Friday, October 2, 2015

Book review: H2O by Virginia Bergin


It's a number that marks the percentage of the population that survived. It's a number that means she's one of the "lucky" few still standing . And it's a number that says her father is probably dead. 

Against all odds, Ruby has survived the catastrophic onset of the killer rain. Two weeks after the radio started broadcasting the warning "It's in the rain. It's fatal, it's contagious, and there's no cure," the drinkable water is running out. Ruby's left with two options: persevere on her own, or embark on a treacherous journey across the country to find her father--If he's even still alive.

Received for free from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

My impression of H20 was actually mostly positive.  It’s a book about an apocalyptic future where an asteroid almost hit the earth, but scientists managed to blow it up.  But in exchange for avoiding that catastrophe, the asteroid mixed with the earth’s atmosphere, releasing a super parasite that attaches to water and destroys humans almost on contact.  It’s a really bloody, awful death.

For one, the book goes into just enough detail about everything to paint a picture of what the world is like without dragging it out, or making it monotonous.  With those small details, the author still manages to paint the picture of the world being miserable and, often, absolutely gross, just as a landscape full of dead and decomposing bodies should be.

I also do like that Ruby learns from her behavior and realizes what she does wrong.  I feel more sympathetic towards her than a lot of YA protagonists I’ve been reading about these days.  It is a bit ruined by the fact that she is so awful to “the nerd.” It just wasn’t congruent with the way she seemed to be characterized otherwise.  Yes she was portrayed as ungrateful, but every teenager is ungrateful.  There wasn’t really any explanation about her being popular before the parasite destroyed the world, jut a typical teen with her friends.  And to be honest, if I were in the same situation, I wouldn’t care who it was, or if they had been the biggest geek in school, as she always describes him.  I’d be happy to have someone I knew alive, especially considering he was a lot more prepared to take care of himself than she was.

The ending was also rather rushed, and I never felt like there was a particular climax to the story.  It was a good book, but it fell short in any sort of immediate plot other than “get here, then get here.” So it’s average, thanks to the author thankfully not falling into a lot of YA cliché characterization.