TITLE: Things to do before the end of the world
BY: Emily Barr
GENRES: Young Adult, Thriller, Fiction
PUBLICATION: May 6th 2021 by Penguin
NOTES: I received an e-copy for a blog tour. All opinions are my own.
A big thanks to Dave from @The_WriteReads and Penguin for letting me join this tour. If not for this tour I wouldn’t have picked up this book on my own. This isn’t really my genre but surprisingly, I enjoyed the book enough.
What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?
Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?
Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.
But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . .
I wasn’t really expecting much when I picked up this book, as I said, this isn’t my genre. It surprised me that I didn’t hate it at the end.
The concept of the “end of the world” in this book is a bit new to me. I haven’t read anything with a concept like “The Creep,” or maybe I just don’t read enough apocalyptic stories. But one reason it’s new to me is because, well, it’s not virus. This ‘end of times’ element of the story kind of pushed into the background. Along the way, it became just a backdrop to make way for Libby’s, the main character, part of the plot.
That make sense because the title itself points to things to do before the end of the world, thus the story is focused on things Libby will do. Libby is someone we already met before in other young adult contemporaries. She is shy and is trying to find her place and voice and confidence to maybe at least talk to her crush at school. And this end of the world thing pushed her to do the things she must or have always wanted to do but didn’t have the guts to do so before.
Enter, Natasha, Libby’s cousin that she never knew. With Natasia’s help, Libby’s life is turning into different directions. But Natasha also isn’t what she appears to be. Which brings me to the thriller aspect of the story. It came a little bit late, to be honest. The devices used aren’t that new to me but that’s not an issue to me. I do think that they’re not enough to label this book a thriller. This book lacks the right devices to make the readers thrilled and, you know, surprised by the supposed reveals.
As for the settings, Libby was in three countries, if I’m not mistaken – England, Spain and France. The reason I am not sure because I didn’t really feel immersed in those places. Maybe it’s the lack of description or maybe it’s because, for me, this book will still be the same even if it only happens in one country. I just had that feeling.
So far, it sounds like I don’t like this book. I do like this book. I didn’t get bored reading it. I finished it in one go – this doesn’t say anything because I usually finish reading books in one sitting. But anyway, this book has its own charms as well. I think the family aspect is heartwarming.
Most importantly, this book will make you think. In fact, just after reading the title, I felt like making some list of things I will do not before the end of the world but before I die.
RATING: 3.5 blissful pages with lilies
Despite my issues with this book, I still enjoyed it. As I said, I read it in one sitting. I am also sure that more readers will enjoy this even more than I did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels for adults, one novella, and three book for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.
6 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr (#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour)”
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Brilliant review Lili 🙂
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Thank you Louise. 💕