Series: Not a Drop to Drink #1
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Katherine Tegen (9.24.2013)
eARC, 320 pages
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….
Not a Drop to Drink was a very character driven novel. The characters were thoroughly fleshed out and so realistic that I connected to each and every one of them. At some point I realized with a shock just how invested in them I actually was! Then I had to steel myself for the unavoidable heartbreak that I was probably in for…
This book is not fluffy unicorns and happy rainbows. It’s dark, and desperate, even depressing at times. That’s probably why I loved it so much! The overall feel of this one was fabulous, and I felt like death was stalking the characters at every turn. I was engrossed in the story, biting my nails, wondering what was going to happen next. It was the perfect survival story, because bad shit happened and sometimes things didn’t go the way you wanted them to go. The world in Not a Drop to Drink was very dangerous.
Which brings me to the realism of the story. I felt like it could actually happen, and it really drove home the point that humanity will do anything in desperate times.
“What do we do […] when they come?”
“Shoot at what you hear. They can’t possibly be silent. Couple shots might be enough to scare them off.”
“If it’s not?”
“If it’s not, don’t be frightened when I turn my gun on you.”
“There’s things I haven’t told you. […] Just know that there’s bad men in the world, and dying fast by your mother is a better way than theirs.”
I loved the characters! I really liked Stebbs, the old man. He was kind and caring despite everything, and he did his best to be a friend to Lynn and Lucy. He also did the right thing. Lynn was a bit of a hardass, and at times she had the ‘every woman for herself’ mentality, no matter what that meant for other people. She would rather take care of herself and her sister than help anyone else. I really enjoyed the banter between Lynn and Stebbs! At first Lynn was cold and distant, but the more time she spent with the old man, the softer she got. There was a clear change in her character as she spent more time with Stebbs and Eli.
There was a bit of a shocker toward the end that I wasn’t expecting, and something horrific that happens that I really wasn’t expecting…but I feel like the latter happened so fast that I didn’t have time to feel the emotion that I should have felt in that part. Because as invested as I was in what happened to the characters, I feel like that part should have made me cry…but sadly, it didn’t.
All in all, Not a Drop to Drink was a moving story about surviving in a dark post-apocalyptic future, and I definitely recommend picking it up!
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5