Publishing Date: September 24th, 2013
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 320 pgs
Source: Received for review from publisher through Edelweiss for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
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….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
This is a novel set in a time when water is a commodity. In the city the price of water is jacked up and strict population control is underway. Outside of the city it's every man and woman for themselves. It is a violent and lonely world and no one knows this better than Lynn. During the course of the novel Lynn starts off as an island in the sense that she seems to be independent to a fault. From here she begins allowing people into her world slowly but in the end it proves to be a very good thing overall.
This book focuses on the world building and I quite enjoyed it. It would be a scary world to live in if the threat of dehydration was a constant. I think that McGinnis did a great job of setting up her world and taking the readers into her vision of this society. I also think that Lynn really comes into herself during the novel. She really grows and learns many new things. It is interesting to think about how lonely a world would be if you were on your own. I don't think most people know what this would be like. We are constantly surrounded by people and for the most part we are trusting of others. We allow strangers in our space all the time: the bus, the theatre, at a restaurant, etc. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be physically alone. I have to admit when I was reading this book that I thought "Is there really a point to living like this?". I guess for me, I couldn't imagine a life worth living without human interaction. I mean all my memories include other people and experiences that I have with them so I can't imagine what it would be like to be solitary. I mean I enjoy my alone time but there comes a point where you need human interaction.
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book. For some reason I wasn't as excited about it while reading as I thought I would be. For that reason it rates somewhere in the middle. That's not to say that others won't enjoy it. I have heard a lot of good hype for this novel and I can definitely see the reason why. It's different and it gets you thinking.