Curriculum Vital

"The Rain, one girl's battle to survive... the unsurvivable"

The Rain by Virginia Bergin has popped up on our bestsellers list this month. I knew I had a copy in my overflowing to-be-read pile and quickly dug it out. It had appealed to me instantly, a simple and effective cover with a suitably apocalyptic tag line.

Ruby is a regular teenager, she's got her eyes on a boy, she wears make-up and she likes to party with her friends. We meet her as they're enjoying the briefest of the English summertime, when frivolity quickly turns to something just short of terror as The Rain makes its first appearance.

We get straight into the current story, the bluntness of Ruby cuts through the question of "before". You hear the abridged version of what has happened, but obviously there isn't much detail because she was only a child at the time. Frustration did set in at the beginning, wanting to know more about the original disaster but that went from my mind once I was hooked into the story. It would be like one of the hundreds of movies out there where the ending is "yay we saved the world"... watch one of them and then wonder what would actually happen after the movie, and then read this book... because they don't make films about that bit.

Ruby moves from being a teenager to more of an adult, she doesn't make a complete jump to adulthood, she still has her obsession with make-up to keep her from that. She starts to be more analytical, but she does keep forgetting the basic essential of life-after-apocalypse... rain bad. She has her mission and she adapts to achieve it. Rather impressively she learns how to drive... much quicker than I did!

The story has a mix of everything: science fiction; horror; crime; romance. There are inevitably a lot of dead bodies in it and some gory deaths, but these were written very effectively and Ruby is sympathetic and tactful when relaying these bits. All in all it was a fast paced and exciting read. After reading about a quarter of the book I sat down for another session and accidentally finished it in a second sitting. I always think the best way to read a book is to suspend reality for a bit and not over think anything as almost every fiction book has something that won't fully make sense to the reader. A couple of reviews online said that they thought Ruby wouldn't have been able to survive The Rain, but this is where a little reality suspension comes in handy. She has help in the beginning and then after this she somehow made it to London, and back, with a selection of stops in between... hmm. It can only be said that she is extremely lucky in her exploits, but then doesn't that give the reader a sort of real life hope? You don't have to be a member of the SAS to survive a disaster, you just have to learn how to adapt.

I can see this appealing to a range of readers, but even though Ruby does have a tough action vibe to her that boys would like, she is still quite girly. This should definitely be in everyone's library though, I've already made a space on my shelf for The Storm which is the next book in the series.

By Emma, staff review.


Related products and pages:

The Storm by Virginia Bergin