Thank you to Net Galley and Pan MacMillan for providing me with a copy
The Rain is released on July 17th 2014
Just one drop will kill you..
Continuing with my reading assault on all thing dystopian, disastrous and apocalyptic, today I have my review for you of The Rain by Virginia Bergin.
Now first of all let's talk about the cover, I think it's perfect the red wording against the dark background plus the sole figure of a girl just sets us up nicely for what is inside.
I had a preconceived idea about this book after reading the synopsis on Net Galley, I knew it was about a young girl struggling in the aftermath of a catastrophic event but what I wasn't prepared for was, and I hope I word this properly without sounding insulting, was how normal it was, a lot of these books when faced with the end of the world, usually the girl is by herself, she meets a hot boy, they save the world and fall in love, and I love them for it but this book takes that and chucks it out the window.
I freaking love it for that!
So let us start with meeting Ruby our leading lady, well teenager she is 15 and our POV for the book, the book starts off very quickly by explaining that years and years ago an asteroid was heading towards Earth but thanks to a very on target missile it's not a problem anymore. Let's forget about the asteroid just now.
So Ruby one gorgeous UK barbecue weather evening (which we know can be rare) is having a wild time, at a friends house with her dream boy, Caspar, not only is he right beside her, he is right beside her in a hot tub in his underwear (sorry let me stop a minute whilst I make a mental note never to let my daughters out of my sight ever!) she is over the moon to finally kiss him when all hell breaks loose.
Rushing inside her friends house, she finds her friend's parents have returned home, not taking them seriously (they are total hippies) they start freaking out about the rain, nobody must go outside, there is something wrong with the rain, of course teenagers being teenagers think they know best and the object of Ruby's affections goes back outside to get his all important cannot live without MP3 player, all seems well on his return and Ruby gives him a quick peck but then it starts - blood is everywhere, Caspar is clawing at himself deteriorating before everyones eyes. Luckily the car is in a car port so Ruby hitches a lift and is dropped of home, her Mum and Step dad wont touch her, remember that quick peck, well her mouth is red and blistery, they lock her up in a room under quarantine. Being a typical teenager Ruby is pissed off at the total unfairness of it all, little does she realise that this is just the beginning.
What happens next is the dawning realisation that the rain is killing everyone, the water is not safe, a drop will kill you and it does not discriminate. Old or young, it will get to you if you don't THINK.
Ruby discovers that the rain is poisoned by the remnants of bacteria from the asteroid that was destroyed all those years back, the bacteria has gotten in to the clouds and hey presto the shower from hell.
This book is just fantastic, as the story pans out, we get the brilliant perspective of the situation from Ruby, what makes this book so good is the fact she is still worried about normal things, she is continually concerned about her appearance, changing her hair, worried about being clean, looking nice whilst everyone else is struggling to stay alive, she also finds time to shop, now this would totally be me, when she is faced with a shop full of clothes she could never afford she takes great pleasure in lifting it away in several designer handbags. To be honest if it was the end of the world and I had ten minutes free and there was a River Island or something nearby I'd be in there like a shot, she also has a memorable scene with a "lady" in London where they are trying on all manner of fancy clothes. Get your priorities right, nice clothes first, food and water later!
She is also the saviour of the local pet population and when she finally leaves her house behind, the neighbourhood dogs come with her, trying to picture the scene as I was reading, of her in a car (she can't drive) trying to make a slow escape in a car full of fighting dogs just made me laugh.
The Rain is just wonderful, there is no instalove, there is just plain getting on with it with lots of shoplifting, attempting to drive and trying to survive whilst making sure you look nice! I really think you should read this book, you need to remember it is written from a 15 year olds POV, there is a lot of moaning and being selfish but it's funny, heartwarming, cringy, sad and terrifying, it is truly amazing.
Promise me you will read it!
The Rain is awarded 5 out of 5