Latest Read: In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2) by Mindy McGinnis
Publication date: Sept. 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: Received from publisher via Edelweiss (Thanks!)
Summary: 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. (Adapted

The good
I never expected that there would be a companion novel to Not A Drop to Drink.  But looking back, I see now the opening for what is In A Handful of Dust and I wouldn't mind if Mindy McGinnis chose to revisit these memorable characters again and again. This book is told from Lucy's perspective, who is now seventeen years old and not the little girl Lynn took in years ago. Lynn has since been her surrogate mother and between her, her grandmother Vera, good old Stebbs and a community of friends, Lucy has been happy. There's a roof over her head, food on the table and clean water. Lynn made sure Lucy's upbringing was the opposite of her own. But when a disease sweeps through their town, both Lynn and Lucy are forced to leave in search of someplace new. Which is how they find themselves walking across the country to find California, where they supposedly have desalinization plants and a different way of living.

Much like its predecessor, it's a quiet novel. In some ways it has a slightly more hopeful tone due to Lucy's more open nature (in comparison to Lynn, who hasn't changed a bit!) but also darker as their journey is filled with more terrors than Lucy could've imagined. The journey itself, although slow, had me gripping the book nervously. There's so much they could've come across - lack of food or water, bad people looking to hurt them or take advantage, no shelter, animals, anything and everything! And they do encounter almost every single one of these problems. They meet good people and bad, moved forward and backward. Lucy and Lynn are brought closer together throughout the journey and were at times torn apart. I loved their relationship so, so much. To me, they are mother and daughter in all the ways that count. And their small moments filled with love and affection would make me unashamedly teary.

(No) reservations
None really although, maybe more Lynn? I loved Lucy's narration, I really did. But I've always had a soft spot for Lynn. She's so tough and fierce that every bit of affection and laughter on her part feels like so much more.

Do I recommend?
I do! I'm definitely a fan of Mindy McGinnis' dystopian novels because they feel so different from the many others I've read. They're more character-driven and realistic so if that sounds like your kind of book, check this out.

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. You know, I still haven't read Not a Drop to Drink, but I really want to! I honestly think that both this and its predecessor sound really great, if a little scary. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one as well ;)


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