In the story, Mindy McGinnis has created a futuristic United States where access to water is limited. Cholera has decimated the population, spreading through a thinning water supply. The scariest part of the entire story- something like this could actually happen. It feels so real-it is scary. With past natural disasters and temporary shortages of clean water, the entire premise of the book seems eerily possible.
McGinnis creates a world that is very real. She uses frank narration that is straight to the point but at the same time very descriptive. The setting is just a small section of land in the United States but this adds to the realism. The entire story feels like it could be an average American’s recollection of a horrible time. The reader never finds out the whole story of what happened before Lynn steps into the picture. However, this being Lynn’s story, she didn’t have the all this information- many of the characters do not. Like many people in real life, Lynn accepts her world and needs to do anything she can to survive- the “why it happened” isn’t her top priority what she does within that world is.
What makes this story different from other Dystopian novels is that it focuses mainly on survival- not governments gone bad, companies poisoning the consumers, or secret societies and conspiracies. For Lynn and the others it is all about staying alive.
Survival in its truest form gets to the heart of every reader. It is easy to connect to Lynn. Although having never been in the same situation, we hear news stories all the time or may personally know someone, who had to fight for survival, had to protect their own. It can be the fight to survive cancer, a soldier fighting to keep people safe in a war torn area, they are people fighting to stay alive and to keep their loved ones safe.
If you read Moira Young’s Blood Red Road, Susan Beth Pfeaffer’s Last Survivors Series, or enjoy reading nonfiction stories about survival- you will definitely enjoy Not a Drop to Drink. Already have a waiting list for the two copies in my library.
I always kind of thought of survival focused stories like this as post-apocalyptic and corrupt society stuff as dystopian. No matter, though, because I enjoy both.