Book Talk: Not a Drop to Drink

8:30:00 PM

In a world where water is worth more than Wi-Fi...

Did you read that in a Morgan Freeman-esque announcer voice? Because that’s how I imagined it. It’s also how I felt when I read the jacket of my latest read this book I read semi-recently but haven’t had time to blog about: Not a Drop to Drink.

I think I kept bumping this book review (is that what this is?) down to the bottom of my To Do list because it didn’t give me that sense of urgency - that I must tell people about this book so we can immediately discuss it feeling. Lynn and her mom are a couple of badasses surviving in a world that has a very limited supply of drinkable water. As you can imagine, this makes life difficult for just about everyone, but especially for Lynn and her mom, who have a strict policy of shooting first and asking questions never. Sounds pretty interesting, but once I finished the book, I wasn’t so sure. 

I didn’t feel strongly about the book either way, so when it came time to write it up, I asked myself a very important question: WWRGD? (What would Rory Gilmore do? Obviously). And the answer became clear: I needed to write a good old fashioned pro-con list.

So, without further ado…


- Lynn and her mother’s relationship feels realistic and mother-daughter-y without the author having to depict them at each other’s throats the entire time, which was refreshing.

- Depiction of dystopian society: obviously none of us live in a dystopian society but I sometimes feel when reading these kinds of books that authors hesitate to go all in when it comes to depicting the situations and realities of a world like this one. Mindy McGinnis was not afraid to go to the dark place.


- SO. MUCH. EXPOSITION. It felt stilted and unnatural at times, particularly when it came in the form of dialogue.

- Difficult protagonist. I struggled with this “con” because it raises questions like Can you like a book if you do not like it’s protagonist? But there were things about Lynn’s characterization that just didn’t click for me. Lynn is isolated during her early life, but socializes and forms relationships easily. She is raised to believe that all men are evil, but easily begins a relationship with a boy. She is extremely sheltered, but is unfazed by major revelations about the city, her father, the outside world, etc.

After writing the list, I realized that there wasn’t anything inherently disappointing about this book, but there also wasn’t anything that set it apart from the seemingly endless pile of dystopian books that have fallen out of the sky in recent years. I didn’t dislike the book - it had an interesting premise, that’s why I picked it up in the first place. Bottom line: I’ll recommend it to those who are eager to read more of the dystopian genre, but I won’t be shouting about this book from the rooftops anytime soon.

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