Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen; 320 pages
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.
I wanted to love this as much as other people I know but I couldn't. The pacing was pretty good, I didn't feel like the book lagged at all but at the same time there wasn't a lot of excitement throughout; at least not until the end. I loved the blossoming of all the relationships that Lynn created. I especially loved her friendships with Stebbs, who is their neighbor who has managed to survive but they never really communicated. After a tragic event Lynn's life changes and what she knew of her daily routine changes, too. She needs to learn to trust others in order to survive and who knows, she may find herself truly happy for the first time in her life.
She and Stebbs find themselves becoming friends with the stream people, Eli and his sister-in-law, Neva after having taken in Lucy, Neva young, helpless child. Eli could barely take care of himself let alone a very pregnant Neva and Lucy. Lucy is absolutely my favorite part of this story. The amount of things she teaches Lynn, unintentionally, is precious and priceless.
The relationship between Eli and Lynn was cute but to me, seemed rather forced. He's the first (alive) young man that Lynn has come across and it just seems to convenient for her to fall for him and vis versa. Well, maybe not so much for him because he's been around other girls his age - even had himself a girlfriend. But to just have her fall for the first guy that comes her way just doesn't seem realistic, to me, at least. Which sucks because I really did like Eli and I did like their relationship, after awhile. I really bonded with them both . . .
Lynn knows how to survive, she knows how to kill and she doesn't hesitate to do so. She was raised in a world that it's either them or you so you better be a damn good shot. She's a damn great shot. When trouble arises from the south she's the first one that wants to take care of it before it becomes too big of an issue. But will her interfering cost her more than she willing to part with?
Like I said, I wanted to love this, I really did because of all the great things I heard about it but I just never truly felt connected to the story or many of the characters. If I can't feel a connection to, especially, the characters then it's hard for me to really love a story and for this said story to really stick. It hasn't stuck. It's been over a week since I read it and I had to open the book back up for character names because I truly couldn't remember them. The only ones I remembered were Eli and Lucy, which says a lot about which characters I felt the closest to.
Also, that ending. Oh man, that ending. It was so . . . unexpected.
Just because this book wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean it's not for you; so many people have loved it and there's a good chance you will, too. It's a good survival story. Thank you so much to HarperCollins for allowing me the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.