My rating: 3 of 5 stars
H20 is a funny little novel. The main character isn’t likeable, she doesn’t really grow as a person, and she makes stupid mistakes that almost kill her multiple times. At first, I actually liked her and her voice was great. The chapters were heavy on the sarcasm and she had this air around her that viewed things in a cynical nature.
As you continue to read, you slowly begin to get annoyed by her tone and realize that instead of being cynical but awesome, she’s just a spoiled brat. And that’s what H20 is. It isn’t your typical post-apocalyptic YA novel. Instead, it’s a novel where an unlikeable character has to deal with a horrible and pretty terrifying situation.
In some ways this worked, because it’s kind of refreshing to see such an entitled spoiled brat deal with bigger things than boy drama and frenemies. Yet In other ways, it was annoying to see such an entitled spoiled brat be an entitled spoiled brat and not realize the situation that she’s in. She complained that she doesn’t have her cell phone, when the entire water supply kills you. Take a shower – dead. Wash the dishes – dead. Drink water – dead. Go singing in the rain – dead. Anything to do with water – dead. And yet, she’s more worried about her cell phone.
Kids these days.
In terms of the setting and plot, I thought it was pretty good. Once upon a time an asteroid was zooming down to earth, so the world decided to go all Bruce Willis on its ass and blow it up. The world was saved and everyone was happy. I imagine Aerosmith played in the background as all the couples embraced each other, as they knew that they’d live another day.
“Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
‘Cause I’d miss you baby
And I don’t want to miss a thing”
If I got the song in your head, then I’ve done my job. Ruby doesn’t really care about this history though, because it’s so boring and she’s over it. Her step-father doesn’t understand why she wouldn’t feel some sort of rational emotion after learning this, but she replies with “You’re not my real dad.” And fighting ensues.
That doesn’t really matter though, because even though the asteroid was destroyed and humanity was saved, they really weren’t. In turns out that the blowing up of the space rock brought some weird bacteria that invaded the water supply.
It may not have been able to blow everything up, but it did get to still kill people. And boy did it kill people. The book takes place in England, so I don’t know how the rest of the world fared, but London seems to be having a hard time. Especially Ruby, because the hottest guy in her school who actually made out with her, got rained on and might be dead. Her family is dead and her friends are too. Ruby is all alone, except her biological father is still out there so she decides to search for him.
If you do like romance, there’s none of that here. Sorry. Ruby does get some action from the hot guy, but like I said he got rained on pretty quickly in the novel. There is another guy, but after a brief make out section, Ruby realizes that he’s icky because he was a loser at school while she’s hot stuff. It doesn’t matter that he saved her and that he’s a pretty decent guy. He’s simply not someone she would have associated with under normal circumstances so that relationship doesn’t last long.
Kids these days.
It’s a scene like this that makes me hate, but like the novel. Ruby should be more understanding and look beyond social standing. Things are much bigger than that at the moment, but our little Ruby doesn’t really care and drops him pretty fast due to this. Now, I’m not saying that she should jump his bones because it is slim pickings right now, but she should at least realize that how you were at school doesn’t matter right now.
But this also is a good point, because despite the situation Ruby still remains Ruby. It’s kind of nice to see a character that was somewhat popular not fall for the school nerd because a crisis happened. This happens a lot in stories, so I liked that it didn’t happen here. She’s still seems unfazed by the world around her, which I didn’t like, but still kind of liked.
Overall: When I was done with the novel, I was relieved that there was no more. This does seem to be a series though, but I’m not sure where else the author can take us. But after taking some time to think about it, I think Bergin did take some risks here. Some of it did pay off and some didn’t, but that’s the fun reality of taking chances when it comes to anything really. I think most people will either like this book or hate it. They’ll love the world that Bergin created, but hate Ruby. They’ll like the gruesome deaths some of the characters get, but hate that all the curse words are replaced by a butterfly icon. This is done because the book is written with Ruby’s mother in mind and her mom hates swearing.
But I do appreciate the risk that Bergin made. I may not like Ruby and wanted her to die a few times, but I still made it to the end.
H20 was provided by netgalley.
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