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.(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
Depending on where you’re from, this book has two different titles H2O (America), and The Rain (Britain). Different covers too, I think, but otherwise they’re exactly the same.
So, on to the actual review.
It was the cover that caught my eye. I was doing my typical thing at Barnes and Noble (reading all the graphic novels that the library hasn’t bought/won’t buy), and when I was done, I still had twenty minutes to kill, so I wandered into New YA releases. I plucked this off the shelf, and read the first eight or so chapters. Later that night i downloaded it onto my Kindle and finished it that way.
The whole book revolves around the idea that rain has suddenly become poisoned, but instead of burning you, like acid would, it makes you sick. The sickness can be passed onto others through physical contact, as well as all the other ways (eating something they had some of, ect). The sickness lasts six hours, and there’s no cure. At the end, you die.
Ruby’s Mom and brother die almost instantly. It leaves her and her stepdad, pretty much locked in the house, surviving off of what they can. One day, they’re almost out of supplies, and go to search for food and clean water. They stumble across a bobby trap; a water bottle filled with supposedly safe water. Ruby’s stepdad drinks it. Six hours later he dies.
Ruby is alone.
Ruby does what I think a lot of people would have done. She goes to find supplies, but it turns into a massive free shopping spree. Then she goes to save the pets of the neighborhood. Mimi the cat, Whitby and Darling the dogs, and a mean old terrier they never named. Also, a hamster, Fluffysnuggles.
This book was the oddest mix of funny and scarily real. The way the rain is described makes it seem like it could happen any minute, any second. Next rainstorm? Phoosh, half of the Earth’s population is gone. One after that? Another couple million people are whipped off the map.
But at the same time, the book suffered slow spots that I had to force myself to get through. And the first twenty chapters or so of the book are the best, which was a little disappointing. Ruby, however, is a pretty typical teenage girl, and I loved that about her. She’s not tough and packing hidden survival skills, when she tries to drive a car she doesn’t ace it instantly.
So, this novel wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, either. If you want a gentler post-apocalyptic story, this is it. If you want something intense and scary…not so much.
So, Cait @ Paper Fury is having her fourth blogversary. If you want to stop over and say congrats, she’s also hosting giveaways. I’d recommend poking around the blog a little, too. It’s really quite fantastic.
In other news, it’s getting warmer and warmer, I’m done with school (hooray!), and the entire house feels like an oven, which means I can’t bake anything until it cools down again (less hooray). But at least it’s finally starting to truly feel like summer.