Friday, October 9, 2015

The Storm by Virgina Bergin

The Basics:
The Storm by Virginia Bergin
Sourcebooks Fire
YA, Science Fiction
Published October 6, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads 

Why I picked up this book:

The first book in this series was, quite possibly, my favourite read of the year.

Ninety-seven percent of the population is dead. And the killer rain keeps falling. Ruby's not sure she can make it on her own much longer. So when a chance encounter leads her to a camp with the last boy she may ever kiss (it's not easy to date during an apocalypse), Ruby gratefully accepts the army's protection.
But safety comes with a price: If Ruby wants to stay, she must keep her eyes-and her mouth-shut.
Except Ruby stumbles across a secret she can't possibly keep. Horrified, she flips out and fights back-only to make the most shocking discovery of all...

My Thoughts:

Before I get to The Storm let me first say, I read H2O, the first book in this series, to prep for reading The Storm, and because the publisher kindly gave me a copy of it to read as well.

Oh. My. God.  

Easily in the top five books I've read this year (a number that's nearly 160 books right now). H2O made me sob, made me smile, made me snicker. There were a lot of tears. 

The Storm picks up after the end of H2O, with Ruby alone and slowly losing her mind. She isn't allowed to remain too 'comfortable' for too long, and soon she's back in a car, trying to sort out the best place to be in this strange, new world.

Ruby's voice strikes the perfect tone for experiencing apocalypse. She's a typical teenager, who uses fashion and make-up as deflection and distraction to cover some of the more emotional periods of the book. She's got lots of snark, she's adaptable, and she's straddling that awkward position between child and adult, which makes her seem both vulnerable and capable. 

The story ripped at my heart. There were small victories, huge disappointments, and plenty of moments for Ruby to step up and prove how much she's grown since her pre-deadly-rain days. The thought of living through everything Ruby's coping with is terrifying. There's definitely the trappings of YA here (Ruby's a teenager, there's a love interest, etc.), it's not an entirely adult story, but because of the horror of the super-virus, it's definitely not for young readers. 

Now, I did find that H2O was scarier and more poignant. The plot in that book was simpler--coping with the immediate aftermath of super-virus' arrival, and figuring out how to survive. The Storm goes beyond that to untangle the responses to the virus, to piecing together a new normal. It was no longer enough for Ruby to survive, 'things' (I won't spoil what!) had to happen. I appreciated the necessity of it, but I do think it makes for a slightly weaker story than in H2O. It's a bit less compelling than that first story, possibly because I didn't feel that same sense of urgency or maybe because the basic premise was now familiar to me and the 'more' of this story was a bit more familiar in this genre.

I will say that there was one section of the book where I was shouting at it. Which does not often happen. I was completely emotionally invested. I will definitely go back and re-read this books, maybe in a year or two, and probably cry all over again!

Bottom line:

Grab H2O and then immediately follow it up with The Storm!  Seriously. So good. 

5 stars
For fans of YA, science fiction, survival stories

Don't just take my word for it though! I've gathered up a couple of other blog reviews, so check them out for some other opinions!

Cumbrian Sky 

Liz loves

Rachel Verna's Weirdness

Downright Dystopian

And finally, the publisher is running a giveaway!  Absolutely get in on this because, if you can't tell, I LOVED these two books.

Rafflecopter giveaway

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