Review of Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to DrinkNot a Drop to Drink
By: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Barnes and Noble

My Rating:

I read Not a Drop to Drink with my reading group Krys from Bibliopunkk and Jon from Scott Reads It. There’s nothing like reading a great book with friends.

Summary (via Goodreads):
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….

The Story:
For this being targeted at young adults I was impressed with the gritty nature of Not a Drop to Drink. McGinnis doesn’t hold back in creating a world full of violence, desperation and the need to survive at any cost. The writing flowed smoothly and the descriptions were vivid enough to really transport the reader. Throughout my entire reading experience I felt gripped by anxiety and fully immersed in Lynn’s life and struggles.

The prospect of a world deprived of our most needed necessity, water, was haunting and eerily possible. Isolation and survival in the face of misfortune were major themes yet as the story progressed the tone changed to encompass hope and love. I was blown away with how smooth the transition took place before my eyes; no aspect of this book felt choppy or unplanned. From the beginning to end I felt complete faith in McGinnis’ storytelling and her ability to complete Lynn’s journey.

The Characters:
Not a Drop to Drink was one of the most impressive character driven novels I have read. I can’t recall the last book that had as seamless growth of the main character as this book had. Lynn starts out completely influenced by her mother and her alone. Her world is totally reliant and shaped by her home, their lake and her mother’s rules. McGinnis shapes and molds Lynn to adapt to her situations and the people she encounters. Her character’s growth is fueled by her experiences and is incredibly realistic and expertly done.

The secondary characters were not forgotten, McGinnis gave them all backstories and unique world views. I felt that I knew each of them and became attached fearing for their safety and outcome. I found it fascinating to think about how different personalities and situations would shape a person to handle a world so far removed, yet completely plausible, to our own.

Final Thoughts:
Not a Drop to Drink would be considered a dystopian or survival tale but this novel stands apart from the rest because of it’s incredible characters and unique atmosphere similar to an old western. This mix created something entirely new for me and absolutely addictive. I believe this is a stand-alone, which I am happy with, but I do want more from Mindy McGinnis’ mind.


  1. says

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad to hear you loved this one! I’m really looking forward to reading this one myself, and knowing that you loved it, I’m more confident on loving it myself!

    Still over a month to go to get this one, though!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for the lovely review! It means a lot to me when someone loves my book – it’s not for everybody, but the people that *get* it, will really *get* it 🙂 Thanks again!

    • says

      I’m so honored you stopped by and read my review. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really loved it and I think many, many will ‘get’ it. It’s such a wonderfully done novel.

  3. says

    Really wanting to read this one. Loved your review.
    Now I am really eager to read it
    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  4. says

    I just started this last night and I am really enjoying it too far. I agree that the grittiness adds something. I never understood making a post -apocalyptic book that wasn’t gritty, you know?

  5. says

    I’ve been trying so very hard not to download a copy because I already have more arcs than I know what to do with, but one glowing review after another and I’m finally convinced. You had me at ‘old western’.
    What a gorgeous, well-worded review! Thanks. :))

  6. says

    I’d say it’s more of a survival tale, but I think that works really well for the book. I love that it manages to be quite slowly paced and quiet in terms of plot, but still completely gripping. The only one thing that I’m not one hundred percent invested in is the slight romance, though other than that, I’m really enjoying this book so far. Great review, Kristen! 🙂

  7. Alise says

    I love character driven novels, they are my favorite, especially when the secondary characters are just as fleshed out and diverse as the main characters. Dystopia is a favorite genre of mine so I will for sure be checking this one out, thanks for sharing!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

  8. says

    I just got an ARC of this one! (I already had a galley, but I actually won a Goodreads giveaway, yay!) I love gritty books, and character driven stories. It sounds like I’ll love this one the way I loved Blood Red Road. Which excites me to no end because I really, really loved BRR.

  9. says

    TOTALLY agree. I loved this book! I read a lot of YA dystopians and this one definitely stands out. It’s grim, but it’s got a lot of heart, too. I’m glad you enjoyed it, too.

    P.S. I’m enjoying your reviews so much that I’m not following you on Bloglovin’ 🙂


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