H2O by Virginia Bergin
I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to books, but almost any surviving-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it young adult novel will suck me in. Over the July 4th holiday week, H2O, a debut novel by Virginia Bergin, was no exception. The premise is simple. An asteroid headed toward Earth is blown to smithereens. Particles of asteroid dust containing water-loving bacteria latches onto the rain and creates havoc on earth in about the time it takes for a good squalling storm to blow through. Just one drop of the bacteria on a person's skin causes death. It is contagious. There is no cure.
Only about .27 percent of the population survives the initial watery weeding out of humanity. When we first meet H2O's Ruby, one such survivor, she is almost a caricature of a self-absorbed, boy-crazy, "it girl" wannabee from a split home (complete with doting mother, annoyingly competent and patient step dad Simon and baby half brother brat, Henry, who Ruby can't help but love despite his half brother bratness).
Growing up under normal circumstances isn't easy. Add a little killer rain, and things get a whole lot more complicated, as Ruby gets a crash lesson in reality and must follow Simon's "THINK" rule to stay alive. A dangerous journey could lead to Ruby's wet death or being reunited with her "real" father ... if he's even still alive.
In my opinion: Written from Ruby's point of view, H2O was soooo firmly in her head, I couldn't put it down. Bergin nailed it. Really, really well done. (For you writers out there, this is an exceptional example of a character-driven novel with a very clear "voice" ... much to be learned from H2O).
The concept was also scarily feasible. Really creeped me out. Let's just say it's a very good thing we had gorgeous weather on Lake Erie in Ohio last week, with nary a raindrop, or I'd probably never have come out of my house without a raincoat, umbrella, and waders. H2O was well worth the read. I will be picking up Bergin's sequel, The Storm.
#virginiabergin #H2O #youngadult #writingvoice #characterdriven #scbwi #dystopian #writingya