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Title: H2O (The Rain #1)
Author: Virginia Bergin
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Interview with Virginia Bergin
Synopsis: 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.
Review: As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, it had my attention. I love books where natural phenomena all of a sudden turn deadly. Eco-thrillers, I guess? Especially ones that don't seem like they're too far off from something that could actually happen. So when there's something in the rain, I knew I had to read this book to find out more!
There was quite a bit I really liked about this book. I think Bergin's writing is really great, and there's enough information about things going on so that you can follow along without having to go into too much back story. You learn about the rain and what's happening with Ruby with a few flashbacks just for clarification. I think the plot moves along pretty well most of the time, although there are several parts where things seem to slow to a crawl and I found it difficult to continue reading.
I liked that Ruby was forced to grow up pretty quickly because I really, really hated her in the beginning. It took me a long time to warm up to her enough so that I could actually finish this book, and I still think she has a lot of growing up to do. She's whiny, annoying, selfish, and just everything about her made me want to punch her in the throat to get her to shut up. When she's left alone, she has to figure out how to survive, and she stops whining about petty things (like losing her cell phone) as much and starts worrying about more important things... like not dying. I still kind of hated her at the end of the book, but definitely not as much as I did to begin with.
Before they die, Ruby's friends are awful too. They're superficial and pretty flat, and I really didn't care that almost all of them die right up front. Like maybe if you weren't such an idiot you could have lived a little bit longer. There are some characters, likes Ruby's stepdad, that I actually ended up actually being able to connect with, but they were really few and far between. I'm really hoping the next book has some better characters so I can spend more time enjoying the plot and less time wishing all of these people would just kick the bucket already.
Even though the premise sounded fantastic and thrilling, I think my enjoyment of this book was really hampered by how much I hated Ruby. I had to put the book down for a while because she made me so angry and then it took me a while to get back into it. It's hard for me to recommend this to anyone since it was difficult for me to connect with the characters. If characters aren't as important to you as the plot and you enjoy books where nature turns dangerous, you might enjoy H2O. I think I'll still read the next book, but it might be a while before I can get back into Ruby's head. 2.5/5.