I’m back again with another blog tour stop for a tour hosted by The Write Reads! Today, I’ll be talking about a book that caught me off-guard, a YA thriller called Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr!
But, before I continue, I want to make sure to thank Dave @ The Write Reads, for giving me a spot on this tour and Penguin, for providing the free e-ARC in exchange for my participation. It is appreciated, as always!
Now, let’s get to my stop on this tour!
“A timely and powerful coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks.
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 . . .”
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.
I’m going to be honest with y’all right now… I went into this book thinking it was a straight up contemporary. Why? Because I clearly forgot about that fact after signing up and I like to go into books without really reading the synopsis. So imagine my pleasant (if somewhat confusing) surprise when, as I read the book, I started getting those distinct, thriller vibes!
This story follows our main character, Olivia, who is a painfully shy young woman who is trying to come to grips with the fact that the atmosphere of Earth will become unlivable in a few short months. She doesn’t know what to do or, rather, she knows she’d like to travel and come out of her shell, but she feels powerless to do so. Enter Natasha, her mysterious cousin who Olivia didn’t even know existed. Soon, she’s taking risks she never would have before and trying to live it up as best she can before the world ends. But Natasha isn’t everything she seems to be.
Even though I went into this book with the completely wrong mindset, I found myself enjoying it! I loved the sinister tone that flows throughout the story. It made reading this book an adventure in tension, lol. There were several times that I could feel myself getting anxious as we followed Olivia and Natasha on their adventures. I loved it, though! I also really enjoyed the writing. It flowed rather well and made this book an incredibly easy read. I flew through the pages! If you’re looking for a fast and compelling book that you can more than likely read in a day, this would be a good pick.
I also thought that Olivia was a fantastic character. She came to life on the page! I could feel her anxiety and all her varying and wavering emotions. I did have the urge to shake her a few times, but it was intriguing watching her relationship with Natasha develop. It was just fascinating and, I think, my favorite part of the book!
I will say that a lot of the plot was pretty straight-forward. I saw most of it coming, which isn’t ideal for a thriller, but I still had a good time reading it. And the fact that I really enjoyed Emily Barr’s writing makes me want to give her other books a go.
Final thoughts: This was a tense, dark young adult thriller that is fast-paced and intriguing. Though the plot is pretty straight-forward and the twists weren’t all that surprising to me, I still found myself really enjoying the writing and the complex main character. Emily Barr has a way with words that will make you feel almost as anxious as Olivia as you follow her story! If you enjoy thrillers that also feature a coming-of-age plotline, I think you would really enjoy Things to Do Before the End of the World!