Sunday, October 6, 2013

Not A Drop To Drink-Mindy McGinnis

Not A Drop To Drink

Mindy McGinnis

Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, Sep 24 2013, $13.49

ISBN: 9780062198501

Lynn made her first kill protecting the pond when she was nine. A year later, cholera left many nearby dead as “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” (Coleridge) safely. However, Mother built a National Geographic simplified water purification system to keep the pond clean. Now sixteen, Lynn and her Mother expect the people by the stream to attack once summer dries up their water supply.

When coyotes kill Mother, the now fearful lonely teen finds herself on her own; as Mother was Lynn’s only companion besides animals and dead trespassers. Surprising herself Lynn and her reclusive neighbor Stebbs become friends. Soon a family with a pregnant mother joins them as Lynn adopts the little girl Lucy as her younger sister and is attracted to Eli, a boy her age. Meanwhile raiders who kill and rape without any moral compunctions have arrived planning to take whatever they want from Lynn and her loved ones.

Not A Drop To Drink is a powerful cautionary dystopian teen thriller that uses the scarcity of clean water as its underlying premise for the collapse of civilization. The background is harsh yet purposely underdeveloped so that the audience fills in the blanks of a grim realm; in which kill or be killed is the only Commandment. Additionally an emotionally coming of age tale, the storyline is at its exciting best when the action is fierce but slows down when the plot turns to passive discourse. Still fans will enjoy the arid McGinnis world as the author makes a case that water is the next major resource war.

Harriet Klausner

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