Book Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

13112869Genre: 

Young Adult, sick  Dystopian? Survival? Awesome?

Pages: 

320

Part of a Series?:

Yes. The second book, In a Handful of Dust, releases September 26th

Release Date: 

September 24th, 2013

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

My Review:

Back in September of 2013, one fantasy author that I’m massively addicted, Rae Carson, was touring for the very last book in her trilogy. And the closest she was getting to California was Las Vegas. Now LV is only a four hour drive from me. Its not that far. So I convinced my dad, brother and boyfriend to go on a mini road trip to go and meet Rae.

And it was way totally worth it.

But there was another author at the event that completely stuck out to me, and that was Mindy McGinnis. She was funny and fresh, and she was a debut novelist and that always jumps out at me. Plus, her story was about survival, and the inkling beginning thoughts of The Awakened were in my mind at the time, so everything about her stood out.

That was back in September and it took me THIS LONG to get my hands on this book. I don’t know why but it did. Thank you to Michelle, who was my Secret Beach Read Buddy, for sending this to me. I immediately opened it up, ready to dive in and I soaked it all up in less than 3 hours.

I LOVE this book. I loved the main character, Lynn, right off the bat. There was something about her that just makes you immediately like her. She’s not really familiar. She’s been raised such a different way than any of us have ever been raised. She’s been raised to survive, nothing else, but she has real feelings and you can tell that she wishes for more than just constant survival. The entry of others in her life, especially Lucy, really brings out more and more of Lynn than just survival and I love watching her journey. I love watching her give in, and fall in love with others. She’s only have known her mother, so it was beautiful to watch her discover the world through other’s eyes.

I also just loved the survival part of the story. It felt so real. My science fiction is science fiction. There is a virus, and reanimated corpses and everything about my novel feels kind of…out of this world. Not possible. Not this novel. The idea that water will run out, and it’ll become something to ration, to protect, to fight for is not exactly far fetched. I live in Southern California, trust me, I know all about droughts. I mean, sure, I can pop down to Ralph’s and pick up a 24 pack of purified water at any time, but how long will that last and what would we do, who would we sacrifice in order to survive? Mindy tackles that sort of world in this book and its incredibly compelling. I kept turning the pages because I just didn’t know what was going to happen next. Lynn’s world was a day by day struggle and you could lose anyone, anything, on one given day, and its addicting. Its full of so much tension but also laughter at the same time. It is full of so much human spirit and I just love it.

What I think I love the most about it though is that Mindy is just a terrific writer. She tells such a great story, from beginning to end, and that is just awesome. While In a Handful of Dust is a sequel, its also sort of companion as well. Not a Drop to Drink has a beginning, middle and end and I love that. I don’t think a lot of authors can accomplish that, and yet write a second book that must be read right NOW (the sequel is currently sitting on my Nook in e-galley format and I’m dying to return to it right now…). I think it deserves a ton of applause and praise because I was massively impressed by that.

Okay, now I have to go because In a Handful of Dust is calling my name and I also have to pack for ALA, which I haven’t done yet so…bye now. Basically, this book is amazing. Fresh, new, full of a ton of likable and kickass (in more than just physical ways) characters and the story will have you turning the pages frantically.

Plus, Eli? Be still, my heart! I am massively in love with him and my heart hurts. That’s all I’ll say!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies

So a couple months ago (actually kind of awhile ago), information pills I did a blog post on the hottest fictional boy characters. I’m a little boy crazy and I probably could have done more than eleven. But I managed to narrow it down.

Unfortunately, viagra order I got some complaints from my small male audience, viagra saying where is the list of hot girls?

So this is the closest thing I can come to this. I mean, I do like girls and I do think every single one of the ladies listed below are pretty damn hot. I also think a ton of them are hot because they are so badass.

I mean, there is something about a woman with a weapon in her hand that is simultaneously sexy and badass.

I know that a lot of you won’t agree with this list. I know you all have your own opinions which is awesome! Unfortunately for you, this blog is called WhataNerdGirlSays and I’m the “girl” in that and I get to pick :)

So enjoy my list and feel free to complain ALLLLLL you want in the comments. I love to hear it, good and bad haha.

MY Top Eleven Badass Fictional Ladies 

11. Elena Fisher

I don’t know how many of you have played the Uncharted games on the PS3, but they are some seriously awesome games. They play well, the stories are fuckin addicting and the characters are so damn real. Half the time, I am content to just watch my boyfriend play because it’s like a movie. Nathan Drake is the main character in these games, kind of a modern day Indiana Jones, who always has a lady by his side and one of those ladies, one that seems to keep appearing over and over again in these games is Elena Fisher. Chloe, the curvy brunette, gets a lot of the fan boys attention but Elena gets my attention. That girl is wicked. She is a journalist, determined to get the story, no matter the cost, and she can handle a gun as well as anyone…and if you need a getaway car, she’s the one to call. Nate Drake can deny it all he wants; he finds Elena sexy as hell and this girl does too.

10. Marion Ravenwood

I don’t care that I wasn’t even born when this movie came out, I mean, my parents were both still in high school when this movie came out. But Marion Ravenwood is easily my favorite Jones girl. She is AWESOME. She is so pissed at Indiana, slaps him in the face and shows absolute disdain for him at times. I really like her because she can hold her own. She can handle a knife and a gun and she’s a tough cookie. No matter what is thrown at her, she relies on herself to get out. After being kidnapped, she doesn’t sit there and think “Oh, I’m just gonna wait for Indiana to save me”, she is clever enough to try and get out of the situation herself. Plus she is so damn sarcastic. I love sarcasm; its a wonderful artform and I love a heroine that can kick ass while having a snarky attitude.

9. Inara Serra

It took me AGES to get into this show. I had heard of it but I didn’t really think it was something I liked. Like Doctor Who, people bugged me enough for me to finally go “Eh, why not?” and I watched it. I figured, its less than 15 episodes and its on Netflix so I can watch it for free. And I am so glad. I went through all the episodes so incredibly fast. And throughout all the episodes, the one character that really caught my eye (besides Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal…hubba hubba) was Inara. Inara is on the ship, Serenity, with the rest of the ragtag crew but she has a slightly different purpose than the other members. Inara is a highly sought after, very classy prostitute. But despite that, she’s so badass. One, she’s gorgeous. Two, she could be on any ship in the galaxy, but she chooses to stay on that one, no matter what happens. And she’s badass in her own right. She’s not always out there in the fight but when she is? I want her on my side.

8. Isabelle Lightwood

Isabelle Lightwood is not the first person I noticed when I started reading the Mortal Instruments. Obviously I noticed Jace Wayland first (HUBBA HUBBA). And then I noticed Clary Fray. Obviously. Clary and Jace are the main characters in this series. But then I started to notice Isabelle Lightwood. Clary gets thrown into this Shadowhunter world at sixteen years old; she has never known anything of it before. You are experiencing this world anew along with her. Isabelle, on the other hand, has been raised a Shadowhunter…and she’s a badass Shadowhunter. She’s brave as hell, and she’s going around, killing demons while wearing short skirts and stilettos. Sexy and deadly. I love the fact that her weapon, her signature weapon, is a gold whip. I mean, can you give her a weapon that is anymore sexy and badass? I have no idea why Isabelle is carrying a flamethrower in the trailer for City of Bones, but who cares? It’s awesome.

7. Katniss Everdeen

Katniss Everdeen is a badass, female character all the way up to Mockingjay. Then she gets whiny. But BEFORE that, she’s badass. She’s too busy feeding her family to worry about boys. I mean, sure, she’s sixteen and its passed her mind. She has hormones, right? And I bet Gale was one hot piece to look at it. But she’s like, “Cool, Gale is hot…I’m hungry”. And that’s awesome. She’s more concerned for survival than anything else. Even when she is in the Hunger Games, and its so beyond obvious that Peeta is head over heels in love with her, she utilizes it to her survival. Now, I’m not advocating using a person who loves but how many of us wouldn’t use that sort of protection when our life is on the line? I admire a girl who puts her own survival above anything else. When her dad died, and her mom gave up, she could’ve curled up in a ball and just let life take her but she didn’t. She remembered what she could do, with plants and hunting (and her badass bow) and she survives. AWESOME.

6. Alianne Cooper of Pirate’s Swoop

Alianne Cooper is sixteen years old, and she’s daughter of the King’s Champion (who is also the first female knight in a century) and the King’s spymaster. Her godmother is the queen and her godfather is the queen. She has adopted aunts and uncles that are the Commander of the King’s Guard, the most powerful mages in the realm and so on. Her brothers are a university student of magic and a page on the path to knighthood. You could say that she has a lot to live up to. And the best part? She totally does, and she almost surpasses them all. She makes the mistake of sailing her boat alone and is captured by pirates and is sold into slavery into the neighboring Copper Isles. When she is given to a family, she realizes that she’s caught up in a rebellion, to take the country back from the tyrannical rulers and give it back to the natives. She becomes the spymaster for the rebellion at sixteen years old and is a pivotal part in its success. And she can handle a pair of daggers pretty damn well.

5. Scarlett O’Hara

Badass. Think about it: Scarlett O’Hara was a young woman, in the South, in the mid 1800s, when women were seen and not heard, there to make good marriages but not much more than that. And Scarlett O’ Hara is opposite of all that. Even in the beginning, when she is sixteen and looking for a husband, she still doesn’t fall into that proper bred Southern woman. She goes for what she wants and she takes whats not hers. Ashley Wilkes doesn’t love her, can’t marry her? Well, then, that’s fine, let’s steal India Wilkes’ beau and marry Charles Hamilton. She’s rash and ferocious and quick tempered and awesome. Atlanta is falling to pieces, the Yankees are coming and she’s like, I don’t care, I want to go and she goes home, even after Rhett Butler ditches her, and her two slaves, a sick Melly, her small child Wade (read the book) and Melly’s newborn. And despite protests amongst all her friends and family, she finds her way back into wealth, doing what she has to do so she is never hungry again. Perfect.

4. Doctor companions

I tried to pick one. I really did. I was like, Rose, duh. But Donna…and Amy! Ugh. So I decided that number four on the list was going to be the four companions of the new Doctor Who series. Rose Tyler is the most badass, taking everything in stride and fixing it. I love Rose because she’s that perfect equivalent to the Doctor; sometimes she’s just one step above him and it’s just awesome. Martha is pretty badass too; she’s a doctor and pretty much saves the world, walking all across it to save it. Donna is one of my absolute favorites: she has such little belief in herself and yet she’s the most important woman in the world. She saves the world! And Amy Pond, oh Amy Pond, the girl who waited. The Doctor’s companions are like Bond girls…except better. Not only are they hot but they are smart as hell and they kick ass. And hell, they keep the Doctor in line and there’s not many who can do that.

3. Clary Fray

I love the Mortal Instruments series. The one thing I don’t like about TMI is the love triangle. I hate love triangles. Please go away. Why do you think that people don’t like Twilight? I know my beef is that I want to tell Bella to shut the hell up about whether to choose Edward or Jacob and just be badass. God. That’s what sets Clary apart. Sure, Simon, plain ‘ol lovable geeky mundane Simon, and Jace, hot, sexy, dangerous Shadowhunter, are fighting over Clary. In my personal opinion, Simon never really has a chance so I don’t know that it was much of a love triangle. But despite Simon and Jace fighting over her, Clary is too concerned on saving her mother, and then saving the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. She comes from Shadowhunter blood, but she’s a mundane, a human, and she’s rushing into vampire lairs to save her best friend and tearing apart ships with powerful runes and making Portals into Idris so she doesn’t get left behind. She creates the Alliance rune, to convince Shadowhunters and Downworlders to work together, against the bad guy, to save the world. And she’s a redhead. I love Clary Fray, she’s awesome.

2. Princess Leia

You know when I decided Princess Leia was the biggest badass ever? When Luke Skywalker walks in to rescue her and she’s like “Yeah? So?” Best. Moment. Ever. She doesn’t know this guy and she’s not falling down at his feet, dying to be rescued. She basically gets herself out of everything. She can handle a blaster like no body’s business, and she runs circles around Luke (ew, he’s her brother haha) and Han. Even when she’s being tortured to reveal the location of the rebel base, she still lies to protect everyone. Her snarky attitude and sarcasm, and her absolute determination to spurn her feelings for Han. She’s fantastic. There’s a part in Empire Strikes Back where she is so concerned on getting everyone else evacuated off of Hoth and its only until Han basically drags her, that she leaves. She is so commited to the rebellion and its awesome; she’s willing to do anything for it. And those buns, there’s never been a hairstyle like that haha.

1. Hermione Granger

Plain and simple, Hermione is the best, most badass heroine ever. You can argue with me all you want. The fact is, she’s smart as hell and she’s never going to dumb herself down for anyone, even Ron. Even though Ron finds her intelligence annoying at times and intimidating at other times, she sticks to her guns and never hides her intelligence and that’s fantastic. And when Ron is an absolute jerk and leaves her and Harry, she carries on. She continues to fight. Her morale is down and she’s sad, and she goes days without saying anything to Harry, but she still fights on, looking for those Horcruxes. And damn, she’s just so smart! She finds solutions to everything and she’s a quick thinker. I don’t know how many times characters in the book are just amazed at Hermione’s brilliance. No matter how many times it happens over the course of the books, you still want to cheer every time she  spouts off a random bit of information or gets them out of a sticky situation. Also, who knew that little dorky Emma Watson would grow up to be so beautiful? Hermione is NOT supposed to be that attractive but she makes it work and its awesome.

So most of you probably don’t agree with my list and that’s okay! Because everyone has different opinions and tastes. These eleven fictional women rock my world and make my palms a little sweaty :) And since I know you all are going to disagree with me, why don’t you share with me your picks! I always love to hear from you guys and I want to know what sexy fictional ladies tickle your fancy :D

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

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The Tuesday Three

I know, healing I’m the worst blogger in the entire world. I totally introduce the idea of a weekly post called the Tuesday Three and I haven’t done it in weeks. I’m horrible. My only excuse is that I’ve been working hard in school and working hard to bring you awesome blog posts.

So here it is: The Tuesday Three :D

 1. Arrow: The Season Premiere

Okay, can I just say that my motivation for this show half about the fact that it was a superhero show and half about the main character, Oliver Queen, is portrayed by the extremely sexy Stephen Amell. I mean, have you seen the guy with his shirt off? No? Just look at the picture above and that will be enough to entice you at least a little bit. Not really into dudes? Okay, well, go ahead and look at Katie Cassidy, who plays the female lead, Laurel Lance. Now, of course, Oliver Queen is a billionaire playboy until a tramatic event (a shipwreck that leaves him stranded and preceived dead for five years) changes his outlook on life. He returns to Starling City, ready to right the wrongs that the rich, including his own family, have done to the city. The first episode follows him as he takes down Adam Hunt, a corrupt billionaire. The story is a bit cliche and corny so far but the action is there, the sexiness is there and the story has enough to keep me interested. So far, I’m ready to watch every Wednesday night.

2. The Walking Dead season 3 premiere

Season Two leaves us off with a super pissed off Rick. Rick did what he had to do; he had to kill Shane, his best friend. And yet everyone reacts like he made the biggest mistake ever, including his stupid wife, Lori (come on, I can’t be the only one who wants to punch her in face…). Rick is over being Mr. Nice Guy and he is taking over this group. Season three fast forwards a good amount. Lori is SUPER pregnant, ready to pop, the group has survived the winter, pillaging abandoned houses, Maggie and Glenn are still together and somehow, Carl and Carol are trusted with guns. I liked the beginning of this season because of all the zombie fighting, and the whole idea of the jail becoming a safe haven for them. I’m still annoyed at Lori; I kind of want to tell her to shut up. I miss Good Guy Rick. But I’m intrigued at how the prison is going to work out; its crawling with walkers and now there are actual surviving prisoners in there too. Can’t wait to see where it goes!

3. Once Upon a Time: Episode Three

The first two episodes of the season had made me very very nervous. I liked them, don’t get me wrong. I was all giddy at the awkwardness between Emma and Snow and Charming. I do entirely love this show. But Aurora was annoying me and Mulan was kind of a random, weird character. Episode Three, however, totally changed my mind. There were three different stories going on: Storybrooke, the Enchanted Forest and the flashback of the Enchanted Forest. Henry is spending his time in Storybrooke, trying to figure out a way to make the hat work again. Snow and Emma are trying to figure out a way to get back to Storybrooke, with the help of Aurora, Mulan and Lancelot and, in flashbacks, Snow and Charming are trying to take back the kingdom until Charming’s mother is poisoned. I loved the interlocking stories again; I live for those flashbacks. I also liked that Emma and Snow were finally starting to make a little bit of a connection! And Snow got to be badass again. That was great. I almost cried at the reunion between Jefferson (the Mad Hatter) and his daughter, Grace. THE FEELS! And the fact that Cora, Regina’s mother, is up to no good…well, I just can’t wait til next week.

See you all next week for the Tuesday Three :) Whats been rocking your nerd world this week?