Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.

Release Date:September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

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The Summary: 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.

The Review:
I am in love with this book. I finished it in a matter of hours, and it’s still just pulling me in. I want to sit down and read it all over again. Not A Drop to Drink is a really interesting take on a YA post-apocalyptic world. Lynn is a great character, who can and does stand on her own. She’s grown up in a harsh world, where the water supply is strictly controlled by the cities. Raised by her mother, she lives on a piece of land that has a pond. She and her mother defend this land, and live off of it, doing okay for themselves. Lynn continues to grow as the story progresses, suffering loss and coping with it. She has little knowledge of the world outside of what her mother has taught her, and her world expands and grows, she changes along with it.

I really loved the writing in this book. It’s fast paced without being rushed, there are a few points that I would have liked to see expanded, but for the most part the pace is great. The description of the world, and how it’s changed, and the people in it are stellar. It’s the kind of writing that transports you to the setting. You’re there with Lynn and the others, going through what they go through. What I love most about Lynn as a character, and this is something shaped by her world, is she’s a badass simply because she has to be. She hunts, defends herself, and kills without question, because she has to. Otherwise she’ll die. The side characters were really great too. Stebbs was really well written, and I love the mentor/pseudo-father figure he provided. I actually liked Eli and the relationship that he and Lynn were building. It was a cute breath of fresh air, and I really appreciate that Eli didn’t push Lynn into anything at all.

My only complaint about this, is the last few chapters progress really quickly. I appreciate the epilogue and the further development of Lynn and her relationship with Lacey–I just wish there was more to it rather than a large time jump. I would have loved to see how things changed after the last chapter. Overall though, this book blew me away. It’s amazingly written, and just one that I want to throw at people and tell them to read it.

Let’s talk more! Tell me about a book that stood out in particular genre-wise for you. Have you read Not a Drop to Drink? If so we can talk about it more too!

Review: The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.
Release Date:June 10, 2012
Publisher: Quirk Books
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The Summary: What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

The Review: The cover initially drew me in, but it wasn’t until my mom tossed this book at me and told me to read the back, in her words “It’s a Shelly book”. From the first sentence of the premise I was hooked. I’ve been on such a big post-apocalyptic/pre-apocalyptic kick right now that I read this in a matter of hours. It’s a great mystery story, walking the line between obsession and the pull of duty, Palace is determined to find the person who got away with murder. Palace is a wonderful character, one who sticks to his guns and doesn’t waiver despite the world literally crawling closer to destruction. His narrative drives the book, and it’s a voice I really like. A bit dry, very sarcastic and just something that one day I hope to write.

It’s an interesting read. I love how characters respond to the news of the asteroid coming closer, and the frenzy fueled paranoia to complete a bucket list, or to just up and leave all responsibility. Societies paranoia and reaction to the asteroid become characters as much as Palace and the other members of the police force. This book is gritty and raw, and stark. It feels so incredibly real and it’s something that is still bouncing around in my head. I’m searching for the second book. I really should have picked them up together, because it really is a “Shelly Book”.

This is a book that left me stunned, even at the end when a few new plot points were introduced. Winters has created a story and a world that I’m jealous of, and it makes me wish I had thought of it first. This is a book that motivates me to write, and I’m really glad I picked it up.

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