Review of IN A HANDFUL OF DUST by Mindy McGinnis

Okay, so it's time for another book review! This time I got to read an early copy of IN A HANDFUL OF DUST by fellow Leaguer, Mindy McGinnis. This is a companion novel to Mindy's first book, NOT A DROP TO DRINK. And I'm a real fan of companion novels, having written two myself.

With DUST, we get to follow Lucy, who was a child in the first book. Her caretaker and stand-in mother is Lynn, who was the teen narrator in DRINK. If you liked the format of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and it's companion THE DEAD TOSSED WAVES, you'll enjoy the companion style of DUST to DRINK.

About NOT A DROP TO DRINK: Sixteen-year-old Lynn will do anything to protect her valuable water source, but the arrival of new neighbors forces her to reconsider her attitudes. With evocative, spare language, and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author McGinnis depicts one girl's unwavering efforts to survive in a harsh frontier-like future.

"A high-quality survivalist story for readers who enjoy internal story arcs as well as external dangers." (Kirkus Reviews)
About IN A HANDFUL OF DUST: In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

Why You Should Read It:
1. If you're a fan of dystopian novels, this series has a fresh twist, taking us back to the frontier times. I just read a historical novel set in the harsh climate of Montana, and DUST and DRINK has this distinct feel of the harshness of a "wild land" where anything goes and there's no law.

So it's unique. There's no oppressive government. There's not a "utopian" feel that a lot of other dystopian novels/series have. So if you haven't picked these novels up yet, you should! You'll get something fresh and different.

2. IN A HANDFUL OF DUST is a continuation of the story started in DRINK, but it has a story arc of it's own. So don't feel like you need to start with the first book. Mindy does a great job of letting readers know what's happened without dragging down the current plot.

3. The premise of the series is that there's hardly any water. Being a lover of the ocean, I really identified with Lucy, who wants to go to California, where she's heard there are desalination plants. Lynn--the older, more seasoned woman--decides to accompany her, but really this is Lucy's fight in the wilderness. And there were some pretty terrible situations--betrayals from a friend, gun fights, people wanting Lucy for her ability, treacherous mountains to climb (literally!), and reaching a city that doesn't have any more water than they had back home--that Lucy had to overcome in her quest to get to California.

I think most of us have had our own "mountains to climb" from time to time in our lives, and this adventure story of a cross-country trip in pursuit of a dream (even if that dream is simply having clean water to drink!) is appealing.

So be sure to buy these books today! Here's where you can find IN A HANDFUL OF DUST:


Irene Jennings said...

This is an excellent companion novel! It is well written which makes for a quick, engaging read!
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Marlene Detierro said...

In a Handful of Dust is a powerful, character-driven follow up to Not a Drop to Drink. I do disagree that it is a companion novel, for me it read far more like a sequel, but it was definitely sequel-worthy.

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