Friday, September 20, 2013

ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
3.5/5 stars
Katherine Tegen Books, 2013
309 pages
YA Dystopia
Scheduled to release September 24

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't very sure about this one because I do tend to like happier books and I've been a bit burned out on dystopias. But I find water scarcity scarily plausible and since I was able to get a copy shipped directly to me, I figured I'd take a shot.

The summary, to me, makes this sound like a day to day survival story for one young Lynn. In some ways this is true; Lynn has a pond and will kill to protect it for herself. But in other ways, the book has a lot bigger focus, looking more at community as Lynn meets new people and lets her guard down so they can surprise her. I thought the book would be more in her head when it's actually told in third person following several characters as they band together. Since I really liked the ways Lynn bonded, I was happy with this unexpected turn.

Sadly though I just never quite clicked with the book despite finding it a very easy read (completed in just a few short hours). I felt moments of dread as strangers threatened Lynn's water and I felt moments of compassion when she reached out but it was not as intense as I expected. I suspect it might be at least partially due to the narration. Thanks to the prevalence of first person in YA, I do tend to find myself partial to it. The way the plot played out was also fairly predictable with only one part (SPOILER: Eli's death) managing to surprise me. My eyebrows raised at that part because I figured after that character did so much, something else would occur.

I did appreciate that this is a standalone and that the epilogue brings some closure and even manages a bit of optimism in this bleak not so distant future. I liked all of the characters well enough. I just don't have very passionate feelings about this book. If you really like dystopias, definitely check it out. If you don't really want romance, check it out. If you want to read a self-contained story that doesn't have a cliffhanger ending, check it out. I feel like the water scarcity is a different angle so that's another reason to check it out.

Other Opinions:
Bloody Bookaholic
Inspiring Insomnia
The Best Books Ever
The Broke and Bookish
Young Adult Book Haven

30 comments:

  1. You know I'm a dystopia fan but I like them dark and tense! This one might be a bit 'light on' for me?? I do like the cover :)

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    1. It's not as dark as some but it has its moments and there's definitely some fighting and not everyone survives.

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  2. It is rare to find a book in this genre that is not part of a trilogy! I'm sorry it didn't quite live up to expectations. I wonder if we are all going to end up "burned out" on reading dystopian fiction because so many angles have been explored and the market is saturated.

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    1. I read an interview with the author who promised it will be a standalone-I was amazed! And it really helped me in reading the book to know that it was entirely self-contained.

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  3. I agree - this one didn't quite do it for me!

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    1. There isn't even anything really concrete that didn't work for me-it just didn't wow me.

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  4. Yeah, that spoiler really threw me for quite the loop

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    1. I was absolutely shocked and am still kind of flabbergasted that she went there but I also applaud her boldness.

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  5. I think I'll skip this one. I like standalones, but just not enough of a dystopian fan.

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    1. The standalone was a huge draw for me but you're right that people who are tired of dystopias may just not want to read another one.

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  6. I don't really read dystopia, except for the hunger games series. haha I like that it's not a series though, because that's rare these days.

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    1. THG is probably my favorite dystopia too. I like to venture into this genre every once in a while but my heart really lies in contemporary.

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  7. This book is getting quite a few reviews. Some bloggers totally hated, others absolutely love. I'm glad to read a balanced reviewed... but I'm still not reading it :-)

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    1. I love seeing the different perspectives on this book-kind of more interesting than when it's all raves.

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  8. Hm, good to know. We're getting an ARC soon, supposedly, so it's nice to know what we're in for.

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    1. Glad to help prep you-hope you enjoy it!

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  9. I've been curious about this one. Thanks for the honest review.

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    1. I hope you decide to check it out for yourself!

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  10. I liked this, and was shocked about the (spoiler) too. Didn't see that coming.

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    1. I couldn't believe McGinnis went there but I'm glad she did-helped to keep me on my toes!

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  11. Great review. <3 thank you for being honest. I wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't. Didn't connect with it. And that death, I hated it. Made me dislike the book even more. Sigh. I just expected more from the book, to be honest :) So pretty, though. <3

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    1. I liked the death just because I was so not expecting it but I can see why it bothered you though.

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  12. Hmmmm. Interesting. I'm about to start this one. Will let you know what I think !

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  13. I think what made this book harder to connect to was the brutality of the situations and just Lynn's own hard-heartedness. Not to mention most of the secondary characters weren't as well-developed as I'd have liked. Still, I'm glad you enjoyed this one - I know I did - and I'm looking forward to seeing what this author writes next! :)

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    1. I would have liked more from the secondary characters as well but still liked this enough. Interested to see what else the author has up her sleeve!

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  14. Oh, I wanted to read this book, but now I'm not sure. I really don't like characters like Lynn.
    However, great review! I always read about the books I want to read here! :)

    Lis @ The reader lines

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    1. I hope you still give it a shot! I'm glad you find the content of interest and hope to continue doing that for you :)

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  15. I have an arc and desperately need to read this book, but I've gotten tired of dystopians and a survival story for some reason isn't grabbing me. I keep trying to start it and putting it down. I do like third person, however. Hoping that I can connect to this when I read it. Glad you enjoyed over all!

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    1. I don't read many dystopias that I would so obviously classify as survival stories as this one but if you don't want to read it now, put it aside and come back when it calls to you. It probably won't be a good read until then.

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