Today I am very excited to be posting my review as part of
The Write Reads Blog Tour
for Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr.
One minute you’re walking in the park, hiding from a party. Then you discover that the next nine months will probably be your last. Everyone’s last. You realise that you happen to be alive at the time when your species becomes extinct.
You have to decide whether to go with it meekly like you usually do, or to do something brave, to live your last months with all the energy and bravery you can muster, to rage against the dying of the light.
Olivia struggles to live her real life as fully as she wants to. She plans out conversations and events in her head but actually doing them and interacting with other people is hard. When the news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth that there’s only nine months of safe air left everybody makes bucket lists and starts living their best lives – everyone, that is, but Olivia who is still struggling to figure out who she wants to be.
Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know exsisted. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for their last summer on earth Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having a effect on her. But what if Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be . . . ?
This book made me think about what is important in life!
It inspires the question – what would you want to do if you are given the date that you, and all life on earth, will die?
Told that the world is going to end, Libby knows she should be living her life to the full before ‘end times’ but how when she is incredibly shy?
This book played me like a champ! I was sucked right in, just like Libby (Olivia) was. A brilliant concept and plot. Set on the backdrop of human extinction we see Libby decide to grab hold of opportunities, and with the help of her cousin, break free from her (often crippling) social anxiety.
An adventure across Europe ensues with unexpected twists, and a constant sense of unease (is it just Libby being nervous and shy or is there something more to it?). Everyone is behaving differently, oddly, is it the thought of ‘end times’, or are there secrets that are being hidden? Not sure who she can trust Libby observes her cousin, her mum, and the things around her. She puts pieces together but can never quite make the puzzle fit.
The plot is thrilling, the characters are multifaceted and the atmosphere tense. I enjoyed following Libby’s adventure, coming out of herself, and growing up. She made some mistakes and trusted in people she shouldn’t but given the circumstances, you really can’t blame her! The ending is fabulous, it is as though Libby relaxes and breathes for the first time, but is it also her last?
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.
Thank you so much to Penguin Random House Children’s UK for the e-arc and The Write Reads for inviting me to take part in the tour.