21 September 2013

ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: September 24th, 2013
320 pages
Publisher: 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.

I was so thrilled to receive a copy of this highly anticipated novel. While I was definitely not disappointed by it, I can't really say it lived up to the whole hype revolving around it. What bothered me most was the pace, however I can understand the slow pace of the novel, since the theme of this novel is rather serious. With an interesting concept, McGinnis shows us a possible (and maybe even probable) future if we don't start treasuring one of the things that we can't live without: water. 

If you don't like slow beginnings,  Not a Drop to Drink may be a bad choice for you (and me). Yet I was glad I persisted because towards the end, I had difficulty putting this one down. I was surprised by the author's realistic way of writing. She certainly doesn't go easy on us and her characters! But that was the thing that I enjoyed the most. That not everything is flowers and sunshine, that the world is harsh and because of it there are difficult decisions to be made that not always end well. This world is certainly terrifying...and I hope we never have to live in it.

Lynn is in the beginning a rather protected and distant character emotionally wise, by the end of the novel she is like a different person.  It was so great to see how her character develops throughout the novel, even more after the addition of Eli in her life (a character who is her complete opposite). Unfortunately I didn't feel any kind of connection with the characters. Sometimes I felt like the author could have gone deeper, not only in the characters' personalities, but also in the world-building. I would have liked to know more about the city life, about Stebbs and even more about Eli. 

There were many things to like and to hate about Not a Drop to Drink. The writing, the realism, the attention to detail and character development were certainly good aspects of the novel. Some things were maybe superfluous (like the romance) or even completely left out (why mention the city if we don't get to read more about it?). Nevertheless I can't say I didn't enjoy it. Even though it is a rather sad dystopian novel, if you are into this genre, I think you may like this novel!

Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with a copy of the novel for review!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel! I'm glad you pushed through to the end. This is one of my most anticipated reads this year, too. Although I'm not a fan of slow pacing...I think the writing and the realistic-ness of the story world might win me over. Thanks for the great honest review!

    Precious @ Fragments of Life