Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis is one of the darker YA novels I've read lately. I'm talking about the wonderful, intriguing kind of dark, not the kind that makes you want to scrub your mind out with bleach and forbid your offspring from reading anything by that author until they're much, much older. I've stumbled across a couple of those, usually as my kids are checking them out from the library.
This book is the kind of dark that keeps you turning pages, fearful for characters you've come to love. For Lynn's whole life, it's just been her and her mother. She's learned the skills she needed for survival -- how to collect and filter water, how to store it, how to hunt for food, and how to position herself on the roof of the farmhouse and take careful aim at any person approaching their pond. She knows that she can never let down her guard, especially after her mother dies and leaves her completely alone except for a neighbor she's only watched at a distance.
This book is amazing. I would love to know more about the mother, who we only see through her daughter's eyes. If she'd been a different type of person, Lynn's life could have been much different. But this is the kind of book that works so well because it doesn't bog down with too much detail. Maybe there's an author interview out there that fills in some of the blanks -- I'm really curious to know if my guesses are right.