Author: Mindy McGinnis
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: 24th September 2013
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 5 stars
Available from: The Book Depository Amazon AU
Source: Own purchase
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.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where water was scarce? Mindy McGinnis has deftly explored a dystopic future in which the world is quickly running out of water. It's a bleak tale of survival and if you have water, then you must protect it at all costs. Our protagonist Lynn is guarding a pond against any who would try to take it from her and her mother. They shoot first and ask questions later. Theirs is a daily struggle, whether it's the laborious task of purifying the water or hunting a deer and trying to smoke the meat. The constant threat of coyotes, groups of looters and the harsh weather that can make or break their survival. Both women have learnt to endure the world around them and it has made them strong.
Lynn is one of those characters you can't help but love. She's tough and a little rough around the edges; having had to kill since she was a child. Her mother taught her her that compassion was a weakness, they had to stay strong and do whatever they could to protect their small water source. After a tragic accident, Lynn is left to guard the pond by herself. Things start to to get dangerous for Lynn; there is a group of men that want her pond and will do anything to take it. She also has to contend with strangers that need her help. This is where we begin to see more to Lynn's character. Her conscience makes her question a lot of what her mother taught her, and she struggles to find a balance between the skills her mother taught her and her fierce new protective instinct. She realises that having friends is not always a bad thing, they give her a sense of hope. I think this is when she really comes alive as a character. Her small group is a target and she'll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
If you're looking for a dark and gritty post-apocalyptic/dystopia that doesn't follow the usual trope, then grab a copy of Not a Drop to Drink. It is a story about survival, love, friendship and loss, and will leave you questioning how possible the waterless future Mindy McGinnis has created really is.