Monday, 4 August 2014

Review for The Rain by Virginia Bergin

The Rain by Virginia Bergin
Publisher: Macmillan
Release: 17th July 2014
Genre: UKYA, Dystopian
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"One minute sixteen-year-old Ruby Morris is having her first proper snog with Caspar McCloud in a hot tub, and the next she’s being bundled inside the house, dripping wet, cold and in her underwear. Not cool. As she and Caspar shiver in the kitchen, it starts to rain. They turn on the radio to hear panicked voices – ‘It’s in the rain . . . it’s in the rain . . . ' That was two weeks ago, and now Ruby is totally alone. People weren’t prepared for the rain, got caught out in it, didn’t realize that you couldn’t drink water from the taps either. Even a drip of rain would infect your blood, and eat you from the inside out. Ruby knows she has to get to London to find her dad, but she just doesn’t know where to start . . . After rescuing all the neighbourhood dogs, Ruby sets off on a journey that will take her the length of the country – surviving in the only way she knows how."

I absolutely loved The Rain but it’s a book that I don’t think will be for everyone. You see, it’s not your typical Dystopian. Ruby Morris is no Katniss Everdeen and you’re either going to love or hate that about her. Ruby is your standard fifteen year old British girl. When the apocalypse hits in the form of toxic rain water instead of heroically saving the world she just wants things to go back to the way they were when she was on the cusp of *finally* becoming Caspar McCloud’s girlfriend.

Ruby was such a refreshing heroine to read about. The book is told in a stream of consciousness writing style as Ruby relays her story so far. I love strong self-assured heroines but it was fantastic to read about an authentic teenage girl doing what it takes to get by. Ruby’s guide to surviving the end of the world is going on a mission to find her mobile phone, looting designer make-up and her weapon of choice is her wee bucket which in a world with no water to wash in proves more effective than you might think!

The Rain is in turns sad, scary and hilarious as we see Ruby grieve, fight for survival and save the local animals amongst other mad adventures. Ruby’s attempts to clutch on to reality by doing normal teen things like dyeing her hair and applying fake tan may be seen as vain and superficial by some readers but all I saw was a young girl desperately trying to hold on to what she knows in a drastically changing world. Ruby’s just a young girl and makes mistakes along the way but ultimately she’s a true survivor and I loved following her journey.

Different, funny and British The Rain is *the* Dystopian that fans of Contemporary UKYA have been waiting for. With a clever and fast paced plot and a heroine who’s just trying to keep her head above water quite literally I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel!

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