Because there is so much to cover already with this book, I have decided to start writing a review in the middle of reading it, so I don't forget my pBecause there is so much to cover already with this book, I have decided to start writing a review in the middle of reading it, so I don't forget my points as I slosh through the remaining pages. So with that said, I am currently on page 115/250 (So says my phone ereader), and this is what I have to say so far:
Ruby... why aren't you dead yet?!?!?!
I always imagined events like these (killer rain) to be natures way of cleansing the earth, and that at the end of it only the fittest will still be alive. So with that assumption firmly planted in my head I cannot figure out why Ruby of all people is still breathing. Well, okay, I suppose Simon is responsible for keeping her heart beating, but man did he have his work cut out for him!
Don't turn on the faucet, Ruby.
Don't fill the kettle with tap water, Ruby.
Pee and poop in the bucket, Ruby, don't use the toilet that has WATER in it.
JUST LET HER DO IT AND BE DONE WITH IT!!! PUT HER OUT OF HER GOD DAMN MISERY ALREADY!!!
I especially loved the list Simon wrote out for Ruby, of dos and don'ts in a world with contaminated water:
Don't go out in the rain
Don't touch anyone who's touched any water. Or any animal. Or anything. Don't touch anything that's touched any water.
Don't touch anyone who's sick or dead.
Don't touch or drink any tap water.
Don't use the toilet. No baths. No showers. Don't eat anything that's been outside. No fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat.
And her responses and thought processes to these rules. Let's just say at this point, if I hadn't done so sooner, I would have just killed Ruby myself.
By this point I am on page 50/250 and Ruby has seen first hand what the killer rain is capable of - her neighbour is sitting on their front law, dead for Christ's sake! A DEAD BODY IS ON THE LAWN, THE NEWS IS REPORTING PEOPLE DROPPING DEAD LIKE FLIES, and Ruby's main concern: Her fucking cell phone. Yep, she left her phone at her friend's house, and DESPITE THE PHONE AND INTERNET BEING DOWN, she just HAS TO HAVE this stupid phone.
I'm paraphrasing here, but her list of priorities went something like this:
Get my cell phone - which would mean seeing my friends, which is great, get my foundation. Go see Caspar. Get a shower first, no check the Net then shower. Figure out my outfit, then do emergency makeup, possibly having to borrow AKA steal makeup and perfume from Mom. Ask then borrow, or just borrow? Just borrow - it's an emergency after all. MY CELL - priority mission.
Yes, Ruby dear, you're on the right track...to meeting an untimely death. The entire world has gone to shit, the population is dwindling, but forget that! Quick, go and rescue your cell phone! The horror of being without it must be too much to cope with.
50 pages in and Ruby's focus doesn't shift from going to get her cell phone. She isn't even listening to Simon talking to her about the seriousness of what's happening because in her head she's angling for a way to get him to TAKE HER OUT IN THE KILLER RAIN so she can get her cell phone - oh, and see her friends (this is the after thought. Cell phone is mission critical, friends are a nice added bonus).
Moving on from the cell phone, let's address a few more things that highlight the fact Ruby is a flaming imbecile. KILLER RAIN = KILLER WATER = DO NOT USE WATER. Erego, Simon tells Ruby she has to poop in a bucket. She does, but not without some internal dialogue that basically amounts to how humiliated and embarrassed she feels at being degraded and having to poop in a bucket, and life was just so unfair that she had been reduced to that!
And she returns to the kitchen just BRISTLING from her ordeal, and her first comment is: "I suppose I can't even wash my hands."
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT, PLEASE!!! WASH YOUR HANDS RUBY, I'M BEGGING YOU!!!
Why has the severity of the situation not kicked in yet? How can she still be walking around like death isn't imminent? Why hasn't ANYTHING remotely intelligent crossed her mind? SHE'S SEEN DEAD PEOPLE, NEWS BROADCASTS ABOUT THE HOW BAD THINGS ARE and yet she STILL walks around with her head in the clouds, and I'm sorry, but I can't even put it down to denial.
She's just that stupid. And if this is supposed to be a reflection of the intelligence of today's youth in general, I'm sorry to say the species has no hope of survival.
REST OF REVIEW TO COME LATER
UPDATE: HAVING CONCLUDED THE BOOK, I WILL ATTEMPT TO ROUND UP MY REVIEW. BEWARE, LOTS OF ENRAGED RAMBLING TO FOLLOW. NO PROMISES THAT IT IS IN ANY WAY COHERENT OR COHESIVE
It took a lot of willpower to see this book through to the bitter end. Ruby is one of the worst heroines I have ever read about, and given my love of reading, that's saying a lot.
It's the end of the world, and she is more concerned with looting high end fashion stores and pilfering top brand makeup than with survival. Instead of gathering supplies like food and water, she goes shopping for flashy dresses, killer heels, tiaras, every shade of lipstick she's ever wanted but could never have afforded before the killer rain. But the only food scavenging she does is raiding the mini fridge in one of the boutiques.
Just. Die. Ruby. Seriously, just step out into the rain, I'm begging you!
She had no survival instincts whatsoever. Zip. Nada. Didn't check the sky for rain clouds before leaving the house, refused to dress up in waterproof gear or even plastic trash bags to protect herself from the rain because EW THAT WAS SO NOT COOL.
The water she did collect she WASTED by dying her hair - because hey, her mother was dead so now she could color her hair however she wanted.
I absolutely despised Ruby Morris with every fiber of my being. Hated the bitch and often hoped she'd die with every turn of the page - of course, I knew it wouldn't happen seeing as the entire story is a reflection piece she's writing of the apocalypse. Sigh. But I can still dream.
The reasons I'm giving THE RAIN a solid three stars:
1) The level of writing was pretty decent. It flowed well, and the tone was reflective of the character's age and portrayed her clueless, naive personality perfectly. Ruby wasn't a very intelligent character, and the writing demonstrated her mediocrity.
2)The premise was promising - it's execution could have gone down a hundred other different ways, all of them WITHOUT a Ruby as the main star, but the idea of killer rain was pretty intriguing. I also liked that everything was explained.
3)Simon. I really liked his character. He was a nerdy accountant, and Ruby's stepfather, but he really stepped up and without him Ruby would have died because she's so thick and needed constant reminding about turning on the God damned faucet. So I probably should hate him - what with him standing between Ruby and the death I really wanted her to experience, but I don't. Without Simon, I would have stopped reading the book altogether.
4) Darius Spratt and Princess. They gave me a reason to keep reading after Simon. Darius was, in Ruby's eyes, a legit nerd. Not a cool geek, just a loser nerd. But I liked him. He was sensible, smart, appropriately scared, and sometimes funny. Princess got bonus points simply for not liking Ruby. The one question that popped up though, was what happened to Princess when Ruby found Darius again while she was on the bus? She saw Darius, and Saskia, but where was Princess and the dog? Had they been cast off as well? I don't see Darius accepting that, but who knows?
So yes, while I hate this book with a passion, it did have a couple of redeeming qualities that kept me reading to the very end. Will I bother with book two? Unless someone tells me Ruby dies on page one and another protagonist with at least half a brain takes over, then it is extremely unlikely.