This review is spoiler free!!!
My rating: 4/5 stars
Not a Drop to Drink was a great book, so I was excited to see a sequel. But I was also a bit apprehensive because it hadn't really left much for a sequel. My fears were unnecessary - this book was a completely new story.
It is probably not necessary to read Not a Drop to Drink first, but you should, because it's a good book. But be warned - the rest of this review does contain some spoilers for Not a Drop to Drink.
This book takes place about 10 or so years after Not a Drop to Drink. Lucy is a teenager and has been raised by Lynn after her own mom dies. Lucy, Lynn, Vera, and Stebbs have created a little town that functions pretty well. Lucy's starting to fall for her friend Carter when people start getting sick. It's polio and since no one (but Vera and Stebbs) has been vaccinated, it spreads quickly. Vera figures out that either Lucy or Carter are the carriers and they are both banished from the town. Lynn's not about to let Lucy wander off into the world without her. Eli once told Lynn that he heard that California has operational desalinization plants and so they head off to California. From Ohio. On foot.
So obviously they run into a bit of danger. It's pretty common in post-apocalyptic books for characters to travel across the country on some kind of mission, running into all sorts of trouble along the way. And it's so overdone that it often gets really boring. This one isn't. They run into people that they have to decide whether to trust or not. They run into really nice people and they run into total weirdos. And a lot of the time they're just alone.
The best thing about the book is the mother/daughter relationship between Lynn and Lucy. Lynn isn't Lucy's biological mom, but she's raised her since she was pretty young. It's so obvious that they care deeply for one another. Lucy hasn't grown up to be a clone of Lynn. And motherhood hasn't softened Lynn much at all. They are both strong women, but they are strong in their own, different ways. Lynn is the typical badass, but Lucy has an emotional strength that Lynn doesn't.
The end was a little abrupt. I would have liked to see a bit more about how they are doing or maybe a longer epilogue.