H20 by Virginia Bergin


1 out of 5 stars.

An asteroid is about to crash into earth. We manage to explode it before it hits, but the dust of the asteroid contains a deadly virus that makes it into the rain. Now, if water hits you, you die. If you drink it, you die. All water but bottled is contaminated.

The premise is wonderful because it adds an element of danger that you do not normally see in survivalist and dystopic fiction. I have read books where water is rare and precious, but none that take all natural water sources and turn them unusable and deadly. This immediately limits most of the protagonist’s options for survival and makes scavenging even more important.

The reason that I could not stand this book is that the protagonist, Ruby, is too dumb to live. One of her first acts on her own, after she has found some precious bottled water, is to use it to wash makeup off her face, having spent the last night looting the makeup and clothing stores and giving herself a makeover. She runs into two more survivors in the jail, who generously offer her some of their supplies when she faints. She takes them and then demands they give the rest of their supplies to the inmates whom she releases. Since one of the few living people left in the town is a seriously uncool nerd, she spends most of her time with him (when not freely giving away his medicine and water) complaining about what a nerd he is and how she would not normally give him the time of day. When she still has her stepfather around, she spends most of the time unable to comprehend that the water is bad and complaining about him. She is one of the most spoiled and oblivious protagonists I have ever encountered. I am not sure whether this is the way Bergin thinks teenagers think, but since Ruby is too dumb to realistically survive, I really don’t care what ridiculous plot twists the author is going to use to keep her alive. Not recommended for anyone. Seriously, you have been warned.