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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not a Drop to Drink #2
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 384
Genre: Adventure, Apocalyptic

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.
          Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.
          When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.
          In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.
 *An advanced readers copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Mindy McGinnis' Not a Drop to Drink was my top favorite read for this year, but In a Handful of Dust collides head first into its companion novel, and I can't decide which one I love more. Ten years after the ending of NADTD, the pond where Lynn and Lucy were living is surrounded by a vibrant community of people. Only disease has finally found itself in the center of their community and those in mourning are out to put the blame on someone. From the viewpoint of Lucy, now seventeen-years-old, along with Lynn, a grown woman and the protector of our young protagonist, In a Handful of Dust exposes the best and worst of humanity were water is scarce and a long, dry road awaits.

To fans of The Walking Dead, Mindy McGinnis's novels are just the harrowing and gritty tales will pull you in and tug at the heart strings of these two strong, independent, and self-sufficient female characters on their way to the western coast, fighting for their own water supply and those who will kill them for just a sip of what they've got. Though there are no zombies, the threat of humanity and dehydration turns this post-apocalyptic novel into a daunting realism. The struggle both internally in Lynn and Lucy's character development and the struggle in the environment with the encounters of other human beings and the encounters with water-bearing areas, the hostility and the caution that brings about an apprehensive air to the readers. And that progressing apprehension into the journey that the two females take into the unknown after being cast away makes In a Handful of Dust a harrowing and unforgettable novel.

Final Summation: IN A HANDFUL OF DUST exceeds all expectations that I had for this second novel in the series. It was just a roller coaster that just kept going up. The gritty journey of survival, the heart-rending relationship between Lynn and Lucy, and the realistic qualities of a world without water made this series place on my top ten list. A must read for post-apocalyptic readers, and those who enjoy a strong bond between two characters, and the harrowing struggle for survival against the elements and fighting to find humanity in a world where humanity is almost lost.

Five targets slayed with Lynn's rifle and my tears.