Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: The Rain by Virginia Bergin

The Rain by Virginia Bergin
Release Date: July 17, 2014
Publisher: Macmillon Children's Books
Genre: Young Adult - Post Apocolyptic

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 had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with this story.  First of all, I love post-apocolyptic stories. I love seeing people thrown into an impossible survival situation and watching them learn to adapt.  This story was perfect for that, and gave those elements to me.  Although Ruby is with friends at a party at the time the event occurs, she is able to make it home.

A great portion of the story takes place with her at home with her stepfather, whom she once disliked, but whom she is now forced to work with.  I have to say that one of my favorite aspects of the story was Ruby and her relationship with her stepfather, Simon.  She didn't care for him at first, but when these events start to occur, these two have to band together for survival's sake, and she finds an unexpected caring for him that I loved watching develop.  He teaches and instructs her, tries to prepare her and show her what to do and what not to do to remain safe.  I didn't like her at first because she seemed like a spoiled brat, but it's hard to stay that way when such events are happening around you. As she changed, becoming more serious, I liked her much better and began to sympathize with her.

Then suddenly, Ruby finds herself alone.  During this period, I really liked her, despite the way some of her narrative was written (very stream of consciousness that was at times unfocused and irrelevant to what was taking place).  Despite that though, I liked her because she tries to put Simon's lessons to good use, tries to survive, and tries to figure out a way to get to her dad who lives quite a ways away in London.  She meets up with a couple others and starts traveling with them.  At this point, Ruby began to lose me.

Itt's like she became a completely different character.  She could go from zero to screechy in about two seconds flat.  She made stupid decisions, ones for which she knew better than to do, and which endangered her and other stupidly.  At times she was smart, and then at other times she had a very unlikeable, spoiled personality that grated on my nerves.  Who goes shopping for trendy clothes in the middle of events like these?  It seemed so silly and such a waste of good writing space.

The author was a good one, and the story has great potential for this series to blossom.  But Ruby almost ruined it for me, to be honest.  I'll probably pick up the second book because I liked the story enough, liked the concept behind the rain being poisoned, and liked the survivalist actions that take place.  The author did a great job crafting this setting and crafting an interesting survivalist story that had me intrigued and sucked in.  But Ruby has got to pick a personality and stick to it for me to continue to follow the series.  It's definitely worth a read though just for the story alone.
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