I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Rain by Virginia Bergin
Series: The Rain #1
on 17th July 2014
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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It's in the rain...and just one drop will kill you.
They don't believe it at first. Crowded in Zach's kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach's parents' frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, "It's in the rain! It's fatal, it's contagious, and there's no cure."
Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who's been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby's only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he's even still alive.
I was so excited by the blurb for this book – how was Ruby going to cope with the issue of water – how would she know what is safe to eat and drink?And the first chapter kept up with my expectations, it was witty and livened up the back-story to The Rain, however the rest of the book did not quite live up to expectation.
I wanted to like Ruby, but she is one of the most annoying protagonists I have ever met. The world has changed, and the majority of the population are dead. This is a time to grow up and mature, to take responsibility for oneself – as Simon put it to “THINK”. Yet Ruby spends the majority of the time moaning about the lack of mobile phone service, and how she looks. She also constantly forgets to look up in case it is raining. She wastes water so that she can maintain appearances. I know people have different coping mechanisms, and yes I can image that some people would go and do what Ruby does – take expensive things, loot houses. But what I can’t understand is her lack of self-preservation.
Ruby survives only on luck and the skills of others. Also I expected Ruby to grow, maybe actually check that it is not raining. But on this long journey – to London no less – we end up back where we started, literally. What was the point? Ruby does not need to be someone who runs around, saving the day. She just needs to be more self-aware and less selfish, to think of the needs of others.
Also there were a fair few potholes, that frustrated me. How did the animals survive?! Ruby tells of the dogs chomping on bits of human, but somehow this immunisation is never explained. I felt that there the plot varied on the author’s whim, to create tension or fear, leading to a lack of clarity.
However The Rain did feel like a fifteen year old’s diary – a place where Ruby is free to moan and complain – she does not need to keep up appearances. Ruby’s voice provides an interesting take on the experience of living in the dystopia world. Overall I think you will either love or hate this book – it ultimately comes down to how much Ruby annoys you.