Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnisNot a Drop to Drink: What it is about

The publisher says: “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 important, 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, the nighttime threats, and the gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it.

Not a Drop to Drink: What I thought

This is a YA book that doesn’t look YA and doesn’t read as a YA book. Yes, the protagonist is only 16, but I would never have recognised this book as a YA book if I hadn’t been told it was.

It’s a dystopian story: Lynn and her mother living on a farm, shooting at everything that comes nearby. They have one neighbor that they are on cease-fire footing with, but no more than that. Their life is lonely. Lynn’s mother remembers a time of abundance. Not just water, which they are very short of now, but many other things too. Strangers are people to be afraid of and Lynn and her mother shoot first, then ask.

This was a great story that reminded me of two recent dystopian books I have read: Lighthouse Island, in which a girl lives in a world without enough water, too. Her society is much more scary, because danger comes from the government itself, rather than individual strangers; and The Dog Stars, in which a lonely man is living in a farm house with just a neighbor nearby whom he may or may not trust. He also shoots before he asks questions.

The story develops slowly but there are some surprises in store, not just for Lynn, but also for the reader. The book shows that people working together can achieve so much more. Except that is not only true for the good guys….

Recommended for people who can handle a bleak book with some light at the end of the tunnel.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (very good)

Number of pages: 312

First published: 2013

I got this: from Kathleen Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper Collins) for review

Genre: science fiction, dystopia

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

3 Responses to Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

  1. bibliosue says:

    Hm. I am not much for dystopia but this sounds interesting. How would any of us react if we had our own limited water supply?

  2. Athira says:

    Glad that you loved this. I am looking forward to reading it.

  3. Oh wow, this sounds intense! I’m not usually a dystopian kind of gal but this sounds like something I would really enjoy.

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