Early Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

, by Kt Clapsadl

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Not a Drop to Drink #2

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.

This is going to be a very hard review to write, especially when it comes to rating due to high expectations. I absolutely LOVED Not a Drop to Drink, so when I saw this companion novel, I knew I would have to read it. That being said, while I enjoyed IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, I wasn't completely sucked in like I was with the first book. Don't get me wrong, it was a good read, but it just didn't have the same all consuming feel that the first one did. The first time around the bleakness was all consuming, but this time it didn't have the same sucker punch feeling, which I was hoping to be repeated.

I think a lot of my different feelings this time around had to do with Lucy's character. She's so stark in comparison to Lynn. Sure Lynn came a long way in accepting others, but Lucy just seems to be way too far on the opposite spectrum. Their world is harsh, and she just seemed too trusting, naive, and somewhat selfish to match that. It just didn't seem to jive for me. That being said, it was interesting to see their harsh world from a different perspective. Granted this story did pick up 10 years down the road from where Lynn's book left off, so perhaps Lucy really was sheltered that much "off page" to make this naiveness make sense, but somehow I just doubt it as the circumstances just wouldn't have allowed too much of an easy life. And I think that's where my sticking point lies. The first time around it was the stark world that drew me in as much as the characters and Lucy's different view of things lessened the harsh feel a bit.

But putting all that aside, let's get onto the things I enjoyed. IN A HANDFUL OF DUST opened the stark world up even further, bringing us looks into how others have survived this bleak landscape. There were so many horrors along the way, some of which were so shocking they turned my stomach. What some people will do to survive is both incredible and horrifying it's hard to wrap your head around it. I really have to give the author kudos for expanding this world realistically (When you look outside of Lucy's view and really take in what's going on that is.) Things are not easy, nor are they all bad, and I feel the balance was well played as I never lost hope despite the terrible situations they found themselves.

It's funny, at the close of Not a Drop to Drink, I was completely content with the world to have ended there stay a stand alone, but now that I've read IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, I'm no longer content as after that ending I want more. I feel like there's so much more of a story to be told either from Lucy or Lynn, although I'd prefer the latter of course. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like there will be more books. But either way, Mindy McGinnis has more than earned herself on my authors to watch out for list, and I'll be on the lookout for what she has coming next. If you enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink, then IN A HANDFUL OF DUST should be on your must read list.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Review's
     Brandi Breathes Books
     Dark Faerie Tales

Previous Books:
     1. Not a Drop to Drink

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