Saturday, 5 April 2014

NOT A DROP TO DRINK

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

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.
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This book was just what I needed to break my reading slump. Honestly, it was pretty much fantastic. It more than lived up to that beautiful cover, which was definitely not the only reason I bought it in the first place. Absolutely not.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book, I thought it was just going to be your typical dystopian, but it's so stripped back, with just a few characters, that it ended up being really stark and powerful. Lynn and her mother have been alone for a long time, working hard to survive and protect their pond. In this world, there is no water. People in cities have to pay a phenomenal amount for it, as well as abiding by many strict laws - such as only being allowed to have one child - and so some decide to brave the wilds and look for water of their own. These are the people that Lynn has to kill. It's easy to forget that Lynn's a teenager, but it comes back in certain moments, which makes those moments all the more moving. 

I liked that we didn't see the city, though I would have liked to know more about how the world ended up in its waterless state. I read it a little while ago (and forgot to review it until now because I kind of thought I already had)  but I think it was just put down to overpopulation. As believable as that is, I think it unlikely that more wasn't done to preserve what little was left, and I would have liked to explore that a little bit, perhaps.

My only other criticism of this book is the ending. It changes pace significantly, which isn't in itself a bad thing, but the direction it took didn't wholly work for me. Also, there's an epilogue. I hate epilogues. This one wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that the book has a sequel. And the publishers can call it a companion novel all they want, but it's not. It's the same world, with the same characters, just a little bit into the future. That is not a companion, it's a sequel, and this beautiful book doesn't need one. It's an excellent standalone novel, which I think will be spoilt by an unnecessary sequel. 



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