it, but then again, I am drawn to things that are troubling. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Unknown 2/3/15, 11:10 AM  

I enjoy a good survival story, and that's exactly what this one sounds like. I would definitely pick it up. Great tease :)

My Teaser this week

Nise' 2/3/15, 11:28 AM  

Sounds good! I've always liked Katherine Tegen books.

Margot 2/3/15, 12:16 PM  

Sorry, but it's not for me. It would give me nightmares. I hope its good for you though.

Literary Feline 2/3/15, 2:23 PM  

Given the dire predictions if the drought in California continues, this book sounds like it could be reality.

I hadn't heard of this book, but I'm definitely curious. Adding this one to my wish list.

Zed 2/3/15, 2:49 PM  

Sounds interesting but a little odd - but that goes hand in hand with any dystopian doesn't it?
Here's a link to my teaser:

Unknown 2/3/15, 3:23 PM  

Not heard of this one before, sounds interesting.

Lindsay 2/3/15, 3:40 PM  

This sounds a gripping and frightening read, both attracts me and yet would unsettle me I suspect. I like the quick facts you've shared too.

Anonymous,  2/3/15, 3:42 PM  

Sounds intriguing.

Sandra Nachlinger 2/3/15, 5:01 PM  

I've been hearing for a long time that water will become more valuable than silver, gold, and oil. Looks like this author takes us into that kind of future. The opening definitely makes me want to know what she smells on her rooftop perch.
My Tuesday post features SIX STRINGS.

Alice Audrey 2/3/15, 5:04 PM  

I kind of like the Big Brother distopias, but that realism you describe has a lot of appeal.

kayerj 2/3/15, 5:44 PM  

Wow! that's quite the beginning. Times must be hard. It does sound like the beginning to a good story. Enjoy your book and Have a nice week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Marcia 2/3/15, 8:26 PM  

Not really a book I'd pull off the shelf to read; however, I really like the feature of listing Quick Facts about the book

Verushka 2/4/15, 5:20 AM  

That is intense, whew. Like Marcia above said, it's not something I would read, but I too like your quick facts. Good run down!

Daryl 2/4/15, 3:37 PM  

sounds interesting … i will add it to my list, thanks

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine 2/10/15, 8:59 AM  

I really liked this book and the sequel In A Handful of Dust.

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