ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis + Giveaway!

September 23, 2013 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review 85 ★★★★

ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis + Giveaway!
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Source: Blog Tour
Pages: 320
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #1
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above 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 was an emotional, real read that focused on a world where water was a scarce resource, a world that could easily become a definite possibility in our own lives.

McGinnis does not baby readers, she tells it like it is through the strong voice of the main character, Lynn. Details are not glossed over, Lynn’s life and chance at survival are slim and this fact was never forgotten. None of the characters come out unscathed by the end, and I much appreciated the realism in this book. There is not an easy solution, but it is a very possible one.

Lynn was a character that I struggled to connect with at times, she’s been raised not to care about anyone or anything except her mother and her own survival. She’s killed by the age of nine, and will not hesitate to do it again. However, some events end up taking an emotional toll on her and we are able to see how vulnerable and human she is. You could definitely see how much she grows as a person by the end of the book.

There were a multitude of other characters in this book, and every one of them had significance. They each teach Lynn something about herself, whether it be to have humanity and show mercy, or teaching her how to love. This was definitely a good read.

Recommended for fans of HATCHET and other survival stories.


About the Author:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion. Mindy has a pond in her back yard but has never shot anyone, as her morals tend to cloud her vision.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rating Report
Overall: 4.2

85 Responses to “ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis + Giveaway!”

    • Alise

      I feel like you wouldn’t say like if you’ve actually encountered a ghost…

      It really is a story of survival, and it makes you grateful for your own lifestyle.

    • Alise

      Ah, I know exactly what you mean. It wasn’t exactly happy and I was upset about THAT particular death but I guess I liked that the author didn’t take the easy way out.

    • Alise

      Yeah, it’s pretty crazy! You gotta do what you gotta do in that situation, I guess. It’s you or them. I sound like I am endorsing murder over here.

    • Alise

      Lynn is strong in all meanings of the word, and I actually like that she becomes a bit weaker and more vulnerable in the end. Ha! Funny you should say that because I was trying to imply that about the ending without just saying it outright! Thanks!

  1. Heather @ The Flyleaf Review

    Gah, I am so bummed that I didn’t get this book on Edelweiss. I love the whole Blood Red Road vibe–even though survivalist stories tend to freak me out because I would be SO DEAD if I was thrust into a survivalist situation:) Thank for hosting the giveaway and great review!

    • Alise

      Yeah, especially if you are not given time to connect with them emotionally and understand their motives for doing such things so early on in the story. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jordyn

    I’ve been waiting to read this book for quite a while now. The storyline sounds like such a new idea! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  3. Kaitlin

    I’ve been wanting to read this book for such a long time. The minute I saw the cover for the first time early this year, I knew I needed to read it. I’m so excited about it finally coming out! I’m so glad to hear you liked it, Alise. :)

  4. Bookworm1858

    I didn’t quite click with this one but I agree about the secondary characters teaching Lynn something, no matter how they initially appeared.
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…Asylum

  5. Becca @ Nawanda Files

    I heard this one was really great! I’m glad you liked it, Alise. I’m not a big post-apocalyptic reader, but I love that the author didn’t romanticize anything. I think to do that would be a disservice to the situation and the genre. So I’m really happy she managed to not shy away from anything and to do it well :D
    Becca @ Nawanda Files recently posted…ARC Review: Blackout by Robison Wells

  6. Aman

    Oh, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since it’s cover came out earlier this year. Killed at the age of nine? Lynn would be one tough character to relate or even sympathize with and that’s the only things I’m worried about. I’ve heard mixed things about the ending, so I hope it’s well suited for the story. Glad that you enjoyed it, Alise! Great review :)
    Aman recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday (2)

    • Alise

      That was one of my few dislikes in the book, it really was a bit hard to get inside her head. Yeah, the ending was definitely shocking, but I guess I can appreciate it. Thanks :D

  7. Estelle

    NOT A DROP TO DRINK has been on my radar for a while and I can’t wait to read it!
    Lynn seems like a very strong character that I would like to read, especially since she’s not afraid of killing. It’s great to know that this book is quite realistic with the character development.

    Great review :)
    Estelle recently posted…Review: Inhuman by Kat Falls

  8. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    A review copy of this just found its way to me yesterday so I’ll be reading it very soon. I’m so happy to hear that McGinnis does not pull back punches. I hate it when authors patronize their YA readers. This sounds like a raw and emotional read and I’m very much looking forward to it.
    Lovely review!

  9. Romi Foster

    This sounds interesting, and I’m glad to see it wasn’t a let down! Lynn sounds like a potentially wonderful character, with her strengths, but also perhaps one that might be too hardened to be able to easily connect with, and I’m not sure if I would like the story enough to test that.
    Great review, Alise!
    Romi Foster recently posted…Quote Sharespace 6.

    • Alise

      Yep, that is exactly right. It took longer for me to really connect with her but after she let her guard down you can tell how vulnerable she is. Thanks!

  10. Evie

    GOSH, how I LOVED this book! Such a great, realistic, gorgeously told story. So powerful, raw and emotionally affecting. And don’t you just love the strong heroine? She’s so very different from the fluffy/annoying childish girls we so often end up with when picking up a YA novel. Not A Drop To Drink is truly different :) Thank you for your beautiful, eloquent review. I agree with everything you said!
    Evie recently posted…Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (Review)

    • Alise

      Right? It really was so emotional and real! Yeah, I definitely would take a MC like Lynn over a lot of the others out there. Thanks!

  11. Sarah J

    I love a story that isn’t glossed over! This sounds so good and I’ve seen really good reviews surrounding it. Thanks for the giveaway, Mindy and lovely review, Alise.:)
    Sarah J recently posted…Cover Wars #4

  12. Leigh @ Little Book Star

    I am SO glad to hear that each characters had a significant and impact on the story. I love it when there are no irrelevant characters. I’m glad you ended up enjoying the book! I’m def. putting this to my TBR list. Thanks for the review and giveaway (:


  13. Lesley Marie

    Wow. This sounds like a really thought-provoking dystopia! I always find it interesting to read dystopian novel, especially well-written ones, that deal with possible futures. It’s remarkable, the things authors are able to do :)

    And yay for characters that are actually important! Characters being introduced and disappearing is a huge pet-peeve of mine. Lyn, the main character, sounds really fascinating to me…

    Great review! Can’t wait to get my hands on this book!
    Lesley Marie recently posted…Review//Poison by Bridget Zinn

    • Alise

      I feel the same, the dystopian books that are realistic are the best (and in a way, the worst) because that fate is so easy to imagine!

      Same. Random characters never make sense to me. Thanks!

  14. Katy

    I’ve heard some buzz about this but wasn’t sure what it was about until now. It sounds interesting, and the realism you mention makes it sound even more intense! It sounds like an extremely difficult and scary situation. Definitely adding to my TBR list!
    Katy recently posted…Fake Book Premises Inspired by Songs

  15. Eve

    Wow! I’m so happy that the book was so good! I’m really excited about reading it, especially if Lynn is so realistic. I love it when authors don’t sugarcoat the ugly details – they’re a part of real life, so it’s nice to see that they’re sometimes present in books, too.
    Eve recently posted…Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

    • Alise

      I never liked the cover until I got a copy in the mail and saw how detailed it really was-now I really like it!

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