Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 YA Contemporary Challenge: April Reviews + Giveaway!

Happy April, y’all!  It’s that time again!  Time to link up your April reviews and be entered for a chance to win some great books!

Okay so here’s what you have to do to be entered to win the awesome prize pack for April!
-Fill out the Rafflecopter!
-Link up your reviews so other participants can check them out!
-Remember that for a book to count it must have been published in 2014!

What do you have the chance to win this month?

April

-a copy of The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
-an ARC of The Last Best Kiss by Claire LeZebnik
-assorted swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | ReviewThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Little Brown on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
4 Stars
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

picadillyblueThe Geography of You and Me is not your typical YA contemporary romance novel.  It has a lot more to it than you would originally think based on just the cover, synopsis, and title.  Jennifer E. Smith has a way of making something that seems like it would just be a lighthearted romance into something so much more.

The Geography of You and Me tells the story of Owen and Lucy, two very different people from very different lives who meet one night while stuck in an elevator.  Their meeting is innocent enough and their relationship continues that way.  They spend very little time together in person but even when they move away they continue to talk through postcards and emails.  Life doesn’t stop just because they can’t be together and they continue on with their lives like normal.  The story is the evolution of their relationship from that one night together to many months spent on separate continents to finally being reunited.  However, it’s also both their journeys to finally find a place to call home.

Lucy and Owen are both kind of awkward in a really cute teenager way.  Owen has lost his mom and it’s just him and his dad now.  They don’t have the most conventional relationship but it works for them.  They spend a lot of time traveling, looking for work and a new place to call home.  Lucy is a loner who never really fits in anywhere she goes.  Whether it be New York or Scotland, there is always something that keeps her from settling down.  Throughout the course of Lucy and Owen’s relationship they both spend a lot of time working out family issues as well as becoming comfortable with themselves.  Like I said, there was a lot more to the story than I originally thought.

The pacing is the only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars.  It took me a while to get into Lucy and Owen’s story and even after I was interested, I still didn’t make a lot of progress with the book.  Things just didn’t seem to go anywhere for quite some time.  I know the book is contemporary and that sometimes means that it won’t be super fast-paced but I expected a little more from this one.  That’s not to say I was bored but I didn’t find myself completely hooked.

Overall, The Geography of You and Me is another great book from Jennifer E. Smith.  I’d definitely recommend this one if you are looking for an enjoyable contemporary read for a rainy day.

What others are saying about The Geography of You and Me:

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Jennifer E. Smith can totally be depended on to deliver a light and sweet contemporary romance, with the feels and swoons on Stephanie Perkins level.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “Smith spins a lovely tale, that’s for sure, but it’s not one fully realized.”

Candace’s Book Blog’s review: “This was a cute read.”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson | Review

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns #2) by Rae Carson | ReviewThe Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #2
Published by Harper Teen on September 18, 2012
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 410
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
5 Stars
She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.

picadillyblueThe Crown of Embers, the second book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy, is a step up from the first book.  I didn’t know  if that was possible but Rae Carson far exceeded all my expectations.

The Crown of Embers does not succumb to the second book syndrome.  It’s not just a filler book.  There is so much going on over the course of the book.  There’s romance, a great adventure, betrayal, and so much more.

First up, the romance.  There were two romantic interests in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and both died.  I wasn’t sure where Rae Carson was going to go with the romance after killing both.  The new romantic interest isn’t a new character, just a blossoming of a relationship from friendship to romance.  Hector is this new interest and he’s by far my favorite.  Seeing Elisa and Hector’s relationship slowly start to change was perfect.  There was no insta-love between them and I greatly appreciated that.

Then there was the adventure.  Elisa is on a quest to find the zafira, the power from the earth which supplies the animagi with their magic.  Elisa knows that if she can find this power source, she will be the most powerful person and defeat Invierne.  Reaching the zafira will not be easy though.  Many dangerous tasks face Elisa and her companions on the quest for the zafira.  I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book.

As for the betrayal, I won’t give anything away but let’s just say that I didn’t see it coming.  I was so broken by the betrayal and I felt beyond torn  up for Elisa.  Just be warned, it will make you want to scream.  And possibly reach into the book and hit someone.

Overall, read The Crown of Embers if you haven’t already.  Rae Carson is quickly  becoming a favorite author of mine with this series alone.

What others are saying about The Crown of Embers:

Alexa Loves Books’ review: “Clearly, The Crown of Embers is a remarkable book.”

My Life is a Notebook’s review: “It was a solid follow up to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and it left me screaming for more.”

Love is not a Triangle’s review: “She remains my favorite part of this series, and I continue to be amazed by her growth and strength.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stacking The Shelves! (24)

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews! It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

STS 1

-Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman - I got an ARC of this one a while back but still haven’t read it.  It’s actually on my TBR for this month though so maybe I’ll actually get to it now.

-Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne – I admit, I added this one to my TBR for the cover alone.  The story does sound awesome though.

-A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka - I hadn’t heard of this one until I saw it on Netgalley but it sounds pretty interesting.

-Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan - I loved Erin McCahan’s previous book, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, so this one has been on my wishlist for a while.  So excited to be part of the blog tour for this.

-We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt - I read about this one on someone’s blog (can’t remember who) and decided to add it to my TBR.

STS 2

-The Foundry’s Edge (The Books of Ore #1) by Cam Baity, Benny Zelkowicz - This one looks like a pretty awesome middle grade book so I figured I’d give it a try.

-Ignited (Sense Thieves #3) by Corinne Jackson - I don’t love this series as much as I loved Corinne Jackson’s debut novel, If I Lie, but it’s not too bad.  Excited to see how it all ends.

-Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz - I’m a sucker for books about celebrities.  Just saying.

-The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher - Read the synopsis for this one.  It sounds awesome!

-All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) by Cora Carmack - A new series from Cora Carmack?  Count me in.  I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for this one.

STS 3

-The Defiant (The Forsaken #3) by Lissa Stasse - I haven’t read this series but I’ve heard it’s pretty good.  I own all three books now so I figure I should get started soon.

-Learning Not To Drown by Anna Shinoda - Got a copy of this one in the mail and read the press release that came with it.  Sounds pretty unique.

-The Heiresses (The Heiresses #1) by Sara Shepard - I’m a big fan of Sara Shepard so when I saw I had been autoapproved for this on Edelweiss, I couldn’t resist.

-The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont - Haven’t heard anything about this one but the cover and synopsis got me.

-Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld - New book by Scott Westerfeld?  Heck yes.  I’m all over this one.


STS 4
-Shout Down the Moon by Lisa Tucker – Juhina from Maji Bookshelf recommended this one to me so I downloaded the ebook immediately and got reading.  I finished it the other day and really enjoyed it.  Not YA but still awesome.

What did you get this week?  Anything super exciting?  Feel free to leave a link to your Stacking the Shelves post in the comments!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally | Review

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally | ReviewRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
5 Stars
They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

picadillybluePure perfection!  If I had to review Racing Savannah in only two words, those would be them.  Miranda Kenneally has done it again (and I’m sure you’re not surprised by that.)

Readers will immediately be drawn in to Savannah and Jack’s world; the world of servants, jockeys, horse racing, and lots of money.  It’s a world very unlike my own and I was drawn in from the very first page.  It’s clear that Miranda Kenneally did her research with this one because everything was so authentic.  I’ve never been a fan of horse racing (or even horses) but just like with football in Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally made everything about it supremely interesting.

Savannah and Jack might be my favorite couple from all the books so far.  They come from very different worlds but from the second they meet, they like each other.  I’m not talking insta-love though.  They respect each other, they find each other attractive, and they grow to be friends, even when it’s frowned upon.  Savannah is technically Jack’s employee so things aren’t easy for them.  Their relationship is full of twists and turns and I was flipping pages as fast as I could.

As for the actual characters (not just as a couple), Savannah and Jack were both strong, smart, well-rounded people.  Savannah was a little broken and unwilling to trust, at first.  Jack was very overworked but he didn’t’ let it get to him.  Savannah was mature, kind, and while she was selfish at times, she was also very selfless at others.  Jack was rich but didn’t let the money go to his head.  He was a good person.

Also, the cameos in Racing Savannah made me so happy.  Racing Savannah takes place a few years after the other books so the characters are older now.  There’s a big (happy) event at one point in the book that put the biggest smile on my face.  Fans of the first three books will love it.

Overall, clearly I highly recommend Racing Savannah.  Miranda Kenneally is an all-time favorite authors of mine and I love her books.  If I could give Racing Savannah more than 5 shoes, I would.  It really is just that good.

What others are saying about Racing Savannah:

Rainy Day Ramblings’ review: “Another terrific addition to an outstanding YA series!”

For Love and Books’ review: “If you like romance, YA and or contemporary this book is for you!”

Anna Reads’ review: “So, I’d say: If you liked the other books, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams | Review

Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams | ReviewForgiving Lies by Molly McAdams
Series: Forgiving Lies #1
Published by William Morrow on October 29, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
4 Stars
A matter of secrets...
Undercover cop Logan "Kash" Ryan can't afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him

A matter of lies...
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel's will-power to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.

A matter of love...
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel's heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies ... or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?

picadillyblueForgiving Lies, my first Molly McAdams book, really surprised me.  After reading mixed reviews for her other new adult titles, I was nervous.  I ended up really enjoying Forgiving Lies and I can’t wait for the next book.

Rachel, Kandice, Kash, and Mason mostly make up a great group of characters.  Rachel is a well-rounded character that really grows throughout the story.  She’s smart, funny, kind, and outgoing.  She is a little closed off and she doesn’t trust easily but I liked her.  Kandice was supposedly Rachel’s best friend but I didn’t see that at all.  She was actually a pretty big bitch to Rachel and I would have slapped her if she was my friend.  Kash and Mason had a great friendship and I loved how their relationship extended to include Rachel.  Kash was witty and sarcastic and awesome.  Mason was like a giant awesome teddy bear.  They were great.

The plot was a little predictable at first but it didn’t stay that way for long.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen once I got past the first 50 pages or so.  There is a murder mystery in Forgiving Lies and I love how it all tied together.  Also, the ending comes completely out of nowhere.  Holy crap.  I definitely didn’t see that coming.

My only issue with Forgiving Lies was that it wasn’t very believable.  I just couldn’t believe some of the things that went down at the end.  I can’t say more without spoiling things so I’ll just leave it at that.

Overall, Forgiving Lies is a good place to start if you haven’t read anything by Molly McAdams.  I look forward to reading more from her.

What others are saying about Forgiving Lies:

Reading Lark’s review: “Molly McAdams is one of those authors that I adore.”

Vilma’s Book Blog’s review: “It was a story that was undeniably Molly McAdams with that captivating humor, clever banter and alluring sexiness we’ve come to expect, but it was also very different from some of the other books I’ve read from this author.”

Parajunkee’s review: “Unfortunately, I found the story to be formulaic and the characters unlikable. “

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins | Review

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins | ReviewRebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Published by Penguin Teen on April 8, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
5 Stars
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

picadillyblueRebel Belle, the first in a new series from Rachel Hawkins, is a fun, fresh addition to the YA genre.  Rachel Hawkins’ fans will definitely love this one.

Rebel Belle has a very unique premise.  Paladins (almost super-hero like people) have powers that must be used to protect someone with the help of a mage.  In this case, Harper is the Paladin and David (her worse enemy) is the person she’s  been tasked with protecting.  The powers are thrust upon Harper out of nowhere and not only does she have to protect David, she’s gotta do it all while trying to figure out how her powers actually work.

Harper is a busybody.  She’s in charge of almost every group at school, she’s head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and preparing for Cotillion.  She is the quintessential southern belle.  When the powers of a Paladin are given to her, she decides that she can manage those too.  She’s a bit annoying in her quest for success in everything but you can’t really fault her for that.  She’s funny, smart, and kind (to everyone but David.)  She also has the perfect boyfriend, Ryan, and a wonderful best friend, Bee.  Then there’s David.  He’s quirky and smart and he can’t stand Harper.  Working with her is just as big a problem for him as it is for Harper.  However, they’re both good people at heart so they eventually start to work together to possibly save the world.

Harper and David have such fun, witty banter going on between them.  It’s easy to see the chemistry between them even though they will do anything to deny it.  They are a lot alike and working together starts to show this.  I loved them together.

The story is fast-paced and fun-filled.  Discovering the extent of Harper’s powers right there alongside her is quite the adventure.  She’s energetic and enthusiastic even in the face of danger.  She definitely cracked me up.  And there are quite a few shocking twists that will have you flipping pages as fast as possible.

Overall, Rebel Belle is beyond awesome.  If you’re looking for something that hasn’t been completely overdone, give this one a shot.

What others are saying about Rebel Belle:

Step Into Fiction’s review: “If you’re in the mood for something light and funny, let me tell you something, Rebel Belle is the book for you!”

Bibliophilia Please’s review: “Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is my favorite novel to have a protagonist with superpowers in a long time.”

Books and Swoons’ review: “Rebel Belle was a great book to get lost in.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Into The Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi | Review

Into The Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi | ReviewInto The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #3
Published by Harper Teen on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 392
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
5 Stars
The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do--and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they're using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival--he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

picadillyblueInto The Still Blue, the conclusion to the Under the Never Sky trilogy, brings everything to a head and ends the series with a bang.  Veronica Rossi managed to write a perfect ending to the trilogy that will leaver fans eager for more from her.

Through the Ever Night set things up perfectly for this final book.  It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger with Cinder being taken, Reverie collapsing, and the “dwellers” and “savages” being forced to work together to save themselves.  Into The Still Blue picks up immediately after that ending and things are tense.  The world as they know it is ending and if they don’t reach the still blue, they will die.  The stakes are higher than ever and no one is safe.

I’ll keep this short and sweet because I don’t want to spoil anything.  Into The Still Blue is fast-paced, action packed, and will have readers on the edge of their seats.  Everyone is in danger in this final installment and each injury and death is crushing.  I definitely shed some tears and bit off some nails while reading this one.

The characters are still just as awesome as always but they are all very changed.  Liv’s death has changed Roar’s outlook on life.  Roar’s attitude changes both Perry and Aria even more than they’ve already changed.  Perry is still young but he’s forced to be a  leader and put his people’s happiness and lives above his own.  Then there is Cinder.  He’s so different from the Cinder in previous books.  He’s grown so much.  He definitely took center stage in Into The Still Blue and he shined.  I loved him.

The ending wasn’t as neat and tidy as I had hoped but it was far from open-ended.  It’s not a book with an overall happy ending but there are happy pieces to the ending.  The one thing I would have liked to see was a romance for Roar.  Can we get a spin-off for him?

Overall, Into The Still Blue will please fans of the trilogy.  I’m excited to see what Veronica Rossi does next.

What others are saying about Into The Still Blue: 

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Overall if you have not read this series but are that weirdo reading my review, I don’t know why, do yourself a life favor and pick up the Under The Never Sky series.”

YA Midnight Reads’ review: “Into The Still Blue is the final conclusion to the Under the Never Sky trilogy and delivered a lot of kick-assery, sweet romance, unforgettable friendships and higher stakes for all the characters.”

Christina Reads YA’s review: “Into the Still Blue is both satisfying and enjoyable for Rossi fans.”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stacking The Shelves + BEA Request! (23)

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews! It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

I fail with posting Stacking the Shelves.  Seriously, the last time I did one was in January.  I do usually post pics on Instagram though (@katiesbookblog) so if you follow me there you still find out what I get in the mail.  However, for all you people who don’t follow me there, here are some of the exciting books I’ve received since January.  (This will not include books I’ve already read/reviewed.)

-The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed #2) by Page Morgan
-Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
-Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
-The Fires of Calderon (The Balance Keepers #1) by Lindsay Cummings
-Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
-Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley
-Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
-The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan
-Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
-Boomerang by Noelle August
-Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt
-Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover
-Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
-Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
-Burn Out by Kristi Helvig
-Amity by Micol Ostow


-The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12) by J.R. Ward
-Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge
-Red At Night by Katie McGarry

As you guys know, BEA is coming up really soon!  I wasn’t planning on going (money issues) but I recently got a new job and I decided to see about going.  However, I waited a little too long and most people already have roommates and rooms booked.  If you are looking for a roommate or know of someone looking for a roommate, please let me know.  My dates are flexible so that’s not an issue.  I just really would like to be able to make the trip again this year and if I can’t find someone to stay with, I can’t go.  You can comment here or shoot me an email at katieb206 at gmail dot com!

So there you go!  Like I said, these aren’t all the books that I’ve received but it’s some of them.  If you ever want to know all the books that I have on my shelves, feel free to head over to Goodreads since I do keep my Goodreads account completely up to date.

What have you received lately?  Feel free to leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis|Review

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis|ReviewNot a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #1
Published by Harper Teen on September 24, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
4 Stars
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

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….

picadillyblueNot a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis’ debut novel, is a unique dystopian story that kept me hooked from beginning to end.  It’s a story that hasn’t been overdone in YA and readers should really enjoy that about it.

Not A Drop to Drink is not your typical action packed, evil government overlord dystopian.  It’s a much slower paced story about survival.  Water is scarce (at least purified drinking water) and people are dying left and right because of this.  Looting is popular, medicine is almost nonexistent, and people are not friendly.  It’s a very realistic futuristic story.

Lynn is not your typical heroine.  She’s not all that likable.  She is unfriendly, wary of everyone, and just outright mean sometimes.  She’s much rather shoot someone than get to know them.  That’s how her mother raised her.  She doesn’t stay that way though.  She starts to see the error of her ways.  Eli, Lucy, Neva, Stebbs; each one of them plays a role in reshaping Lynn’s outlook.

The danger in Not a Drop to Drink isn’t actually present for much of the book.  The greatest danger is that Lynn could run out of food and water before the winter is over.  It’s a danger that’s there but not something you can attack and get rid of.  There is some of that danger too.  There are people moving in on Lynn’s home and pond.  She has to protect her childhood home and her only water supply from this unknown danger.

Not a Drop to Drink perfectly ties everything up at the end.  I’m sure a sequel could be written (and is going to be) but this book makes for a perfect standalone.  All questions are answered for readers.

Overall, Not a Drop to Drink is a solid addition to the YA dystopian genre.  Mindy McGinnis is definitely going to be an author to watch for.

What others are saying about Not a Drop to Drink: 

Jenna Does Books’ review: “At the end of the day, NOT A DROP TO DRINK is one of the most realistic and believable speculative future stories I have ever read.:”

Effortlessly Reading’s review: “Overall, I highly recommend Not A Drop To Drink.”

Beauty and the Bookshelf’s review: “Not a Drop to Drink is different from a lot of YA out there, at least from what I’ve read; I can’t think of anything quite like it, though I can think of some books with that sort of realistic grit to it.”