Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

I discovered this book a while back, after reading the blurb, I was so enticed… Imagine my surprise when I asked the librarian for this book and she took me along to the teen section! I can probably count on one hand the number of YA/teen fiction books I have read this year but I checked it out anyway and here’s what I thought…

From the back cover:

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.

My Thoughts:

I read Not a Drop to Drink in one sitting and I enjoyed every minute of it. I really enjoy dystopian fiction – reading about the characters as they fight to survive in a barren wasteland. In this novel water is gold and people kill for it and Lynn will fight to the end to protect what’s hers!

Don’t let the fact that Lynn is still a young teenager fool you, her mother trained her well, with her rifle always in reach, one shot is all she needs to hit her target. Her character was extremely well developed and you easily warm to, and root for, her. In fact, this book has several characters you quickly warm to and hope they can survive what’s coming – because if you have water, you’re a target!

What I love most about these types of novels is their settings, the descriptions of a post-apocalyptic world – I love visualising what this world would look like and what it would be like to live in the world the author has created. McGinnis has created a world I wouldn’t like to live in but one that I enjoyed reading about – from the coyotes roaming, to the cold harsh winters, to the adaptions needed to survive in a world where you can only tell the time by the location of the sun.

As a novel aimed at younger readers, I wasn’t expecting violence, blood and gore but that doesn’t mean this novel is without it’s thrills, the fight for survival is very real and McGinnis does a wonderful job showcasing this without the need for descriptive violence. Not a Drop to Drink has some heart-warming moments too.

If you’re not a regular reader of YA/teen fiction, please don’t underrate this book because it wasn’t ‘adult’ enough for you. It is aimed at a younger reading audience but, as I am proof, it can be enjoyed by an older audience too. I love the concept of a world where water is scarce; McGinnis has plotted a very enjoyable novel and I will go on to read book 2.

If this novel appeals to you but you’re not a reader of YA, I highly recommend reading The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi – it’s an adult sci-fi, dystopian thriller in which water is also more valuable than gold.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

31 thoughts on “Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

      1. Well since you asked😜, I was thinking about some of my favorite love stories to tempt you with…not Romance genre because I don’t really read from there but stories with love and no murder😊So I’ll toss out there One Day by David Nicholls, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, The Storied Life of AJ Fikrey, And Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin…just off the top pf my head:) Toss me a few of your favorite Dystopian titles and maybe I’ll jump outside of my reading comfort zone with one😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll give you one, I know you like books with realistic storylines so I’m going with The Wolf Road, read that one and let me know what you think!

        I can’t pick out of those titles, you know my taste quite well, select one and I will read it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I tried The Wolf Road when it came out and couldn’t get into it:( Another idea? We could both read All Our Wrong Today’s sometime but let me know if there’s another Dystopian you loved. All of those books are out of your preferred genre so I’ll go with One Day or A Hundred Summers:)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Really 😱 I haven’t read that many myself but maybe read The Water Knife, its more action-orientated than The Wolf Road. It took me a little while to get into because I was new to these types of books but I stayed thinking about it long after finishing it. Actually it makes sense that you couldn’t get into TWR because I’d say it’s for fans of The Marsh King’s Daughter and you couldn’t get into that one either. Or I’m up for buddy reading All Our Wrong Todays, you might like the genre more of you’ve got someone to discuss with, maybe you need a helping hand before you sail out on your own 😂

        Okay, I’ll pick whichever one the library has available lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I read this book last summer and enjoyed the first two-thirds of it. IT HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL! That ending ruined it for me, to be honest. I didn’t really enjoy it, but I’m glad you did! That’s what’s so great about the book blogging community, you get to talk to people that have different opinions than you.

    xoxo, Rawan M from RMAI

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, talking books would get really dull if we all liked and disliked the same books! I am sorry this one didn’t work out for you though, it’s almost worse when a book starts off good then goes downhill, compared to you just not liking it from the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought this book the moment it came out… and left it on my shelf. About time I dust it off and give it a read! You wonderful review has given me the kick in the pants I needed to get some motivation.
    Look forward to your next post. Happy reading 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The cover is beautiful and I didn’t think it was YA when I saw your review on Goodreads! This sounds great, I enjoy dystopian settings in films/shows so much but I haven’t read many boooks…maybe this one?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, why not!? But if it’s your first-ish intro to dystopian fiction, read The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis or the Water Knife. While I really enjoyed this one, I thought they were both better 😊


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