Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis | Book ReviewNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not A Drop To Drink #1
Also in this series: In a Handful of Dust
Also by this author: In a Handful of Dust, Given to the Sea, A Madness So Discreet
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-09-24
Genres: Action & Adventure, Country Life, Love & Romance, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

Every time I think I have fatigue for a genre, a new book comes around from the genre that I am like totally fatigued with and changes up my mindset. Friends, I thought I was over dystopia, I thought I was over post-apocalyptic fiction. However, the siren like colors of Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis kept catching my eye because you know the cover goes from black and white to green and yellow and it is so eye catching and I am such a magpie. And so, practically a year after release, I decided NOW IS THE TIME and promptly put Not A Drop To Drink on my books to read by BEA pile. You guys, what a good life choice! This book was so enthralling, I just need to stop and take a breath before rambling on and on and on to you about it.

Lynn’s world is pretty small. It is just her, her Mother, their house and a pond on their yard that they guard. Every once in awhile they might see their neighbor, Stebbs, who is kind of an asshole wandering about with his bright red bandana. They live a quiet, sometimes dangerous life. You see, it’s a world where water is scarce and people are always on the move looking for the blue stuff. If you’ve got it, you protect it with your dying breath. Anyways, one day there is smoke in the distance and Lynn comes into contact with a little girl named Lucy and her uncle Eli – he’s a young man, FYI and a woman with them named Neva, Lucy’s mother. To make matters worse, there is a gang of men roving about stealing things and being generally the worst and dangerous. Not A Drop To Drink is more than just a plot line, it’s kind of a character study of a girl who comes into contact with strangers for the first time. It’s really a coming of age.

Mindy McGinnis’s main character, Lynn reminded me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence’s character in that movie Winter’s Bone. She’s gritty and tough and doesn’t exactly have all these trust reserves. Lynn can certainly survive and fend for herself. It’s that now she finds herself with someone else to protect. I should also put out there that Lynn isn’t all Rambo or anything. She’s not what one would call a crack shot. But, I just still like her. What I really, really like about her is how she changes and really discovers the world and other people. It’s affirming and uplifting to see her access humanity. Like, I make her sound like an alien or something. I assure you, she is fully human. I just mean, she connects to other people and learns kindness and it’s stupendous.

How I Feel After Reading It In A GIF:

I really picked this gif because Not A Drop To Drink is really a lot like The Road to me, like it is some sad noise, you guys. However, ultimately more uplifting, but by the end I was really kind of drained.

What Makes Me Want To Recommend This To You:

  1. The world building is stark and bleak and scary. Guys water is so precious. This book drives that home.
  2. The characterization LUCY and Stebbs! Ah-maz-ing is all.
  3. The writing really worked for me. I felt those Cormac McCarthy echoes without being confused about what it was that I was reading. Ace pacing!
  4. The atmosphere for this book is stark and sad and lonely and whatever, I just love the humanity that’s woven in.
  5. THE ROMANCE! Oh you thought you could walk away from this review without knowing about the swoons and the kissing? Hahahaha. Okay, so the romance is good but it’s not even the best part of Not A Drop To Drink, but it does feature in there and I liked it, but I liked the world building and atmosphere and Lynn’s development more.

What a stark, moving beautiful book about humanity and community and survival.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. *eyes ARC still unread on shelf* One of these days!!!! Thanks for the awesome review 😀

  2. Fantastic. When I finally get to reading this (it sits on myself and also calls to me a la a magpie) I know who to flail to!

  3. I’m glad you liked it! It was the first book I read this year and I had been putting it off because it looked like a real downer but then I read it and, though it still took it our of me, I could totally see what the hype was about. You’re right, Lynn’s transformation is amazing and I love
    My favorite part was the climax of the book and the ending was awesome. I’m looking forward to the companion book to this!

    -SarahO. (Between Bookends)

  4. I’ll admit to having stayed away from dystopian/post-apocalyptic books lately, because I felt so burnt out on the genre. But because you loved this one, I’m totally willing to give it a shot! I think the premise itself is really interesting, and I love that Lynn sounds like a strong main character too.


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