Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

20131129-123657.jpgReaders of post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian stories must suspend their disbelief for the duration of most of these stories. Plague-induced flesh-eating zombies, alien or cyborg invasion…these make great stories but are a little too far “out there” for the average reader to truly believe. Scarcity of clean drinking water, however, is something that is far too believable.

Not a Drop to Drink takes us into the lives of Lynn and her mother as they try to survive in a harsh, futuristic world where safe, clean drinking water is a commodity worth killing for. Their primary focus is to protect their pond at all costs. Cut off from the rest of the world, they rely on nobody but themselves. Lynn, in fact, cannot recall ever talking to anyone besides her mother. She’s a tough survivor who knows what has to be done when faced with danger. After all, her mother has raised her that way. But when tragedy strikes, Lynn is forced to let down her guard and allow others into her life. This comes in the form of their long-standing neighbor as well as strangers Eli and young Lucy. Of course Eli becomes the love interest. Isn’t that a requirement for a young adult novel? Still, the romance is more of a sideline and doesn’t distract from the inner toughness and maturity that Lynn exhibits throughout the story. It was also nice to see her transformation from a hard-as-nails, unemotional teenager into someone who truly cares for others and puts their well being before hers.

I enjoyed this book tremendously, and in large part because it felt more plausible to me than most of the other books of this genre that I’ve read. Clean water to drink is something that most of us take for granted. But how long would we be able to survive if our supply was limited? What measures would we take to protect what little we had? And what would we be willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others? While I won’t pretend that this was a particularly deep or thought-provoking story, it did make me think “what if” a bit more than others have recently. This book has great character development and the author provides a well-described environment that helps the reader understand why certain tough decisions had to be made. This one is a well-written, strong story!

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Not a Drop to Drink

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