Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: katherine-tegan-books
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2013-12-10 19:13
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink is an interesting and deep read. From the first pages, you're sucked into a world where water is rare and one must do everything they can to protect themselves and the ones they love. Lynn is willing to kill anyone to survive, that is until she loses the only person she had.

Mindy McGinnis' debut novel is an inspiring journey which asks the ultimate question: what's more important - survival or living? Lynn and her mother, Lauren, live by a pond and guard it fiercely. The rules were simple: everybody was an enemy. When a simple errand goes wrong, Lynn finds herself slowly needing to open up and accept others into her heart to survive.

Not a Drop to Drink is very much a character driven novel, with little to no actual plot. That, however, is far from a bad thing as it gives us more time to form deeper bonds with the characters and building the world. Much of the novel is centered around all it takes to keep this operation moving. Hunting, logging, preparing meat. 

What McGinnis' succeeded in was creating a world which was different from ours but resembled it just enough to give Not a Drop to Drink a realistic and gritty atmosphere. She portrayed the brutality and the grittiness brilliantly, making Not a Drop to Drink a fantastic, and scary, read.

While the atmosphere is great, the actual world building could use some work. Very little was actually described and I found myself wondering what life was like outside of this little pond. We're told a bit about the one city but it did very little to satisfy my wants. If anything, I wanted to know more about the world after the little teaser.

Lynn's characterisation was one of the shining parts of the book. McGinnis made sure that she wasn't rushing Lynn's growth as a person during the course of the novel, which I appreciate. At times, McGinnis seemingly got a bit OOC for the sake of showing how much Lynn was changing. In the beginning, there were a few 'what' moments, especially when it came to the Lucy, the five year old girl that Lynn, for all practical purposes adopted.

I'm going to get sidetracked for a second and talk about Lucy. I think that Lynn's adoption of her was incredibly OOC. Lynn had just had some very rough things happening and she was emotionally a wreck, but this made her almost even more determined to protect the pond and survive. I honestly do not think that Lynn would have adopted Lucy that early on in the book. Maybe later, after getting to know her but definitely not that early.

The characterization of every other character, other than Lauren, was pitiful at best. None of them were developed as well as Lynn and that got a bit annoying. Eli, the love interest, was so underdeveloped and boring that it made it hard for me to understand why Lynn would ever get together with such a wimp.

Despite this, Not a Drop to Drink is a refreshing book, especially since good dystopia has become harder and harder to find. As debut books go, this is definitely one of the best in a while. I recommend it to anyone looking for a great gritty read!

Like Reblog Comment
review 2013-05-22 13:10
Gone - Michael Grant

It's always kind of scary when you reread a book that you read from that mystical "Before I was a Reviewer" time. That time back when you wouldn't dream of giving books a one star rating and your problems with books were only "this was too short" or "the main character isn't superfragilisticexpialidociously amazing". 

It's always scary because even though you love the book so much, what if it's simply not as good as you remember it. What if you tarnish your memory of it by rereading it? What if you... hate it? 

And what do I have to say to these little feelings of doubt?

... you're probably right. I MEAN 

There is no way in hell that I wouldn't like this! Go away little doubt machines. We don't want you here. No one likes you!!!1!!

With all jokes aside, even with these feelings of immense doubt, somehow I managed to pick the book up again. All right - I was forced into picking this book up because I wouldn't buy LIGHT without rereading the series and someone wanted it really soon. Thankfully, I was sucked right back into the world of the FAYZ.

GONE is obviously the weakest book of the series but I really liked it all the same. I first got into these books in late 2010 and I fell in love with the characters and the plot. These are the books that initially made me want to read Stephen King because I knew that no other YA series would be as dark, gruesome, and oddly amazing as GONE was and still is.

One of the best parts of GONE is how realistic the actions of the characters are. I know an adult (who may or may not be my mother) who read these books and she repeatedly tells me how stupid the characters are sometimes. I do believe this is a matter of opinion and how you read the book.

I think that, to truly enjoy these books you have to stop thinking like a reasonable adult. I once read someone talking about how the kids’ first instinct was to go for the candy instead of looking to save the babies that were in abandoned cars and houses. The reviewer kept saying how idiotic that was. 

Yes, you're right. They should've looked to go save the babies and the young children. Especially since many of the characters are pretty intelligent. However, would I have done that? 

No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't have thought of that for a while and by the time that I did eventually think about it, they'd probably be dead.

Kids think, "Oh, all the adults are gone. I can eat all the candy I want because Mom and Dad aren't there to stop me." They definitely wouldn't think, "Oh shit, what about the babies in the cars and houses?"

As I mentioned, my friend is an adult. I'm not. The way I think is identical to the characters in the book. There are simply some scenarios which she can immediately say, "they should have done this and this and then they'd be done" whereas I'm like, "dude, that's more than I would've thought of."

Grant's characters are not only realistic but they're amazingly well developed. Every character has its flaws and strengths - some more than others though. There are some characters that are underdeveloped in this book. Personally I think Sam and Astrid are fairly bland in this book. They're both pretty lacking compared to characters like Lana and Albert. However, they are both still a very good characters which do eventually get the necessary building.

There are some characters that make you want to scream. In many instances, Sam made me want to throw the book at the wall. Dude, I get it. You're fourteen and you should be worrying about your algebra test and not keeping hundreds of kids alive. Angst is ok in this situation.

But please, stop it. You've had your time to mope. Please step up to the freaking position. All these kids look up to you and here you are sulking in the corner because omg responsibility.

What I love about these books is the fact that Grant doesn't sugarcoat anything. Violence, abuse, murder, rape - these books have everything. Everything that would have happened happens. There are many moments that I had to put the book done for a bit. While this one isn't as graphic or intense of the others, there are still a lot of these moments. I cannot recommend someone with a low tolerance for these sorts of things to read this series. 

Now, onto the bad things about this book because believe or not, there are a few of them.

1. Plot Holes and Continuity

It's inevitable with book with so much going on, there are simply going to be plot holes and continuity. It's not that bad the first time around but as I'm rereading the series, I'm noticing more and more of these. They don't detract much, personally but with so many, I find it necessary to deduct a star for that.

There are also a lot of plot details like (view spoiler) that are simply never mentioned again and forgotten about. I understand that's it's incredibly hard to remember all these plot details but at least, reread your own books!

2. Writing
I'll admit it. Grant is not a fantastic writer. He's sort of the J.K Rowling of YA science fiction. Rowling's characters are superb and her plot is amazing. Is she the best writer? No, she's not. Her writing has a lot of problems. Don't get me wrong, I adore Harry Potter but I'd still be the first one to tell you that Rowling doesn't know how to use any dialog words other then "said" and "asked".

3. Lack of Answers
From the beginning, it's obvious that Grant mapped out the series for 6 books. I understand why this book has zero explanation for anything but I do like my books to finish with a concrete ending and some answers. I don't like being kept in the dark. In all, the ending of GONE doesn't have a cliffhanger and I really appreciate that. Though I've read books with even less answers than this, I still would have liked some more answers then what I got.

Overall, the GONE series is still one of my favorites and GONE is an excellent start to a fantastic series. I recommend this book to people who can overlook plot holes, continuity, and often angsty stupid teenagers to see the truly amazing story underneath.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?