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Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis Book Review

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 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.
Source: ALA
Page Count: 320
I have a confession - even though I'm tired of dystopian novels, I can't help but still pick them up from time to time. The fad seems to have died down just a bit, but I'm still in this state of either being completely surprised by it, or ending up, well, really hating it. Luckily, NOT A DROP TO DRINK is one of those earlier cases. It's not only realistic, but an engaging by entertaining read!

Smart, strong and a bit standoffish, on the surface, Lynn is virtually your classic dystopian heroine. Personally I don't really have a problem with that - after all, I can't really complain about a strong main character. It's just usually that they don't particularly stand out to me. What I liked about her character, though, was how it developed through the novel. In the beginning of the story, it's just Lynn and her mother, and all that her mother's told her is what she knows - no matter how violent or seemingly heartless it may seem. As the story progresses though, while she loses some of her innocence but also, for lack of a better term, gains some, too. While Lynn is learning about the outside world, she's also learning how to open up for the first time.

What sets NOT A DROP TO DRINK apart from most other dystopian novels, though, is its storyline. Admittedly, a good portion of my favorite dystopias consists of a lot of action, because, well, it's entertaining! That's not to say NOT A DROP TO DRINK doesn't have action but the novel is really more about how Lynn survives in this dark world. If you've watched The Walking Dead, this novel is kind of a version of what would have happened if the survivors lived on a farm. It was really interesting for me to see how she survived, and what kinds of things she'd do to make sure she was alive...

I also feel that I should mention the romance. There is a bit of one, and it doesn't take too much of the storyline, but it should be enough to satisfy romance junkies (; That being said, this was the one part of the novel that I felt could have been developed slightly more. It was really sweet though!

One last point – the world! This was probably my favorite part of the novel, because it’s a seriously realistic prediction. Despite there not being robots or magic powers, it’s dark, and even a bit haunting. And even if this sounds cliché, I really felt like I could see the world – not just because of McGinnis’s prose, but also because, again, it’s just so realistic!

Captivating and realistic, NOT A DROP TO DRINK is easily one of my favorite reads of the year. I’d recommend this book for fans of dystopia (obviously), but also if you like the idea of the genre but can’t seem to find a good execution of it – I really feel that this book’s world and different type of storyline set it apart.

Ever since Rachael ended up with Nancy Drew book in my hands, Rachael has been obsessed with the written word! Outside of reading and blogging, Rachael also spends time playing three instruments, giggling excessively, eating good food and watching good movies. Currently Rachael lives i
n Northern California with her family and two rabbits.


  1. Ooh, I've been looking at this one for a while but I hadn't seen many reviews on it. After reading your review, I think I'll definitely be getting myself a copy when it's released.
    I love dystopian novels, so I think I'll definitely enjoy this one. It's sounds so different to any other dystopians I've read. Dark and mysterious. I'm pretty excited to read this now, I can't wait to discover this dark world.
    Great review!

  2. I'm looking forward to this one. I'm glad to see a good review on it.

  3. I've seen plenty of gushing reviews on this one. Good to hear you enjoyed it as well!

    Great review, Montana! <33

  4. I'm still in a Dystopian kick, so I'll try to read anything. I'm very excited about this book and I'm happy you liked it despite your Dystopian-tiredness :D!


  5. I've seen this one floating around some blogs and I just think the whole concept is really intriguing. It's hard to find unique Dystopians these days, so I'm glad there's some books out there that are really having fun with the concept and creating something other than the typical 'totalitarian government' world!

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

  6. This is the second positive review I have read for this book, and I really want to read it now! It sounds really great and LYnn sounds like a fantastic characters. I am really looking forward to the world=building, the plot and the romance. Everything balances out here, and I can't wait to see that. I'm glad you enjoyed this! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 


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