Monday, June 9, 2014

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Fans of classic frontier survival stories as well as readers of dystopian literature will enjoy this futuristic story about an epic cross-country journey. In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed," and this companion title is full of Mindy McGinnis's evocative, spare language matched with incredible drama and danger. In a Handful of Dust is perfect for fans of Partials, Enclave, and Legend.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

When I picked up this book, I told my parents about it and my dad warned me not to start reading until after finals week. Did I listen? Of course not! And I didn’t even have to worry about In A Handful Of Dust by Mindy McGinnis interfering with my study plans, as I finished the book so quickly it didn’t take away (too much) time from my studies. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was that good.

In A Handful Of Dust picks up just after the ending of Not A Drop To Drink, with Lynn and her adopted daughter Lucy living in their small post-apocalyptic community. Peace has reigned for years in their small town, and Lucy has grown up far more optimistic than her adoptive mother did. However, tragedy in the form of disease rocks the town, forcing Lucy and Lynn to leave behind their lake, family, and house in order to trek across the country in search of a new home.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that it centers around two strong female protagonists but does not stereotype them or portray them as flat characters, a feature that I’m seeing more and more (but not nearly enough) in YA literature. Another aspect that I loved about the book was the point of view: through Lucy’s eyes (yes, the narrative perspective does change in the second book), the dangerous and mysterious world she lives in unfolds before us in tantalizing description and intriguing detail. Like I said before, I finished the book very quickly, my attention caught by the descriptive prose and plot. All in all, this is just a well-written book, one that I was very impressed by and I think that (dare I say it?) this sequel may be even better than the first book!

For once, I don’t have any complaints (shocker!). My only suggestion is aimed towards readers, not McGinnis-this book has some adult themes that may disturb younger/less mature bookworms, so tread with caution.

I recommend this book to fans of Not a Drop to Drink--don’t read In a Handful of Dust until you’ve read the first in the series! You won’t regret it!

This book hits shelves September of 2014!
Buy Hardcover | $17.99

Haven't read the first one? Check out my review of Not a Drop to Drink here!

Please read Terms & Conditions.
Happy reading!
Ellie, age 17


  1. I think it's been a really strong year for standalone contemporaries.

  2. Looks like a really good book :)

  3. I want to read more historical fiction and fantasy, as long as neither is too dull. I've already read a ton more fantasy (I finally read Throne of Glass, Girl of Fire and Thorns, Splintered, and the Grisha trilogy), so I'm already making progress on that goal!
    Thanks for the giveaway! I'm dying to get my hands on an ARC of this book.

  4. Lately I'm reading a lot of contemporary fiction and loving it. I think all the fantasy and dystopia needed a break on my end

  5. Oh I loved Not a Drop to Drink! I'd really like to read more historical books this year. I haven't read all that many of them, but the ones I have, were really good.

  6. I read a lot of foreign fiction in translation, but this year I'm mixing it with historical and contemporary fiction set in the USA.

  7. I'd like to read more YA contemporary romances.

  8. I need more fantasy books! :D

  9. Im going to try to get more into contemps this year. i always steered clear of them but i feel like im missing some good stuff.

  10. I'm always interested in reading YA. I love it. I'm open to reading almost any kind. Thank you for the giveaway. I loved Not a Drop to Drink and am really looking forward to this one.

  11. I've read a lot of dystopian in the past but lately I've been reading a lot of YA contemporary books.

  12. I'm dying to get to more historical fiction books! I started the His Fair Assassin Series and just loved it... I can't wait to read Mortal Heart now!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I want to catch up on Dystopian and Sci-fi series this summer.

  14. I'm really into historical fiction and anything paranormal at the moment : )

  15. I want to read more dystopian and more high fantasy!

  16. These days I've been reading high fantasy a lot!

  17. I definitely want to read more fantasy this year!

  18. Mystery! I enjoyed your review!

  19. Obviously not entering, but YAY for this companion novel! I was kind of meh about Not A Drop To Drink, but I am excited to read this companion. Strong protagonists are definitely great in YA lit!

    Great review, Ellie!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  20. i really hope i enjoy this book because i LOVED the first book!

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