Did you hear the one about the gritty, female-driven debut YA novel — a harsh story of survival and deprivation — that was optioned for a movie?
This time, the book in question is Mindy McGinnis’s Not a Drop to Drink, which is set in a future where the American government strictly controls access to water. (So, Urinetown, but with less singing. Probably.) The novel, published in September 2013, has just been optioned by Stephenie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films, a company that so far has produced only 2013’s Austenland.
“Mindy’s unique voice made for a truly riveting read,” Meyer’s partner Meghan Hibbett said in a statement. “This story seamlessly blends gritty and dangerous dystopian realism with the larger themes of life vs. survival that we feel audiences will really respond to.” According to the book’s official description, however, it doesn’t focus much on an element that has famously been Meyer’s forte: Romance. Here’s the synopsis:
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.
A companion to Not a Drop to Drink, titled In a Handful of Dust, will be published this fall.