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Not a Drop to Drink #2

In a Handful of Dust

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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.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published September 23, 2014

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About the author

Mindy McGinnis

25 books3,825 followers

Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who writes across multiple genres, including post-apocalyptic, historical, thriller, contemporary, mystery, and fantasy.

While her settings may change, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 580 reviews
Profile Image for Evie.
714 reviews925 followers
June 19, 2015
“That’s life, little one—lots of little maybes and what ifs all lined up in a row. And if you put your mind to following some of them that never came about, you’ll get lost and not find your way back to the way it really is.”

Mindi McGinni's books are exactly my flavor of dark, atmospheric and incredibly intelligent. I loved Not A Drop To Drink - it was one of my favorite novels in 2013. I didn't think Mindy would write a follow-up, but was beyond thrilled to learn about this companion novel. It was just as good (if not better), as Not A Drop To Drink.

These two books sport one amazingly gritty atmosphere. What we have here is a world driven to the brink of extinction by its own inhabitants; humans. Almost all of the world's water supply is gone, and whatever little there's left is either protected by the government, or guarded by people who won't hesitate to shoot you if you come to close to their precious water source. But Lynn's little pond is now the source of danger, rather than hope and life. The water is infected and potentially lethal. And so Lynn makes the decision to abandon her childhood home and leave in search of a new place to live - a new home for Lucy and herself. Together, they will journey to California, where desalinization plants are rumored to be purifying water.

In A Handful of Dust, to me, is a work of utter brilliance. It's a book so skilfully plotted, so thought-provoking and illuminating, it's not only mesmerizing but also completely breathtaking. Filled with moments of true heartbreak, beautiful and meaningful thoughts and observations, disturbingly vivid portrayals of a world gone oh-so-very-wrong, it's a truly unique and important book. Admittedly, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. I find Mindi McGinni's books to be very different from the mainstream YA dystopians and post-apocalyptic thrillers. You don't read her books for cheap thrills and cheesy forbidden romance, you read them for the slow-burning action, brutality, honesty and cathartic emotional load. They are deeper, darker and more densely plotted than your usual YA. Often times they are even shocking and thoroughly devastating. Most of all, they are smart and insightful, with top-notch character development and world-building.

Where Not A Drop To Drink was more about a stationary kind of survival and defending what belongs to you, In A Handful Of Dust is about the challenges of a long and dangerous journey and the hope that lays behind the horizon. I absolutely adored this book. Mindi McGinnis is one of my go-to authors and I know I can't wait for her next book, A Madness So Discreet, to be published.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,651 followers
November 4, 2014
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

One of the things I hate is when a sequel is announced after I’ve read the first book. Not a Drop to Drink was one of my favorite YA post-apocalyptics, but I was still disgruntled to discover I’d started yet another series. Even so, I enjoyed McGinnis’ story enough to be willing to try the next book. Plus, THOSE COVERS YO. The publisher calls In a Handful of Dust a companion, but it actually spoils the events of the first book, so be careful about that. It took me a while to get into In a Handful of Dust, but it was ultimately similarly satisfying and bleak.

Trying to remember Not a Drop to Drink was a big issue for me. In a Handful of Dust jumps ten years into the future and so I’m trying to remember characters who are the same but different. There have obviously been changes and I was hard-pressed to keep up with who was important with my memories of Not a Drop so far in the past. Eventually that got sorted, but I spent a while frustrated, trying to recall which characters I already knew.

The main character of In a Handful of Dust is Lucy, the adopted daughter of Lynn, the main character of Not a Drop to Drink. Lynn is now an adult, but just as practical as ever. I love that Lynn isn’t any softer than she was in Not a Drop. Though she’s a mother of sorts now and truly loves Lucy, she’s still not emotional or any less apt to kill first and ask questions later. Lynn is as hard-edged as she needs to be to protect herself and her kin.

Lucy, however, is a foil to Lynn. Despite what she’s been through, she retains a certain naivete and faith in other people. Raised for the last years by Lynn, Vera and Stebbs, surrounded by mostly good people, she expects those she meets to be good. She likes to give people the benefit of the doubt and to seek non-violent solutions. They’re almost character studies, highlighting the benefits of skepticism and of trust in such a scenario. Ultimately, both Lucy’s kindness and Lynn’s mistrust come in handy, but I think Lynn’s really built to survive.

What I do love about this series is that McGinnis is brutal, sort of like Lynn. There’s nothing easy or convenient about life in her novels. Often, YA post-apocalyptics aren’t all that brutal. People die, but no one we care about, and ultimately the situation is resolved and normal life resumes, all while giving the main character a sexy romance. Not so with McGinnis, who obviously hates romance and wants to show a realistic scenario, by which I mean a horrifying one.

The one aspect that didn’t really work for me was the minimal romance. It wasn’t intended to be romantic, but it was a bit plothole-ish to me at times. Lucy was starting to have feelings for this boy, Carter. What the blurb doesn’t mention is that he’s also sent out of the community for the same reason as she and Lynn. However, he doesn’t know what to do and follows her. Lucy promises to leave him food and water, so he won’t starve, and tries to keep Lynn from moving to fast so he gets left behind. Then some stuff happens and she and Lynn end up moving REALLY quickly, but she never really gives thought to the fact that she’s just left him behind. This is picked up again later, but the fact that he wasn’t considered for so long bugged me. Ultimately, I liked the resolution to Carter’s story, but I think Lucy’s feelings were inconsistently handled.

If you enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink, I think that In a Handful of Dust will likely please you as well. McGinnis’ series is a good choice for those who like their post-apocalyptic fiction truly bleak.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,398 reviews1,103 followers
July 15, 2016
This book takes place ten years after the events in Not a Drop to Drink. Lynn is no longer a teenager. She is now in the "mother" role of raising her own teen. Remember Lucy, the little girl she took in? Yep that is the girl we get to hear this story from. This book has a different feel to it. In many ways I liked this book better than the first book.

To start with, Lucy is quite different from Lynn. While Lynn was untrusting and cynical from her upbringing, Lucy is full of life, enjoys being social and is much more trusting. In this book that is both a blessing and a curse for these women. After Lynn dealt with the vagabonds that looted from everyone, suddenly she has a whole community around her. I have no idea how this came about exactly as as it sounded like neighbors were not exactly close. But apparently everyone has come out of their shells and now rely on each other. I wish we had a bit more of a 'how' this came about but alas I am stuck to basic conclusion forming.

When Lucy and Lynn are "forced" to leave their home they decide to try to trek to California. From Ohio! Talk about a long journey on foot! The reason is that Lucy and her boyfriend Carter are suspected of being carriers of polio that is killing of the community! While Carter is the likely suspect, his mother is pointing her finger toward Lucy as well. Plus Lynn is on the outs with another woman. So Lynn and Lucy set out for what they home is a better life. Leaving Stebbs, Vera and their home behind. This saddened be as I loved Stebbs' character and was so happy at first he was in this book.

This book is very character driven. While we get many veiwpoints of different lands and terrains, and we meet other characters both good and bad, the focus really is on these two ladies. Both strong in their own rights but very different and a fierce loyalty to each other.

I love Lynn for giving up everything for Lucy throughout much of this book. Although is seems she ended up more like her mother than I would have liked. Even after all the events that have happened in the pat ten years. She is still an amazing shot and doesn't trust anyone or anything. It complements Lucy who wants to see the best in things and people.

While this book is written in third person, it is still focused on Lucy. How she sees things, what she feels and experiences. The result is that there are several poignant scenes but nothing over the top which was nice. Ultimately, between the two books, it gives a wonderful diverse feel of the same world seen through different aspects.

Things I did not like- The first one being how Carter is handled. While Lucy reflects on him through their first part of the adventure, once they pass the city it is like he never existed until toward the end of the book. Which makes her reaction to what happens all the more vexing. While I cannot explain any better without spoiling things, the overall thing annoyed me. The desert scene was also frustrating. While much of the book takes on a slower pace, here I felt rushed and then like I missed part of the book.

Overall I did enjoy this book. The world building and depth were better than the first book. Yet I will warn you now, that the ending is true to form to the first book. Neither good nor bad yet strangely fitting to the world they live in. Despair and hope fill this novel in unique ways that captured me for the entire read. While is was slower paced than I had expected, I enjoyed it. Very true to form of the prior book and well done!
589 reviews1,031 followers
October 15, 2014
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

It always breaks my heart when I find out that a standalone which I loved and was satisfied with, has a sequel coming out. Not a Drop to Drink was one of my favourite science-fiction books of 2013 and when I found out that there was a sequel coming out this year, I was quite confused. I mean, what else do you want to write about? Just to clear up some things, this book is a mix between a sequel and a spin-off. Reading book 1 would be a wise choice, because as the stories are tied. We do still have the same old characters, but, we are also introduced to new characters as well as having a different major lead, which happens to be the little Lucy. But in this book, she’s already in her late teens.

In a Handful of Dust worked surprisingly well for a sequel that I was really iffy about. We are once again brought back into Lynn and Lucy’s world—a truly terrifying one where water is scarce and the conditions are poor and diseases are floating about everywhere. Mindy McGinnis excels at creating a realistic atmosphere which feels like it could really happen to us in the future. It’s a gritty and bleak story full of a few shocking facts that we as people right now can even relate to.

Once again, the highlight of Mindy McGinnis’ latest for me was her characters. Lynn is now around 27 years of age and it took me a while to get my head around that, because I always remembered her as the bad-ass teenager. Don’t worry, she’s still just as bad-ass though. Lucy, now a teenager happens to be more of the lead in this story. Lucy is very open-hearted but strong and a capable young lady—I really appreciated how these two characters were both kick-ass in their own way, and both their voices were very distinct. There wasn’t a moment when I got the two mixed up. Their mother-daughter relationship is another strong element for In a Handful of Dust. While they aren’t a blood bonded relationship, it was just as strong and true. Their dialogue is really sweet and and acts as comic relief--Lucy is always trying to lighten the situation whereas Lynn tends to be the serious one. They balanced out each other perfectly.

In a Handful of Dust also brings many interesting topics to the table. Lynn and Lucy go on a trek to California, and on the way, they meet many different types of people. It's really interesting to see how people can be act so differently and cruelly when desperate for survival, and to what extent. The author brings up the fact that people are only living to survive, not living to actually live. 

Once again another fantastically crafted novel, Mindy McGinnis offers a book full of entertaining characters and a brutal world that I would never want to live in. That's probably one of the reasons why I really enjoy it so much.

~Thank you Katherine Tegen for sending me this copy!~

Profile Image for Trisha.
4,651 reviews161 followers
December 13, 2015
"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

When I first saw there would be a companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink, I was giddy. The first book in the series just blew me away.

This book is EVEN BETTER. I know, I see your raised eyebrow and look of skepticism. I was worried too, but this one is - it's amazing.

You have Lucy, raised by Lynn, is becoming her own person. You see the house, the small town and what became of it all.

But there is something flowing through this town and it's deadly. it's forcing Lynn and Lucy to make some decisions they never thought they would and leads them down a path we wouldn't send our worst enemy on.

The story gripped me and was completely impossible to put down. But the easy banter and wry humor of Lynn left me giggling in the aftermath of many of the more intense moments.
I'm so amazed and grateful that Mindy McGinnis gave us a book 2. But...would it be too much to ask for a book 3??? Pretty please?? :)
Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
May 9, 2017
“We hear you shoot like a man.”
“You heard wrong,” Lynn said coldly. “I shoot like a woman.”

4 1/2 stars. This series is about as insanely awesome as it gets. I can't stop fangirling over it. I finished the first book of this duology a while back, Not a Drop to Drink, and couldn't stop ranting about how much I loved it. McGinnis writes some of the most gripping YA I've ever read. I can't wait to read more by her.

If you're the kind of reader who likes survival, apocalyptic, or western-style books, then look no further. In a Handful of Dust follows two women who are toughened fighters in a dusty, gritty cowboy setting. Lucy and her adoptive mother, Lynn, live in a world where water is scarce and they treat every person as a threat at the end of their gun.

When polio sweeps through the camp where Lucy and Lynn live, they decide to escape the infection and head to California, where they've heard rumors that plenty of water resides. It isn't long before they run into life-threatening dangers on their hard journey.

I loved Lucy's relationship with her adoptive mother, Lynn. This book emphasized that Lynn was Lucy's real mother, even though she wasn't her "birth" mother. The dynamics between the two of them were so sweet and funny, since Lucy was more timid and gentle than her fierce mother.

“Why couldn’t I want something easy?”
“Because that’s not like you. You’ve always been fond of the difficult.”
“True enough. I like you, after all.”

Make no mistake, people: This book was BRUTAL. Some of the violence made me want to shrink away, but I loved how the author portrayed humanity as desperate, animalistic, and raw. The characters had been through so much, barely had enough water to stay alive, and were under a constant wariness to trust anyone. Their behavior seemed like a realistic possibility if the world ever got to be this bad.

If you want to feel like you're about to die from thirst, hunger, or get shot if you walk around a corner, read this book. I loved how easily I was able to connect with the characters and step into their shoes - it felt like I was literally being put through their hardships.

I also liked the way this book didn't feel like a "sequel." You don't have to read Not a Drop to Drink in order to read this. It's a companion novel and focuses on some of the same characters, but it provides very few spoilers for the first book. Truthfully, I'm a little bit sad this is only a two-part series, but at the same time, it ended on just the right note, with a hint of melancholy and bittersweetness.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
632 reviews594 followers
April 16, 2016
In many ways, I liked In A Handful of Dust more than its predecessor Not a Drop to Drink. However, the last 15% or so didn’t quite work for me, I was left with a lot of questions. Still, this is a solid contribution to the YA dystopian genre that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Starting out with the positives, the pacing is fantastic. I’m reminded a little bit of The Forever Song because it has the main characters traveling for a large portion of the book, but it was not as tedious or uneventful. Something was always happening or had to be dealt with, but not unrealistically so. You really wanted to see where the book was going to go, and the pages flew by.

It’s no secret that I tend to prefer a character driven novel, and I felt more of a connection to the characters in this book than I did with its companion. I really sympathized with Lucy and Lynn, as well as all the other characters. I wanted the best for them. The story really revolves around the two and their emotional journey as well as their actual one.

About 20% before the end, things started to seem out of place. It sometimes felt like a totally different book, there was a new setting and different plot-lines were introduced. It seemed kind of unnecessary- it didn’t really move the story along. Plus, there was an addition (somewhat of a small surprise) that was really out there and had me going WHAT? In a bad way, not a good way.

On the topic of the ending, the whole book built up and built up but it kind of just fizzled out at the end. Everything was tied up quickly and easily, wrapped up but lacking a bow. It was bittersweet, and I definitely had a case of FEELS but I still felt the conclusion was anti-climatic, especially since I was so invested in this story and the characters. There was a relatively open ending, at least in my mind. I prefer all loose ends dealt with and there to be a clear ending with few What Ifs. However, I do realize that particular type of ending might not have worked well with this series.

But those were the only real issues I had with the book, I thought it was great overall and will recommend both In A Handful of Dust and Not a Drop to Drink for anyone looking for a realistic dystopia or just a good read in general.

Readers In Wonderland

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
None of these gifs are mine.
Profile Image for Jo.
1,121 reviews60 followers
September 20, 2014
This is so gorgeously written, and Lynn is one of the most compelling characters I've ever read. Having said that, I felt that Lynn was such a strong character that she overshadowed Lucy. Not that I minded because I adore Lynn. She does not shy away from getting done what needs to be done. I felt the mountain scenes really showed what she is made of.

The ending felt a little rushed. Things magically happen, and tension is resolved without much explanation. We have this long journey and then it is over within a couple of pages. I needed to see the entire thing and not just the Cliff Notes.

This book really raises the question of whether or not humanity has any decency and integrity left in it. The characters are really pushed to the breaking point, and it illustrates humankind at its most vulnerable. Can people still be good when faced with surviving against the odds? Lynn and Lucy are faced with that question every day. Who to trust or even should you trust at all. Lynn and Lucy make great examples of the spectrum. Lynn trusts no one, and Lucy trusts everyone. Our world is seeing a rise in crime. This book really asks a question relevant to our world.

I really enjoyed this one, and I hope there will be a third book. I would love to see more Lynn in the next one. She is one of my favorite characters.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews369 followers
September 22, 2014
I fell in love with McGinnis' writing after reading her debut novel and was eager to dive right back into the harsh and desperate world she had created in Not A Drop to Drink. I was looking forward to seeing Lucy and Lynn again and hopefully find them in a better place, both emotional and with the world around them.

And while the world was somewhat better, what I was really impressed with was the growth in Lynn. It is unbelievable the change that came over her from not only Stebb's but Lucy's influence as well, I loved it and ate it up.

The world they live in is far from ideal or even loving but it has hope and it has potential even with disease running rampant and water still in serious demand you can see humanity slowly coming back, for Lynn, for Lucy and for others as well.

I don't even know how to express how truly great these reads are. They aren't filled with light and airy moments or even loving moments but instead those moments in life that really make a person and define who they are. The choices between love and hate, right and wrong and humanity and cruelty.

This is raw and it is real, so very real that you can't help but feel transported there. You feel for their struggles, inner and other and you are right there with them. Helping them, guiding them and hoping like heck they make it through what ever trial they are currently endearing.

McGinnis is a fabulous writer. One that draws you into their world and makes you love the harshness and the hard truth of it. You can't put it down once you start it and when it is over you are left feelign lost and bereft.

These are the reads you need to experience for yourself to really get the full impact of the world and characters she has created, to truly understand their struggles and their triumphs, either way, you won't be sorry that you did once you do.
Profile Image for Hannah ◇ReaderintheRough◇.
198 reviews72 followers
January 12, 2016
"One woman, two lives to manage, and everything falling apart around her. But she did it, and she never said a sideways word to me on the matter. And I did it for you, and I'll keep doing it 'til one of us is gone. In a world like this, you pay it forward, 'cause more than likely you didn't deserve it when you got it the first time."

3.5 stars.

Mindy McGinnis can write a damn good survival story. This book follows Lucy, with Lynn a continual presence in the novel.

I LOVE LYNN. That being said, this gets a half star lower because I didn't enjoy Lucy's story as much as her mother's. I mean who can compare to a gun-toting, T.S. Eliot-quoting woman!?

This is a great duology, and definitely some of the best post-apocalyptic I've read.

"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

Profile Image for ᒪᗴᗩᕼ .
1,495 reviews147 followers
September 27, 2018
In a handful of dust there is not a drop to drink...

An interesting follow-up to Not A Drop to Drink, while I didn't like it as much as the first installment, I did like it…I'm just not completely on-board with that ending.  Overall, a sadness hangs over the whole book…that never really dissipates with the ending, like the Author set out to make a series that puts the dis in dystopian.  She did have some interesting developments in this journey from Ohio to California…some I've never seen the likes of before.  One, in particular, was jaw-dropping.
This second book is from Lucy's pov instead of Lynn's, as it is in the first book.  I was sad that Cassandra Campbell wasn't the narrator, I really liked her, but a different narrator was the best way to keep a distinction between their voices.  


Plot~ 4/5
Main Characters~ 4/5
Secondary Characters~ 4/5
The Feels~ 3.8/5
Pacing~ 4.3/5
Addictiveness~ 4/5
Theme or Tone~ 4/5
Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5
Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5
Originality~ 4/5
Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really.

Book Cover~  I like it…
Narration~ ☆3.7☆ for Allyson Ryan, she did grow on me, eventually.
Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #2
Setting~ From Ohio to California
Source~ Audiobook (Library)


Profile Image for NotoriousGOT.
134 reviews
April 26, 2014
Here's the thing about Mindy McGinnis' books: They are exactly like great outdoors. Harsh and brutal but stunningly beautiful. And when it comes to Lynn, who is now in her late 20s in this book versus her teens in Not A Drop to Drink, I'll say it again. She is hands-down, the best female character in YA in terms of role models. Katniss, Tris, Bella. They don't do it for me the way Lynn does. She doesn't demand to be treated differently because she's a woman but she understands that she is going to be treated differently and so she fights throughout the first book and throughout the second book (although in drastically different circumstances) to even the playing field. She is a true feminist in every sense of the word and she is the first YA character I've ever honestly looked up to. If I ever have daughters, you better believe I'll be handing them these books when they come of age.
Profile Image for T.
115 reviews132 followers
May 18, 2017
I read this book super fast - like less than a day. It's super well-written and the book is filled with tense action and great characterizations. I wouldn't call this book dark..per se, but it's gritty, literally and figuratively. You can feel the dirt and sweat - the desperation. This is definitely a book driven by Lucy (16-yr old girl who was a child in Not a Drop to Drink) and Lynn (26-yr old who was the heroine of that first book). They're friendship/mother-daughter relationship was powerful and complicated.
Profile Image for Rikke.
436 reviews54 followers
August 26, 2016
This one is as beautiful and desolate as the first book. Water is still a valued commodity, and life and the struggle of survival is still harsh. Harsher even, as circumstances change.

The story picks up years later, but so smoothly it feels like no time has passed.

It's an awesome sequel. In fact as a series these to novels are brilliant. They're definitely added to my most favorite shelf, and They are staying!!
April 13, 2020
Четете този коментар САМО ако сте прочели първа част!!! Ако не сте, по-добре пропуснете коментара.
Втората част на историята на Минди Макгинис ни пренася 10 години напред в бъдещето, но животът е все още толкова труден и суров, а водата по-скъпа и от злато. Нашите герои вече са пораснали - Луси е млада девойка на 16 или 17 (сама не е сигурна), която изпитва първите трепети в любовта. Лин е 27 годишна жена, но от всичко казано за нея, сякаш е на 40-50. Толкова изтормозена от това непрекъснато да защитава своето, изгубила броя на убийствата, които е направила, тя не се държи като млада дама, а като майка орлица на Луси. И все пак тя не е сама - има си Луси, която е отгледала и нарича своя дъщеря, има си Стебс и Вера и малко заформило се общество около езерото - различни семейства с деца. Идилията скоро е развалена от зараза, хората умират като мухи и Лин и Луси са принудени да напуснат селцето и да потърсят щастие другаде. Тяхното странстване започва от Охайо и е насочено към Калифорния, без да знаят какво ще срещнат по пътя си и дали изобщо има някакъв живот в другия край на страната. Тази книга беше малко по-слаба от първата, защото тук акцентът бе по-скоро върху приключението. Да, пак няма вода и това е движещата сила на пътешествието им, но наред с това изпъкват и други трудности и проблеми, които неминуемо съпътстват един такъв преход на две самотни жени. Те трябва да се справят с равнини, поля, планини, пустини, но освен това трябва да се пазят и от хората по пътя им, защото не знаят кой с какви намерения е. Тук за пореден път се вижда колко силен и непоколебим характер има Лин и как с цената на собствения си живот би защитила този на Луси. Вижда се, че Луси първоначално е плашлива, неуверена, свикнала да разчита за всичко на по-голямата жена, но в един момент и тя заяква, калява се и издръжливостта й се увеличава не само като физика, но и чисто психологически. И все пак си остава емоционална и изпълнена с надежда за крайната им цел, докато Лин винаги черногледа, през цялото време търси само най-лошото у хората и само си търси причина да застреля някого. И дори след като стигат заветната цел, Лин не може да види хубавото на спокойния и уютен живот, не може да намери щастие в малките, ежедневни неща, не може да види красотата на океана и да се отпусне да заживее нормален живот. Това е една книга показваща ни различните характери и различните психически настроения в условия на трудно оцеляване и борба за живот. Показва ни как човек може да бъде щастлив въпреки обстоятелствата и лишенията и как човек не може да намери щастие, а само да си търси поводи за безпокойство и да се самонавива колко несправедлив е животът.
Profile Image for Claire (Book Blog Bird).
1,053 reviews38 followers
August 21, 2017
2.5 stars

This was an okay follow up to Not A Drop To Drink, but I don't think it had the massive impact that the original book had.

It picks up about ten years after the first book and Lynn is now a grown woman and Lucy is now a teenager. Water is still an issue in their post-apocalypse world and now illness has become a major issue as well. Illnesses that had been allbut eradicated arenow reappearing and no one has the knowledge or skill to fight them. Lynn and Lucy are forced to travel across the country when their community is threatened.

The journey they undertake is frought with danger, which makes for a rollerrcoaster plot, but the characterisation let the book down. Lynn is a taciturn character and always has been, but in the first book we had the benefit of her internal monologue to flesh out her character. Here we just see her as a dry, grumpy woman. I never really got a grip on Lucy's character. She didn't really have anything going for her - no wit or spark or cunning or whatever ittakes to make a character in a book interesting. And god knows Mindy McGinnis can write some interesting characters.

There was some romance in the book, but it's just announced at the beginning of the book and we don't see it build or grow so it doesn't have the emotional impact it needs for us to actually care what happens to either of them.

Ultimately, this book was only ok - the first book didn't end on a cliffhanger so it's debateable whether it's worth reading this one.

The ending confused me a lot. I won't give anything away, but it basically involves Lynn making a decision that made me stare, rub my eyes and re-read the page. It was such a ridiculous decision that even now I can't believe she did it!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
October 14, 2014
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The publisher also graciously provided the audiobook version for review. All thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Not a Drop to Drink was a surprising favorite for me last year, despite its bleak tone and gut-wrenching ending. I thrive on books that take a hypothetical situation and make it seem all too real...and possible. That's what the first book in this series did for me. And In a Handful of Dust was no less genuine or realistic, but it was even more depressing than its predecessor.

I listened to the audio for the first book as a refresher about a month before I received this audiobook for review, and I thought that narrator did a fine job of bringing the characters to life. However, I think Allyson Ryan really captured the tone and presence of the characters in this second book. Lynn sounds like the hardened, world-weary woman that she is on the page, and Lucy is the young woman who's still cautiously optimistic, despite all of her pseudo-mother's reservations about what lies ahead of them. As I said, this story is every bit as depressing as the first book, if not more so, and the narrator did a great job of culminating that sense of despair and loss in the listener.

Let's see...I don't want to spoil anything for Not a Drop to Drink -- though these are technically companion novels, you'll understand the characters a lot better if you read them in order -- but there was quite a bit of death. That's to be expected in a world where water is scarce and disease runs rampant. There's a lot of death in this novel, as well, but it's of a different nature, and it's what eventually leads Lynn and Lucy to leave the relative safety of their home in Ohio to head to California.

This book is one big journey across the country, complete with bumps and scrapes along the way. Plenty of them, in fact. Because of this, the book had a very Wild West vibe to it, despite the fact that the women come across cell towers and power lines and even a car along the way. Sometimes, it was easy to forget that this story takes place after the fall of technology, not before it. For a lot of the book, though, the plot just plods along, much like the riders on their horses, but there were some intense moments and big reveals that made the story otherwise enjoyable. For what it's worth, I just didn't have the same emotional connection to the story that I did with Not a Drop to Drink.

Oh, and if you were expecting any kind of romance in this book, let me just stop you right now. There are zero swoons in this book. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Oh, there was the possibility of it, sure, but nothing ever came to fruition. I wasn't expecting much considering how little there was in the first book, but even I was a little bit disappointed. BUT, if you like heartbreak, this book's got it in spades. From the mother/daughter-like relationship between Lynn and Lucy to their interactions with strangers, this book brings the feels.

I enjoyed the time I spent listening to this novel for the most part, but it just didn't hit me quite like the first book. It's hard for me to put my finger on just why that is, though. I think the biggest difference for me was that Lynn and Lucy's characters were so dissimilar, and I much preferred Lynn's narrative because I thought her overall arc really showed her character growth and ability to finally open her heart, whereas Lucy was always more open and her main growth was in overcoming her fear of her place in the world.

Overall, In a Handful of Dust is a truly heartfelt story. It's beautifully told and the author depicts such a vivid landscape. Unfortunately, it just lacked that certain something to maintain the connection I had from the first book.

GIF it to me straight:

Gah, this book made me so damn thirsty!
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
August 21, 2014
My thanks to HarperTeen & Edelweiss

Point of View: Single (Lucy)
Writing: Third Person | Past Tense
Setting: Various location
Genre: Young Adult | Post Apocalyptic

All I could think of after finishing this book was... More please!

In a Handful of Dust takes place 10 years after Not a Drop to Drink, the first installment in this series. It may be the companion book, but some details from book 1 are necessary in order to fully understand how the characters are the way they are now, so I suggest you read Not a Drop to Drink first before reading this one.

Right after I finished reading book 1, I fell in love with the raw and brutal way the author told the story. It was depressing, but that was what made the book all the more beautiful and captivating. Likewise, this one broke my heart because it was so brutally beautiful and honest in a depressing way. I was addicted.

The characters stole my heart. Lucy may not have been as strong and butt-kicking as Lynn was back in book one, but she was a wonderful character all the same. I loved her as much as I loved Lynn because even the girl saw goodness in almost everyone, she was still cautious and was also great at thinking on her feet. As for Lynn, I guess because of what she had to go through in Not a Drop to Drink, she because even more of a tough person. I felt so sorry for her that she couldn't let anyone in, but based on what had happened, I couldn't blame her for doing so.

There were new characters added to the story. Some warmed my heart, some made me cry, and some made me wish I could punch them in the face. I loved the additional characters and the diversity they brought to the book.

Lynn and Lucy's relationship made me love this book even more. The way they both were willing to sacrifice anything for one another brought tears to my eyes. I loved that Lynn called Lucy "Little one"; it was sweet.

The writing as I mentioned above was exceptional. I have to say I loved this book even more than the first one because there were a lot more going on, as well as the spot-on storyline that made the book one of the best post-apocalyptic themed book I have ever read. I loved the shocking surprises the author cunningly added to the story.

So there you have it. I loved this book and I'm not going to lie, there were so many heartbreaking scenes in this one. If you are looking for a romance that will make you swoon because the male character has amazing abs and whatnot, you might not like this book. However, if you are looking for a book that will melt your heart, I do think you will love this book.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,728 reviews1,279 followers
October 18, 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
It’s 10-years since the events in ‘Not a Drop to Drink’, and polio is working its way through the small community where Lucy and Lynn live.
When circumstance forces them to leave their home, will they survive away from the pond? And what is going on in the rest of the world?

I was looking forward to this book after reading ‘Not a Drop to Drink’, but unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed.

Even though this book is told from a third person point of view, it was clear that the main character that we were following was Lucy, which was obviously different to the first book where we were following Lynn. I wasn’t sure how to take this at first, especially as we were given no indication of how much time had passed since the end of book 1 (I didn’t work out that it was around 10 years until the 52% mark).

Lucy was an okay character, but I just couldn’t get a feel for her the way I did for Lynn. The fact that she had aged 10 years since the previous book also didn’t help, as I felt like I didn’t really know her at all.

The storyline in this bored me. I actually liked the storyline in the first book, even with the lack of world-building, but this just didn’t pull me in, and I got bored the further in I got. To be honest the only interesting points in this book were at the 90% mark, and the 99% mark, and ultimately that wasn’t enough to save the book for me.
There was a touch of romance, but it was difficult to appreciate it when the last time we had known Lucy she was 6, and I had no idea how old she was now. The romance also didn’t end well, and that’s all I’m saying.

The ending was probably the part that confused this rating slightly, because it ended with Lynn doing something questionable, even though we were left with a message of hope. I did like the end in some respects, but it was also a bit dodgy. In some ways I’m glad I know what became of people, and in other’s I wish I’d enjoyed the first book and not gone through the boredom that was this one.

Overall; this book did have a couple of good points, but they were extremely well hidden. It really is 50:50 whether this book is worth reading, and to be honest I’m still undecided about this.
4.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Christina (Ensconced in Lit).
984 reviews288 followers
June 26, 2014
I received this ARC from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review, thanks!

I had Not a Drop to Drink on my to read list for a while now, and I'm kind of glad I waited because I could read it and the companion novel back to back without missing a beat. I absolutely loved the first book, and was a bit worried that the second may not live up to my high expectations. I shouldn't have worried. In a Handful of Dust is one of those rare sequels that surpasses the first.

The first book focused on Lynn and a small isolated section of land that she guards with her life and gun. She happens to adopt a little girl Lucy, who is the impetus for Lynn to change who she is. Now in A Handful of Dust, Lucy is the new protagonist, and she's grown up to be a teen. The book starts with a bang with a cholera outbreak. I love how all of the science/medicine totally makes sense to me in this book. I feel like the situations everyone is in are realistic with the water issues being as they are. Lucy has a friend that dies, and then certain events happen where both she and her possible love interest are banished from the community. Lucy feels like it's time to head west and see this ocean that her mom always talked about. Lynn being the awesome adoptive mom, goes with her. Along the way they go through a lot of tough times and dangerous situations, all again that feel real. It feels like a gritty Western starring really kick butt women, but is mired in sadness and darkness. I love both of these women characters because they are so strong in the face of such adversity. I felt the book was well paced and beautifully written.

Overall, these are amazing books, and everyone should read both of them right away.

Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
725 reviews1,204 followers
April 29, 2016
Not a Drop to Drink is easily one of my favorite YA novels, so I was understandably nervous In a Handful of Dust wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. But it did! And I’m thrilled. :-)

While Not a Drop to Drink was Lynn’s story, this one was Lucy’s. I think I enjoyed Lynn’s POV a tad more, but Lynn is so involved in this novel it hardly mattered. In contrast to the first book, we got to see more world building and how the lack of water affected more than just Lynn’s neck of the woods(which I liked) and that went a long way towards keeping the story fresh and exciting. There were also a couple of moments so poignant I’ll remember them forever. In a Handful of Dust was gut wrenching, beautifully written, and exciting from start to finish; a more than worthy sequel to one of my favorite books. Mindy McGinnis is a wonderful writer and I look forward to devouring anything she writes next (I’m currently working on A Madness So Discreet and am looking forward to The Female of the Species out September 20, 2016 and Given to the Sea releasing sometime in 2017).

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com
Profile Image for Книжни Криле.
2,895 reviews158 followers
March 25, 2020
Поглеждаш през прозореца и виждаш опустелия град. Включваш телевизора и чуваш поредните стряскащи статистики. Как да избягаш от това? С книга, разбира се! Там можеш да намериш както бягство от реалността, така и доказателство, че реалността винаги би могла да бъде далеч по-страшна. „В шепа прах” на Минди Макгинис е продължението на хитовия постапокалиптичен трилър „Нито капка вода“ (изд. „Продорец”). Прочетете ревюто на „Книжни Криле”: https://knijnikrile.wordpress.com/202...
Profile Image for Kevin.
232 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2015
It took a really long time to read, mostly because of my slump but also because it was slower than its predecessor. In A Handful of Dust, however, was wonderful. It had a beautiful writing style, lovely character development and an exciting journey. Seeing some loose ends tied up and exploring the post Shortage world beyond Ohio was a joy and I plan to join Mindy McGinnis on whatever stories she creates!
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
May 2, 2015
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

To this date, I remember and recall McGinnis’s Not a Drop to Drink as electrifying and a serious bold read. It brought tears in my eyes, especially since it was an overall touching read because of the global warming slash dystopian aspects that hit readers all throughout. It isn’t your typical read where the city is messed up but stocked with electronics that people today would die for to have. No. It’s taken place in nature, with the loss of water and the essentials that people even then will need as much as we do today. In a Handful of Dust brought those memories back to me, and I’m very satisfied with the whole ending.

“‘I wish I could be more like you,” Lucy said. “Not let stuff get to me so much.” Lynn snapped the barrel of her gun back together and looked at Lucy over the fire. “Don’t ever wish to be like me, little one. It’s not who you are. And it ain’t easy.” “I didn’t mean–“ “You being like me would be like the sun wishing it was the moon. That’s not good for anybody.”

This was a flashback into the future. Although it was surely difficult to try to remember who was who in the story and all of the plot holes that were laying in my head, McGinnis did a fabulous job of helping us remember. It’s TEN YEARS INTO THE FUTURE. It was a read that gave readers the answer. You know how you finish your favourite series and still begin to wonder what’s happening to them later on in their lives? This was the answer for us all. You can call it: the final ending, the duology’s answer and a key to real dystopia. All of those nicknames fit this book.

This mostly takes place in the POV of Lucy, Lynn’s adoptive daughter. She’s 17 now, and recalls that life has never been easy for her. The flashbacks of her mother’s sudden death still haunt her to this day, and Lynn’s been trying to help her out and help her not remember. From the first page, a new issue is dismissed into their lives—sudden disease and the pond’s contamination. Now, everyone has to move to California, where things seem better. Get ready for some serious drama and sadness involved.

High expectations, high expectations. This book has a 4.00 rating on Goodreads, and those are rare to find, so I knew that this one would be better than the first, which was already completely satisfying and heart-breaking all at the same time. I may have been a little wrong and upset after I read half of the book and found that it didn’t carry as much magic as the first book did.(Comparisons always come to me when it’s a sequel in a series, just saying.) I wanted more out of this—perhaps a stronger leading character and more to the story. This seemed like a story that was forced to be written because it had to be, not something that flowed into readers’ hearts. Get what I’m saying?

“People could be lost. People could leave. People could be taken from her. This idea had taken root in her childish mind and delved deep, sending dark thoughts that made her clutch more tightly to Lynn with her heart. Though she would wander far, there was never a time when she opened the door of their home without a sharp stab of fear: What if Lynn wasn’t there?”

The emotion was real: the longing and the sadness of the characters’ hearts and their love for one another. Most futuristic apocalyptic novels don’t have that longing kind of thing when they really need to show that emotion to convey that their lives suck and they need someone to help them out. And this doesn’t have to be a boyfriend-girlfriend kind of relationship, especially since Lynn’s and Lucy’s was mother-daughter, and they weren’t even related at all. It was utterly captured that this was something unique and left us in despair of what’s yet to come in our world. I’ll just tell you that the themes were superbly important here.

McGinnis’ writing never gets old. I flip page after page, and I just see such a rare writing style that makes the novel seem so simplistic in a good way. It’s not 100% captivating, but it’s enjoyable to see how everything forms together. I just want to hug the words, for goodness’ sake.

As for the characters… *thinks deeply* huh. If I was left in a room with them for 24 hours, we would’ve argued, probably. I just don’t understand the decisions and the way they try to solve a problem. They’re stuck in the worst possible situation of their time, and they’re sitting there watching the sunset, laughing. Obviously readers want to see some kind of happiness or else this would’ve been a true depressing read, but I believed that it went too far. Lynn’s too laid-back, much too laid-back that it doesn’t make sense for this novel, and Lucy is just plain annoying. O_O

I don’t really feel like going in full depth, but Lucy was the worst out of the whole clan. And I’m surely not the first person to have ever mentioned this aspect before. I’ve seen other reviews, and we all have the same complaints. If she was more intelligent and witty for her age, then maybe readers wouldn’t have seen an immature childish picture of her in our minds. Isn’t she supposed to be 17, like her mom was in the first book? I’ll tell you that there was a huge difference in both of their characters, and now it really shows. Maybe the author was hinting something at us all along?

What came to me in a shocking time was there was a minimum of romance. WOOT. Finally we have a post-apocalyptic novel where the main character doesn’t need a man by her side to keep her happy and standing on her feet. BAM. I mean, there were hints of it, but the novel surely wasn’t focused on the garbage that we call instalove or whatever. *winks*

This was enjoyable, don't get me wrong. I adored the themes, concept and just about everything except for the characters and plot. If 50 pages were taken out of the book, I think it would've ended up with a much-more stunning finale than I now picture. Maybe it would've lived up to my expectations... or even higher than that. But, hey. If you adored the first novel and are so curious and are willing to pick this up, then just go for it, because it definitely wasn't a waste of time if you ask me. LET'S CLAP FOR DYSTOPIA, EVERYONE.
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,572 reviews260 followers
June 23, 2019
In a Handful of Dust is a solid companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink. It's set about a decade after the first novel and you don't have to be familiar with it to enjoy this but it certainly wouldn't hurt. I particularly enjoyed getting to know the now adult version of Lynn who is just as unforgettable as her younger counterpart. Plus, this is novel is a dystopian, post-apocalyptic road trip survival story as the characters have no choice but to travel from Ohio to California. McGinnis is one of my favorite authors, so if you're a fan of her style you definitely can't miss this.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
August 18, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Book Two of the Not A Drop To Drink series
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

I'll be honest - I didn't love the first book. In fact, I gave it three stars, just like I gave this one three stars. Both books are unique in the YA world, raw, survival-based, authentic... but neither really stuck out to me. I didn't really love or even really like either book, but I didn't really hate them either. I enjoyed the stories, but probably will never read them again (unfortunately). They're not stories you read and re-read and cherish and hold dear. They're brutal stories of survival, which isn't a bad thing, but maybe they just weren't *my* thing.

This is Lucy's story. Ten-ish years later, Lynn and Lucy live by the pond, guarding it just as Mother and Lynn did. Lucy is more innocent than Lynn though, more good. When an outbreak of polio sweeps through the area, Lynn and Lucy leave Vera, Stebbs, and Lucy's best friend/crush Carter behind, with many sick people. Lucy wants to go to California, to see if Carter is sick, if he is a carrier, if he will die. Lynn wants Lucy safe.

This book takes on a road-trip feel, which, honestly, I really wasn't feeling. It's kind of boring in that sense. Lynn and Lucy want to go from Ohio to California. I feel like a road-trip isn't the best plot out there. Yes, it apparently builds character in Lucy. But I feel like on the surface, events in the plot seem stupid. Like, Joss. That whole deal with Joss seems insignificant. Even Carter seems insignificant, even though he is the reason why Lucy is looking for California.

One thing I really liked was McGinnis's use of third person. This book is written entirely in third person, with no one person's perspective or dual perspectives or anything. I really like third person narratives, so I was happy about this.

I think I understand Lynn more in this book. I'm not saying I like her more (or less), but I understand her more. I'm not Lucy's biggest fan - she's not someone I would like in real life, probably.

Basically, I think I enjoyed this book for the book, the story, etc. Meaning, it was a great way to pass my time, but I wasn't wholly interested or invested in the book. I wouldn't re-read either book in this series again. Not trying to be mean.

What I Did Not Like:

I don't even know what I didn't like. I can't pin it down. However, I know I wasn't really interested in this story, once the story got going. Even though I had problems with book one, this book wasn't like book one. I didn't like the road-trip feel to this book. It felt empty and made the book boring, in my opinion.

I didn't really like Lucy, which is a problem, because while this book isn't written in first person, she is still the protagonist. I didn't really like her in book one, and I don't like her much in this book. I did like Lynn more though.

No romance. There is no romance in this book. Not that there needs to be romance in every book. But this book was already boring enough... not having romance didn't help.

Basically... I didn't like the structure of the plot, the nature of the story, the protagonist, the lack of romance. That's basically everything. Except that I DID enjoy the story while I was reading it, and I don't regret reading it!

Would I Recommend It:

Ehhh, nahhh. Lackluster, this one. It's not necessary to read book one to read book two. It's not necessary to read book two if you've read book one. Maybe I'm the cynical one, but I wouldn't really recommend this book. Or series. Unless you request them for review and in that case you should read/review them.


3 stars. Glad I read it, had a smidgen more positive feelings than negative feelings towards the book (though it probably doesn't seem like it). Won't be re-reading the series! But perhaps I will keep reading works by this author. Assuming they're not post-apocalyptic survival stories. They don't seem to be my thing.
Profile Image for Aj Sterkel.
781 reviews31 followers
April 21, 2019
I LOVED Not A Drop To Drink, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to read the sequel. I enjoyed it. It's a quick read, and there's a creepy twist at the end, but it didn't feel as original as Not A Drop To Drink. I might be burnt out on post-apocalyptic books? This is another apocalypse novel where the characters wander through the wasteland in search of safety. I feel like I've read a lot of those.

Better review to come . . . .
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