When I was on vacation, I hit up a few different bookstores for some new recommendations. The last store that I visited, I was told that The Rain, by Virginia Bergin would be a book that I’d fall in love with, and never want to put down. The recommender, was absolutely wrong.
The premise of the story is what ultimately sold me on purchasing the book. Killer rain. Sounds interesting right? The book is set in England, where is clearly rains quite a lot, and after a meteor is blown up, chunks fall into the atmosphere. Everything seems fine, until it begins to rain, and within hours, anyone who was caught outside, or touches someone who was in the rain, dies.
The water is contaminated because of the meteor (including drinking water, water to bathe with, etc), and the world descends into chaos. The main character, Ruby, is 15-years-old and had been at a party where she witnessed her crush become infected. Through a series of events, Ruby witnesses the death of many who refuse to listen to the ‘stay in your homes; do not drink the water’ rules, and eventually finds herself aligned with the social outcast from high school, and his group of survivors.
Even as I write my review, I’m still stuck on whether or not I’ll actually finish the book. I truly hate leaving books unfinished, but the writing is absolutely horrific. Bergin has designed the book to be a YA title, meant for the 13+ crowd, however it seems to be geared more towards a younger crowd. The characterization, or lack thereof, is also terrible. Ruby is very naive, whiney, and heavily concerned with material goods, as opposed to her survival. At one point, she begins raiding empty homes and picks up make-up, clothing, and other accessories, instead of vital supplies (water, food, etc).
What hurt me the worst through the story, was the severe lack of flow to the writing. From what I’ve pieced together through the first 200 pages, is that there was, in fact, a meteor that was coming too close to earth, and men & women had to use tactics employed in the movie Armageddon (aka blowing up a meteor), in order to stop it. The only reason I had to piece it together, is because Bergin never actually outright says that this occurred. There are a few other points throughout the portion of the book that I’ve read, where the same idea is employed. You’re left to guess as to what has occurred.
The writing is horrifically choppy, and instead of swearing (because it would offend her mother), Ruby uses cute little butterflies to convey her expletives. It pains me to give this book such a low rating, because the idea is very original, but the lack of characterization and almost childish writing, overrides the interest I’ve had in it. I will not be finishing the book.