It's In The Rain
I saw this book come up on my bestsellers at work and was intrigued by it. I realised that I had a copy of it from Netgalley that I'd never managed to read. I opened it up on my iPad, and I'm so glad I did.
Even the cover made me want to read it, simple but effective design and a nice apocalyptic tag line!
I was interested to see what other people had thought about it when I'd finished, so I Googled for reviews. Never ever do this... it will only annoy you. Only do this if you didn't like something, at least then you might find something that you missed.
I did a course on critical reading this weekend and learnt about how people approach reading depending on their attitudes to the document they are reading. Everything I discovered in the course made sense, but it came into reality when I read one review. The tag line to it was "This book might be worth trying if you are into science fiction, but alas, this book wasn't for me." I read the review before the tag line and even without it I could tell the reader hadn't really made an effort. It honestly felt like they had skim read the book because had they read it fully some of their points would have been clear [allowing for some obvious author mystery]. Everyone has a different view of a book though, so just remember to read a few before making a decision.
Anyway, to my review...
Ruby is your regular teenager, a little bit stereotyped, but regular. This does sometimes feel a little bit at odds with her nature. We meet Ruby and her group of friends as they're enjoying the briefest of the English summer. Frivolity quickly turns to something just short of terror as we get the first hand look at what's in the rain. I will agree with some reviews, Ruby is very hit and miss as a protagonist. She is not the most likeable character, but in some ways that makes the story a better read.
We get very quickly into the current story, the bluntness of a teenager cuts through the question of "before". You get to hear the abridged version of what has happened to bring about "The Rain", and obviously there isn't much detail because Ruby was only little when it happened. At the beginning I wanted to know more, but once you get into the story you forget about that and start to fall in with the characters. I started considering how long I'd have been able to survive in the same situation.
Ruby moves very quickly from a teenager to more of an adult... not completely an adult, she still has her strange obsession with her make-up. She starts to be more analytical, although she constantly forgets the basic essential... rain bad. She has her mission and adapts to achieve it, she impressively managed to learn how to drive much quicker than I did.
The story has a mix of everything, science fiction, horror, crime, romance. All in all it was very enjoyable. After originally reading about a quarter of the book I sat down again and accidentally finished it in a second sitting. I always think the best way to read a book is to suspend a bit of reality and not over analyse anything, it does come in handy when dealing with the scenes in this book... it can only be said that Ruby is extremely lucky in her exploits. I do have to agree with some reviewers on this point... she's a "little bit too stupid to survive". Harsh I'm afraid, she had her step-father to protect and help her at the beginning and then after that some how she made it to London, and back, with a selection of stops in between... hmmm.
But, despite it's oddities it is a fast moving enjoyable book and I can't wait to read the second, The Storm.
As Ruby herself dubbed her tale, this book was... "The rain, one girl's battle to survive... the unsurvivable."