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I Belong

Review: H2O by Virginia Bergin


Author: Virginia Bergin

GenreYA Apocalyptic

SeriesThe Rain (Book #1)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 1492606545 (Sourcebooks Fire)

ISBN-13: 978-1492606543 (Sourcebooks Fire)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


.27 is a number Ruby hates.

It’s a number that marks the percentage of the population that has 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 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.

Quick & Dirty: An original plotline paired with the most infuriating main character I’ve ever known created a book that sadly, just didn’t do it for me.

Opening Sentence: If this was a really good story, like the kind you read for fun, it would have such a great beginning.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Ruby is a teenager, living out her life like any teenager — concerned for her next party, her crush, angry at her parents. But when the rain begins to fill with a lethal virus that attacks and kills within seconds, it’s obvious that Ruby’s problems just got a whole lot bigger. Where will she get water? How will she survive the killer rain? Where is her family? Can she get back to them? An original, unique plotline paired with the most infuriating MC I’ve ever had the misfortune to read about create this lively novel.

In general, I am not the kind of reviewer to rant. I like to present my opinions in a calm, presentable manner. But with H2O, I don’t think I will be able to control the snarkiness. Mostly, I found the book enjoyable. The plotline seemed stable and unique, there was an interesting love interest, and it was paced well. But I hated the main character. I hated her so, so much. Honestly, my emotions toward her the whole book were either humor at her stupidity or anger at her inability to be a good human being. And her point of view was so immature. It was like basking in a fifth grader’s Instagram comments, with all of the uppercase sentences. Actual quote from the book: “‘IT WAS JUST THE KILLER RAIN WHISPERING “I WANT TO KILL YOU'”. It was very hard for me to go into the book respecting the story when the main character was such a horrible girl. I tried, I really did, but my feelings around the book began to crumble as she became more and more intolerable. Ruby was to H2O as the iceberg was to the titanic.

Let’s delve more into that. The first glimpses of her lack of a filter are shown with her stepfather. He’s a wonderful man and you can tell he’s doing the best that he can in taking care of her and her mother, as well as the newborn, Henry. Once, she tells him she’d rather be dead than spend another minute with him because she hates him. Harsh much? Look, girl, I know you don’t want Simon becoming your replacement dad, but that does not give you a license to be a [insert butterfly here]. (In the book, she uses little butterflies to represent curses. Yet another reason I don’t think she’s mature enough to actually survive a worldwide crisis.) Also, when she first meets Darius, a boy that is kind of nerdy but really helpful and kind, she is a jerk to him. She tells him goodbye and thinks about how lucky he is, because girls like her don’t even acknowledge guys like him. Actually, her jerkiness to Darius extends over a long period than when she first meets him. Poor Darius.

Okay, so that was Ruby’s need for an attitude makeover paragraph. This one is about her stupidity. She seems to have the IQ of a snail. For example, they just found out that there is something in the rain, something fatal, and one drop can kill you. Her boyfriend runs out into the rain to get his MP3 player. Of all things, an MP3 player. But it’s Ruby’s response to it that sent me into hysterics. She kisses him! She basically tells him he was awesome and brave running into the killer rain that’s fatal and she kisses him where the killer rain touched. Then he begins to deteriorate in front of her, blood running down his face. I bet she regrets it then… Another thing that irked me was Ruby’s need for prioritizing. She’s freaked out about her cell phone being at her friends house, more than she’s scared that her family will get ill, her friends are dying, or the global crisis. No, her cell phone is number one. She puts a bad face to teenage girls everywhere. When she could be rooting the stores for clean water, food, anything useful, she heads straight towards the makeup. I suppose I can’t argue too much — the makeup was a distraction, and she needed it. But at the same time, a good chunk of this book was her choosing whether to get plum lipstick or orange lipstick and taking both because she can.

You might have noticed I’m not Ruby’s number one fan. Yeah, I might have gotten pretty riled up with the snarkiness but I have been waiting to rant this review since I started this book. (Mission complete!) I’m sure that others will have different feelings, but for me, after finishing, I just didn’t think it was that great. Eh. I feel that the writing style would appeal more to middle grade, but with the mention of drugs, alcohol, and sex, there’s material not for that crowd. The idea was so fresh and unique so I’m disappointed it wasn’t carried out to its full potential! Ruby’s development was more in terms of surviving better than it was in, you know, becoming a respectable human. The last line was something about her cell phone. She’s just so superficial, ugh. Nevertheless, the idea for this story was a good one that I found intriguing and I’m sure someone who relates better to Ruby may have a better time with the book.

Notable Scene:

I looked over my shoulder at the two of them, just standing there.

“Bye!” I shouted, which I thought was very charitable of me, considering.

Charitable and also a sign of how serious the situation was: girls like me don’t even acknowledge the existence of boys like Darius Spratt. It’s a basic law of nature.

The Rain Series:

1. H2O

2. The Storm (UK Title)


FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks Fire provided me with a copy of H2O. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (16 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -2 (from 8 votes)
Review: H2O by Virginia Bergin, 7.3 out of 10 based on 16 ratings
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