So what is H2O's (or also published as The Rain) such brilliant idea? The story is led by teenager Ruby Morris, who ends up luckily staying inside during a thunderstorm at a party. Because apparently there was a meteorite that was destroyed by human missiles a while back, but it was filled with poisonous particles that love water and will eat it up like cookies, including the water in blood. And they'll multiply on contact and kill, even with just one drop. Ruby and her stepfather Simon end up having to try to survive this apocalypse. But how can they, when almost all the water in the world is now contaminated and there's nothing left to drink?
The idea actually reminded me of the title of a book on my TBR, "Not a Drop to Drink" by Mindy McGinnis. I mean, the idea of a water shortage is not farfetch'd on the planet we're living on. Bergin apparently had inspiration for this story partly because there are millions of people today, even a fraction of the entire population, who don't have access to clean, safe water. Having the rain poisonous is bad enough, but not being able to drink is terrifying, and Ruby the narrator of this story terrifically expresses her fear and frustration.
One of my favourite parts of this book was how there are characters in Ruby's house that end up dead from the disease, but Ruby and Simon wouldn't dare go to where they are for fear of catching something. When I was reading that, I imagined someone of my family dead and rotting in that same place of my room, and I shivered. Virginia Bergin knows what can make readers uncomfortable. I also liked all the original ways they scavenge for stuff to drink. They end up finding water in one particularly clever way, and from my personal experience, the water would really reek the same way Ruby says it reeks. Basically, water that sits around smells a way you'd never expect your filtered water to ever smell in your life. The feel of the end of the world and death at every corner really shows.
Now, there is some unfinished business throughout this book. There's a character that does something to Ruby that causes her to hate him almost as much as the disease, and then this character is kind of passed off, as is a tragedy that happens. Ruby ends up deciding to go clothes shopping to try and distract herself from everything, and I found it kind of bland and not really in the proper place. I won't spoil the resolution of this Part 1, but I expected a little bit more. At the very least, Bergin maintained realism with a good enough cliffhanger and a world where they'll never be able to make a movie out of Ruby's story, as Ruby expresses she feels like she's living in a horror movie. I think this is the book where just surfing through DVDs is at its most suspenseful.
H2O ends up finishing with a lot laces untied, which would've been horrible if this were a standalone. But thankfully it isn't, so we obviously know there's more, and I was looking forward to more. H2O ends up being a mostly fun read with a realistic atmosphere and enjoyable narrator. It was enough to make me immediately go and borrow the sequel, The Storm. Anything that gets me that instantly motivated usually gets a recommendation. I was going to only give it a 2 and a half out of four but because of my desire to find out what happened next, I bumped it up. I'd even go as far as to say this was the novel The 5th Wave wanted to be.