Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis is about a dystopian future where water has become worth killing for. The beginning of the book introduces us to Lynn and her mother, Lauren. People always ask why I love young adult fiction and this is why. We have a female protagonist in a dire situation and she can take care of herself. Lynn never knew her father and it’s just been her and her mother defending their pond. The pond is a clean source of water and one of the only consistent ones in the area. Lynn’s family has owned the land for generations and she and her mother are determined to defend it at all costs.
The beginning of the book reminds me a lot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy but less bleak. Just like the two main characters in The Road Lynn and Lauren have gone from house to house to grab whatever goods they can use. There’s not a lot of action going on and we are introduced to the world that has formed with water becoming scarce. Lynn learned to shoot as soon as she was big enough to hold a gun, she and her mother take turns sitting on the roof sniping anyone that gets too close. When they’re not sitting on the roof they’re gathering water or food to store for the winter. Luckily for Lynn her mother was a big fan of National Geographic and understands the basics of living off the grid.
Like most young adult novels there is a little bit of romance but thankfully not the creepy stalker kind. Lynn does meet at young man but he’s not verbally abusive or manipulative. It’s a sad statement of our media that I find it refreshing that when a girl meets a boy he doesn’t treat her like crap and she doesn’t become a different person for him. The romance in this book also has the traditional roles reversed, Lynn can hunt and defend herself but Eli grew up in the city and doesn’t know the first thing about how to survive.
This book poses the interesting question what would you do if one day no more water came out of your faucets. Reading how hard Lynn and Lauren work just to survive makes me eternally grateful for our modern day conveniences.
Does it pass the Bechdel test?