Monday, September 30, 2013

Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Since the time of the Shortage water has been in scarce supply. Times like these, having your own water source is the difference between life and death. That's why Lynn and her mother will do anything to protect their pond. Lynn's earliest memories have everything to do with protecting their water and land. She was taught to shoot. She was taught to hunt. She was taught to kill. And she was taught that the only other person she could rely on was her mother. But then Lynn's mother dies and the teen is left alone to fend for herself. Winter is coming and there are strangers to the south as well as to the east. This time survival will mean more than just defending what's hers. This time Lynn will have to learn who she can trust.

Mindy McGinnis's debut has been gaining buzz for months but I wasn't able to tackle the book myself until this past weekend. Now I finally see what all the fuss has been about!

McGinnis's debut is part frontier survival and part post-apocalypse dystopian. We only get a bit of Lynn's world through the narrative, mainly because Lynn herself is so closed off and because her mother tells her little to nothing about the Shortage. What we do get, though, is enough to set the scene for a none too pleasant future in which potable water is sold at an extremely high price to those fortunate enough to live within a city's walls and isn't supplied at all to those outside.

Lynn and her mother live in the house her mother grew up in. Their nearest neighbor is seen through binoculars - he keeps to himself and Lynn and her mother keep to themselves. Lynn's mother's tactic for protecting their water is ensuring that no one beyond herself and her daughter comes anywhere close to it. (Lynn's mother is all about efficiency and practicality.) Turns out this is fine until Lynn is on her own.

Not a Drop to Drink is really everything you want in a great book. The characters are rich and real, the story is gripping, and McGinnis's writing is truly excellent. What's more, Not a Drop to Drink falls into the ever growing category of teen reads that's appealing to adults as well. I don't know what's in store next for McGinnis but she's made my must read list for sure!

Rating: 5/5

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