Friday, September 19, 2014

In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis review by Brandi Breathes Books

In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2) by Mindy McGinnis
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.
Publishes in US: September 23rd 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Ya dystopia
Source: Harper Teen via
Series? Not a Drop to Drink #2
My Review of #1  Not a Drop to Drink 

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog

    I wanted to read In a Handful of Dust since I devoured Not a Drop to Drink. Ten years have passed and Lucy is a teenager now. She is a helper and unlike Lynn she is more of a people person, wanting to be around and surrounded. So when polio wipes through the community that Lynn and Lucy had accumulated since the first book. Lynn is still mourning Eli and the others that were the first that she let in. But Lucy is so full of hope, optimism, and she has this sweet romance with Carter. 

    It is neat to see Lucy grown up and the changes that were made in their camp. But when Lucy and Carter are both suspected of being the carrier to polio, and their lack of knowledge about such diseases, both are to leave the community before anything else could happen. Lucy leaves food for Carter as they travel after seeing him, and she so wants to find answers about the disease... If they can one day have a life together if the incubation period was shorter rather than something that never went away. 

    Lucy and Lynn meet a few people on the road and while Joss always rubbed me the wrong way, I loved Fletcher. He had such a kind and generous spirit. He helps the women with their horses, and gives them more news and a traveling companion part of the way to California, where there were rumors of a desalination plant as well as electricity. This dream really settles in Lucy's heart and Lynn supports her completely and they journey to California across the plains and mountains in hope of a brighter future and a community. 

     They had their fair share of hardships from altitude sickness, to being shot at, near drownings and lack of the amount of water and food they need. But things keep working in their favor at the end. 

     So again, the writing as well as Lynn's strength of character, her fighter's spirit, along with her rock solid determination to live as well as take care of Lucy. The plot kept me riveted and I didn't want to put it down. It did have some pretty disturbing twists in a community that took them in after a particularly bad time... and they see the lengths that some will go through in order to have water to drink and feel safe. It really blew my mind and I totally couldn't believe what I was reading. 

    Lucy grew so much in this one. She went from being afraid of everything and so dependent on Lynn to a girl with a fire in her heart and okay to start standing on her own two feet with the help of community. 

     While the Lucy and Carter thread was present, romance was never front and center in these books. I was a diehard and hoped for a way for them to eventually be together. That is why I don't give it a 5 star. It just didn't give me quite what I wanted as far as romance and the ending that I would want. I think that this ended better for me than the first one, but I still wanted a bit more closure. I have a lot of hope on Lucy's end, but Lynn I am so afraid of what happened with her and her decisions. 

    If there is another in this series I will jump at the chance to read it and I would love more in this world and find out what happens next and maybe they can have the romantic ending that I wish for them. The ending is laced with a lot of hope and promises of better times for the most part. 

Bottom Line: Enjoyed their journey and Lucy's character growth.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
How are you with romances that you root for but that they never really come about?


  1. Nothing I hate more when the romance I want never comes to fruition. I NEED MY FEELS, DAMMIT!

  2. Wow, ten years seems like a huge jump between installments. I would have personally preferred if there had been more romance in the story as well because it seems like the tone of this book is a little too dark for my liking without it. I can't help but be disappointed whenever there's a lack of progress in the love department.

  3. I didn't realize at first these two books had a ten year gap, but it sounds like it worked well giving you the chance to see Lucy grown up. And since I like my feels like Allie mentioned, I would want the romance as well. Glad you enjoyed it and wonderful review. Happy Friday! :)

  4. Whilst not a fan of romances per se I do know what you mean in that I longed for Bella to get together with Jacob instead of Edward in the Twilight books, that that romance did not work out as I had hoped. Great review, thank you.

  5. I can't believe I haven't read the first one yet, but heard so many good things about it. And yay for good character growth! Glad you enjoyed it! Uhm, not sure, really. There has been a few I think (but can't remember them) but I sometimes root for the nice best friend and you know, that doesn't happen too much. :(

  6. I still can't make up my mind on this series. I guess I will just have to try it and see how it goes.

  7. The way that the endings are has been my biggest issue

  8. It def kept my attention and stayed in thoughts

  9. Though that kind of longing is also familiar this was more like the beginning of romance and then they just didn't get together because of external circumstances and there wasn't another guy in the wings

  10. It was a big jump but it focused more on Lucy so it didn't seem weird.

  11. I've been thinking about reading this series, it sounds good!

  12. Hm, I have never read the first book in the series but I have seen the reviews for this one flying about. And I have to say, it does sound like a good book! I think I might invest my time in these. Also, as for romances I root for and never happen, it's okay. Most of mine do happen in the end, really xD But I am satisfied with my own little fantasies.

    Check out my review:

  13. I really need to read this series, and I am glad to see book two was satisfying with growth!

  14. It's nice to see the evolution of the characters like that. Really interesting!

  15. I cannot wait to get to this one. I loved the first book and am so glad that you enjoyed it
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  16. I was under the impression than there wont be another book but from how you described it, I wish there's another one on your behalf. I dislike minimal closure in storylines too.

  17. I've heard a lot of good things about Not A Drop To Drink but for some reason, I never considered picking it up. Ha! It's always fascinating to see your beloved characters grow up and entering a new phase of their lives.

    I am sorry that your Lucy and Carter ship didn't actually sail. This leads me to your question, I really hate it when the book teases me with so many swoony moments, toe curling innuendos and then, nada. Grrrrrr. Just kiss already, people!

    Lovely review!

  18. LOL, I'm with Allie, I want there to be something going on in the romance department, if there is romance at all in a story. It frustrates me to no end if there is hinting and a possibility but nothing ever happens.
    This sounds like a pretty strong story Brandi. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :)
    Have a great weekend!

  19. I saw the first book everywhere on m feeds a while back, I never really picked it up, but after reading your review I guess I've been missing a lot :P

  20. So excited that this is coming out soon! I think I'll love Lucy's character growth. In relation to your question, I think there is a very high chance that my mind would conjure up scenes of the romance that I wanted to see even if the couple never came about in a story. And then I'd sigh, wondering why those scenes wouldn't write on their own. ;)


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