Saturday, April 26, 2014

Batty About Not a Drop to Drink part two


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Part Two discussion:


Welcome to all those who decided to do a read-along with Batty. Welcome to those who are just stopping by the blog to hear about Not a Drop to Drink. Today’s post has some spoilers, though I tried to be cautious about what I said.  


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For those of you who are new to our Batty Chats - Maria’s thoughts with Kathy’s responses are hosted here on the Melange. Kathy’s (aka @thebrainlair) thoughts with Maria’s responses reside on The Brain Lair. Take a peek at both of sides and add your own voice into the mix!


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Let’s start by saying that I wanted to keep reading. I think Not a Drop to Drink is a book that would bring greater enjoyment if I could gulp it down. Not to say that I’m not enjoying reading it in three chunks - because I really am - but I was just itching to plow on. I think sometimes when we chunk these books we lose some of the intended pacing along the way…


My other difficulty lies in reading it as an ebook. It’s so easy to just highlight and add in a note, but I don’t think that makes my thoughts “stick” as much as using a sticky note or writing it down in a notebook.

Anyway, here are some of the many thoughts I had while reading this section.


Lynn’s odd dichotomy
“Pain is nothing to be ashamed of” pg 102
“Smaller shards of guilt were starting to prick away at her” pg 114
It is so striking to me how Lynn’s worldly side contrasts with her absolute lack of certain bits of information. She can survive - completely alone - in a world that seems bound and determined to kill her. Yet she has no idea about the basics of human reproduction. While I understand how she can be this way, and why her mother was reluctant to share that information with her, it still jumps out at me every time. Even though that discussion would have been hard, it seems extremely short sighted for her mother to have skipped those bits of information. Stebbs having “the talk” with Lynn completely cracked me up. It also made me like Stebbs even more. (More about him later).
Kathy: I loved that part about Stebbs and the talk, also! And I agree. You would think her mom’s anger at all men would have led her to give the talk and then hone in on how much Lynn needed to protect herself. Lynn’s also been around animals, it’s hard to believe she’s never seen...anything. It also makes me sad that in all the years it’s been just her and Lauren, they never talked about Lauren’s childhood. How lonely Lynn must have been.


“Dread bloomed in Lynn’s stomach, along with a fierce streak of protective rage” pg 159
Lynn begins the book concerned only for herself and her mother, but by this point in the book she’s beginning to adopt more and more people into her inner circle. It’s comforting to me to see that basic empathy surface, even as we catch glimpses of other humans taking things away from people like Eli and Neva to survive.
Kathy: This is a topic I would love to explore one day.  I wonder how much of who I am can be attributed to how I was raised and how much to what I’ve learned from the people I surround myself with, both voluntarily and not so much. Lynn is still conflicted. I wonder if she thinks she’s betraying Lauren when she goes against her teaching. Or is she thinking of how her mom treating her and acting in the opposite way?


“Am I good-looking?” pg 116
“The idea of being in the small shelter along with Eli caused a different kind of heat to flush through her.” pg 167
Maybe I’m too far removed from the teen years, but I was a bit surprised at Lynn’s reaction to Eli so soon after learning the details of reproduction - especially now that she has a better idea what her mother was so concerned about. I did find her exploration of flirtation to be endearing, though…
“Is that teasing?”
“I thought it was called flirting.”
“You’re a quick learner.” pg 177
Kathy: Agreed on both counts! I loved their conversations as they teased each other. I know she was already attracted to Eli earlier but I thought that after she had “the talk” she would be all “ew”! But maybe Strebbs did it in such a way that it actually enhanced her attraction? I do believe that girls look at boys more after the talk because they are whispering and wondering about reality and theory...at least at the middle school level. Then they get embarrassed and later that day we are back to business.


“It was so much easier when someone was there to tell her what to do, how to survive” pg 126
This sounds like the refrain of every teenager that sets out for more independence, doesn’t it? It’s something we all want, but it ends up being so much harder than we expected.  
Kathy: Teenagers? Ha! I feel that way at least once per day. I think that’s a part of leadership, too. The more you do, the harder it is and you really just want someone to tell you what to do. Secretly.


Stebbs
“You don’t worry about that right now… we’ll work things out as we go” pg 108
It’s clear that Stebbs has way more knowledge about the world than we see at first. He’s not surprised by any of the revelations from Eli. He knew about the population schedules, and he know about Lynn’s mother. His regret over his missed opportunity with Lynn and her mother makes me love him even more.
Kathy: And now it’s like he gets to make up for that time by helping Lynn and Lucy (what’s with so many “L” names). The more I get to know Stebbs, the more I like him. Which makes me think he must be hiding something. I mean, how does he know so much? Did I miss that he has a television? Maybe a radio? But, he says, they are “still” doing that so I guess it must be his memories from the past.


“It’s just something I’m able to do. Sometimes it’s genetic.” pg 146
This part just didn’t feel like it fit with the rest of the story. Is that just me? Maybe it will mesh better once we get the rest of the story, but for now the idea of having someone who can douse just didn’t do it for me. It does up the tension in the story, once we find out who else can do it…. maybe that’s good enough?
Kathy: Hm..well it goes back to the random stranger that walked by the house. I just figured it was going to make sense later. So, maybe he’s related to Lucy? That’s why she can too? Or are we thinking Eli?


What’s coming next?
“they’re rifling for supplies but have enough gasoline to travel to find them… that doesn’t feel quite right.” pg 159


The tension is building, and things still haven’t fallen into place. Stebbs’ comment above is the same kind of thing I’m thinking. Is there something else they want from Lynn or Stebbs? Is there some other reason that the city people are trying to take over spots in the countryside? What else is going on?
Kathy: See above comment under dousing.


“I’m asking you to be more than she was. Be strong, and be good. Be loved, and be thankful for it. No regrets.” pg 193
I love this journey Lynn is experiencing. I love how Lucy and Stebbs are helping. I can’t wait to find out what else happens in the story!
Kathy: That was my favorite quote of this section. Be strong, be good, be loved. I would love to post that somewhere that I can see it each morning. It’s simple and it helps you get through the day. Along with the Happy song.

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