Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from 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…
What I Liked:
As you can tell from my rating, I'm right in the middle, with this book. I don't know what to think about it. I don't have a solid opinion (yet), so I'm going with three stars. On the one hand, I guess I liked the story at least a little, because I read it and finished it without too much trouble. On the other hand, I'm feeling a bit apathetic, which is never a great feeling.
Lynn and her mother are out in the wild, living alone (together, but alone), guarding their pond. Water is scarce, fresh water is basically unheard of, and any source is as good as any. The pond is precious, and Lynn and her mother will do anything - even kill - to keep the pond from others. Strangers arrive by the stream. Changes are afoot. This is Lynn's story of survival, as well as the story of survival of others.
One thing that I can tell you know is that I really liked how McGinnis killed off characters left and right. I mean, it's a post-apocalyptic survival novel, so would you expect any less? But it took me aback, because many times in YA literature, authors are afraid to kill off characters, because they don't want to upset their audience. Yeah, whatever. McGinnis axed so many characters. I liked that.
That really stood out to me. Otherwise, this book was kind of meh. I guess I liked it, but it's one of those books that is just sort of there. It didn't jump out and grab me by the nose, but it didn't make me feel like I should strangle something with my bare hands.
The plot was meh (see below), the cadence of the book was meh (see below), even the romance was meh. I guess I liked the romance a bit, because it wasn't overwhelming. At the same time, it was barely even there. I feel like Lynn and the guy barely had any scenes together, until the last major part of the book, and of course, that's when many things change.
Yeah, I'm not sure what else to say. The ending was meh. I honestly was not invested enough to get upset or delighted or whatever I should have been feeling (like a normal person). This could be just me!
What I Did Not Like:
My overall feeling is apathy, so I don't really know what to say here either. I wasn't the biggest fan of the plot. It kind of just meandered along, and I wasn't really sure to expect from the climax and ending. Like, I was almost to the end, and I was like, what could McGinnis possibly do to actually have a climax in this book? I was confused. I guess the plot was more of a narration than Freytag's Pyramid, which is... okay, but not interesting, for this type of book. Yes, it's a survival story. But it's a story. It should have a plot. And climax. In my opinion.
The feel (mood) or cadence of the story was also very meandering-like. In music (I play the piano), I would call the tempo of this book "andante" - very much like walking speed. Things happened very slowly, and when actual things happened (besides Lynn killing people at her house), they happened in a way that you could probably miss them if you weren't reading carefully. And then you'd be like, who's this person? When was she introduced? Why is that person catching grasshoppers?
As far as survival stories go, this one isn't my favorite. It's an interesting take on a very significant topic (scarcity of water resources), and as an environmental engineer, I approve of the use of a major environmental issue in a YA novel. But the survival aspect of the story didn't really appeal to me.
Honestly, neither did any of the characters. I really did not connect with any of the characters - and if I *might* have, there was a good chance that McGinnis would kill them, so in the back of my head, I probably told myself not to get attached. But in all seriousness, I didn't really connect with Lynn or anyone else. Which is too bad.
The romance, eh. It wasn't really there, in my opinion. I liked and disliked this. On the one hand, at least the romance didn't take over the novel. On the other hand, I feel like Lynn and the guy barely connected. They weren't even together, like, in the same scenes, for a good part of the book!
The ending - see above. I'm very meh about the ending. Like, by then, I really didn't care.
Would I Recommend It:
Uhm. Yes and no. Yes, in that maybe you'll actually feel something towards this book, unlike me. It could have been circumstantial - maybe it wasn't the right time for me to read it, or I wasn't in the mood, but honestly, I highly doubt that. So, at the same time, not really (would I recommend it). My goal is to read all of the Friday the Thirteeners books, and this is one of them, so there's that.
3 stars. Eh. Meh. Could have been better. Could have been worse.
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!