Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"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 is one of the best books with the best heroine I've read in a long time. It's the story of Lynn, born and raised in a world racked by cholera and fallen apart in predictably human ways. She's raised in solitude with her hard-as-iron mother. Until everything changes.
This book read quickly- it was tense, well paced without sacrificing development or believability, and didn't rely on sensationalism. Everything that happened to and around Lynn was a reasonable reaction of the people in her world to their circumstances. This made the novel achingly bittersweet.
Lynn's journey is less a coming-of-age, which sounds quite cheesy, and more a development from automaton of her mother's design, to compassionate badass.
Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that Lynn is one of the best teen heroines ever?
- She does what she needs to, sans whinging; she's logical *and* compassionate
- She communicates openly and clearly all the time
- She doesn't go goo-goo stupid-eyed when a boy comes along
- She reads voraciously when she can (and has learned most of the world from that)
- She's naive in believable, and not charming, ways
- She doesn't sacrifice her independent power as a character for the sake of a love triangle or other such nonsense
- Also, she's pretty ruthless, and I love when a female character can be nurturing as well as deadly
I recommend this for anyone who enjoys survival fiction, strong and well-crafted female protagonists (seriously, make your daughters read this), and those who don't need a happy ending (if you can take the shockingly bitter and hard, but realistic, with your fiction, this is a book for you).
Labels: apocalypse, book love, book review, coming of age, drought, female protagonist, literary friday, mindy mcginnis, not a drop to drink, survival, YA