Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian

I'm not always a fan of Dystopians. I typically find them depressing and opt to let one of the other Larks read and review them. There was something about this one that caught my attention though. I love the cover and the mood it evokes. I love it even more now that I understand why there is a figure on the roof. The other element that drew me in was the concept. As a social studies teacher, I am constantly having my students discuss the use of water, water pollution, water related diseases, and its scarcity in regions around the world. Water has the power to sustain us or drop us into conflict. Water is the life blood that courses through every society. Water does not care if you're rich or poor. I was intrigued by a United States that was experiencing a water crisis. This read was all the more terrifying and emotional for me because it seemed so plausible. This is a lifestyle I would never want to experience.

The writing is beautiful and the characters are complex. This is a novel that truly shines because it doesn't sacrifice literary value in order to please the masses. It's dark and gritty. Reading this one will rub your emotions raw and leave a dull, throbbing ache in your heart. The ending was particularly brutal and brought me to tears. In fact, I'm having trouble writing this review because my emotions are high jacking my vocabulary. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking of this as a little bit Little House on the Prairie mixed with some Doomsday Preppers and a sprinkling of The Grapes of Wrath

One of the strengths of this novel is the main character, Lynn. Her growth from start to finish is something that intrigued me. I was in awe that the same young woman in the epilogue was the young girl from the opening chapters. She changes so much and learns to open up her heart to possibilities in a world where the outlook is often bleak. In the beginning when Lynn is more closed off from helping others, I could understand her actions. I can't imagine how terrifying it would be to have to defend my water on a daily basis. Losing water means death. Poor Lynn is forced to grow up far too quickly in order to help her mother. No child should have to live in circumstances like this.

Reading stories like this one make me truly grateful for my life. Paula, another Lark, recently told me that she likes dystopians because they remind her to be thankful. These worlds while poignant and thought provoking are not the sort of novels that we want to crawl inside of and lose ourselves. I don't think anyone will read this one and think, hmmmm, I want to visit Lynn's house, like so many did after reading novels like Twilight and Harry Potter, but readers will walk away with thoughts zooming around in their brain. I don't think the effects of this novel will wear off anytime soon. Not a Drop to Drink will make you think, feel intense emotions, and chug a bottle of water.


One Last Gripe: I can't talk about it without spoiling anything, but there is one moment that shattered my heart and had me shouting WHY??!?!?!?

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I really adored everything, but the complex relationships did stand out.

First Sentence: Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond, the sweet smell of water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink.

Favorite Character: Lynn

Least Favorite Character: Roger



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.

27 comments:

  1. Wow
    This book looks amazing
    i LOVE the cover too
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. It was an amazing read. I loved it - in spite of its gritty nature.

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  2. I am soooo looking forward to this book!! Great review(:
    Happy reading
    Jackie

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  3. Thank you so much for the lovely and well written review! Truly flattered that you enjoyed DRINK :)

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    1. Thanks for checking out the review and taking the time to comment. It always makes my day when authors stop by Reading Lark!

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  4. Replies
    1. I hope you love it as much as I did! It's up there with The Hunger Games for me.

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  5. Everytime I read an awesome review for Not A Drop To Drink I get more impatient to get my hands on it!

    Great review!

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    Replies
    1. It's well worth the wait. Fabulous read!

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  6. I've seen this book in quite a lot of people's favourites of 2013 and now I'm sort of debating whether to purchase my own copy. I adore books that have complex relationships. Lovely review!

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    1. I thought it was an interesting and disturbing dystopian. It freaked me out a bit because it felt so realistic.

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  7. I didn't like this one as much as I had hoped. But it did keep me entertained throughout the whole book. I wonder if there will be a sequel.

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    1. I haven't heard anything about a sequel. I'm kind of hoping there won't be one. I felt like the ending provided plenty of resolution.

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  8. Great review! I have had this on my want list for a while.

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    1. Thanks for checking out the review. :)

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  9. I've heard so many good things about this one and the storyline sounds so intriguing! I agree with you and Lark Paula. While I can find myself engrossed in dystopian novels, I don't think there has been one yet where I have wanted to visit that world. Instead they always make me thankful for what I have and think about how are society is and how plausible it would be for one of these dystopians to truly exist in our world.

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    Replies
    1. I like how you phrased that - dystopians should make us thankful for what we have.

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  10. Good gosh, water is the last thing I would think we would run out of. What an original concept. Frightening, but original. I'm adding this one to my list.

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    1. Running out of water is a frightening thought. It's also a very real possibility for the future. The statistics are enough to make your blood run cold.

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  11. This one was harsh and the ending sad - but so so good:)

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    Replies
    1. The ending tore out my heart and stomped on it.

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  12. this sounds like such a different premise from usual YA books, it's very interesting!

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    1. It did have a different feel to it. It stands out among the other dystopians for me as a result.

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  13. I was a little iffy on picking this one up, then you commented that it was up there with Hunger Games for you...good enpough for me!

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  14. I wasn't sure if I wanted to give this book a try or not but thanks to your great review I am quite interested now.

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  15. I've been watching to read this book for quite some time now and after reading your review, its made me want to read it even more! Its not something I'm used to reading which is a breath of fresh air to be honest. I like to try and switch up what genres I read. Anyway, awesome review! :)

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