NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink
by Mindy McGinnis
published by Katherine Tegen Books


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.


2 owls

Something about survival stories rubs me the wrong way.

Maybe it's because I had a very wonderful, secure upbringing and don't relate. Maybe it's because I hate camping. (And I do hate camping, by the way. A lot. And this book reminded me of how much I hate camping. Except they're camping indefinitely, which sounds like something I want to stop talking about immediately.) Either way, the whole premise of this book felt very real, like something that could actually happen one day, but it unfortunately didn't make me want to keep reading.

The first 50 pages pulled me in and didn't let me go. Something after that, something unidentifiable, relinquished all holds on me, and I just lost it. I skimmed the rest of the book, to be honest: there was nothing making me want to continue reading.

The thing about this particular survival story is that the end goal is just survival. It is wandering, aimless, with no other real goal but survival. Which is sad, and not exactly my mind of thing. I'm sure others will find this book more redeemable than I did.

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