Hi, everyone! I have Hannah here for another guest review. When I snagged an ARC of In a Handful of Dust (the sequel/companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink), I knew she'd be over the moon. And she was. ;)
In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
Release date: September 23, 2014
This ARC was won in a giveaway from The (YA) Bookcase.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Like the first book, I could not put In a Handful of Dust down. It was really cool to be able to see how past events in the first book affected characters in this book. Lucy has an easily lovable personality, and I think people can relate to her well. There is a hint of romance, not a lot, but enough to give the book another layer of dynamics. There is a part in the book that I think is a little abrupt and doesn't seem to get proper closure. It felt a bit rushed. Also, there is still some swearing, but not as bad as Not a Drop to Drink. There is some pretty intense gore, I guess you could say. It wasn't the worst I've read, but it would be on the worse side of things. It's still about Hunger Games level, though.
The Verdict: Overall, I think this book exceeds its predecessor in many ways. Even if you haven't read Not a Drop to Drink, I think you could still enjoy giving this one a read. [Note from Emma: I read In a Handful of Dust without having read Not a Drop to Drink. There were some things I was confused about, but overall, it's its own story, so I didn't find it too confusing.]