ARC Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Edelweiss 
Format: eBook
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: September 23, 2014


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.  

*This review may contain spoilers from Not a Drop to Drink*

My heart hurts. I loved this series so much that I am sad to see it is over. Mindy McGinnis created a realistic, dystopian world that sucks readers in. That is what I loved most about this book, its realness. This companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink. 

In a Handful of Dust takes place ten years after the events of Not a Drop to Drink. Lynn has adopted Lucy and raised her has her own. A small community has built itself near the pond. But soon it is no longer paradise as Lynn and Lucy is forced from the community and a source of water, suspected of being the source of a polio outbreak.

The story is told in third person perspective from Lucy's point of view, now seventeen she had lived a very different life as her adoptive mother. I loved getting to read from Lucy's point of view on things. There are so many differences between her and Lynn. Were Lynn doesn't trust people easily, Lucy does. Lucy likes to stay in one spot, Lynn likes to move. I understand that the ten year time difference was because Lucy was so young during the first book, but I felt like I knew nothing about her (Except the things that happened during Not a Drop To Drink) and made it hard to relate. I missed Lynn's perspective, she was still a large part of the book though. But I found that Eli's death made her harder and colder. 

The story line was a bit slow, and I wished that when they reached California it would be longer, instead it skipped a couple of weeks, and then a season. I wanted to see more of how they had now lived (it was talked about briefly, but it left me wanting to know more.) But I was still content with the pace. We were able to see Lynn begin to trust someone and Lucy learning there were a lot of things to be afraid that could swallow you whole. 

The ending had me raising my eyebrows. Something unexpected happens and I am not sure where I stand on that. It is a real eye opener though, and made me question quite a few things that I read. But as I thought about it more I see why that decision was made. Though I wish there would be another book in the series, mainly about their life's after the decision was made. 

RATING: ★★★★


  1. Uh oh... hurting heart, slow story... weeelllll, I didn't love the first book, so I'm not expecting to be wow-ed by this one. My expectations are a bit low, anyway. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book, Amber! I'll keep an eye out for this unexpected ending o.O

    Fabulous review! <3

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. There were things to make up for it having a slow pace, so it wasn't unbearable but it could have used some more information in certain spots. Thank you! <3


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