October 22, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: September 23rd 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 3/5

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You can read my review of Not a Drop to Drink - here
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.

In a Handful of Dust begins about ten years after the events of the first book, and we see a sixteen years old Lucy and twenty-six years old Lynn facing a new threat to their peaceful life, as their community gets a disease which they weren´t prepared and for some event, Lynn and Lucy are forced to leave their home and family for the first time in their life, with the intention of going to California in search of a town where there is supposedly a desalinization plant and the town has clean water.

So this book is mostly about the journey they undertake from Ohio with the intention of going to California and all obstacles that they get on the way, the people they meet, the places they know and what they need to do to survive in the world in which they lived and the Lucy´s dreams of something different, of something more.

This book is told from the point of view of Lucy, now a teenager, she has been sheltered and to some extent have had an easy life since she came to live with Lynn ten years ago, she´s kind and has no malice and she doesn´t know how the world is outside of her community, which is a dangerous and bigger than she thought it would. She´s totally dependent of Lynn, she need her protection, need her to feed her and to get her water for most of the trip. Lynn meanwhile is a hard, strong, intelligent woman, she distrusts everyone, is willing to do anything to gets her "daughter" Lucy to California healthy and in one piece.

What I liked about the story is that we get to see Lynn (she was the main character of the first book) and how her life has been in the last ten years and despite living a quiet life so far, she remains tough, showing only her good side to her people and isn´t afraid to use violence when the situation needs it ... she still a good heroine (with her flaws, but very good).

What I didn´t like was that in parts of the trip felt monotonous and like nothing was happening. Besides there is a part in the story that I could not believe the way Lucy react toward Lynn, I felt it a bit excessive.

And what can I say about the ending ... like the previous book is not a completely happy ending, but full of hope for a better future. Overall I enjoyed In a Handful of Dust but I didn´t love it.


  1. The more reviews I read of this book, the less I feel inclined to read it. Bah. Definitely on hold for now.

  2. I haven't had the chance to read the first one yet, but knowing that this is in the POV of the baby in book 1 makes me want to hurry up and get to it!

  3. This is disappointing... I loved Not a Drop to Drink and was really looking forward to this one. But looks like there's not much happening in the book. Great review though. :)

  4. I have this book and I'm planning on starting it soon. That's too bad that some parts felt monotonous to you, but hopefully I'll still enjoy it. Nice Review!

  5. I agree, I adored Not A Drop to Drink but this one wasn't as good for me. I think since Lucy was the main point of view in this one I failed to connect with her as much as I did with Lynn.
    Great review!

  6. Really liked Not a Drop to Drink, not sure if I'll actually buy this one or wait for my library to get it.