- Title: Things To Do Before the End of The World
- Author: Emily Barr
- Publisher: Penguin on May 13, 2021
- Genre: Young Adult Fiction
- Pages: 320
- Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
- Rating: 4/5
Trigger Warnings: Mental Health/Depression (brief)
Many thanks to Emily Barr, NetGalley, and The Write Reads Blog Tours for providing me with a digital copy of Things To Do Before the End of The World with a request for an honest review.
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Things To Do Before the End of The World Blurb
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 does she want 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’m not going to lie. My initial excitement to read Things To Do Before the End of The World dissipated a bit when I’d heard friends say the book wasn’t for them. But, I did not need to worry. Emily Barr tells a wonderful story that hooked me from the first chapter.
Olivia is a shy teenager longing to break out of her shell. She has a huge crush on Zoe but doesn’t have the guts to send emails that she writes in secret. Then she meets her cousin, Natasha, who seems too good to be true. And, all this happens as the world awaits mass extinction.
The novel is great. I adored Olivia and Zoe. Olivia relates well with her parents and stepparents. And the stepparents are good people. It is nice to have a teenager with four parents who love her and treat her well. Olivia’s father is a bit standoffish, though. She struggles with the closeness she wishes she had with him. It is still clear that he adores her. However, Natasha is awful. From her first introduction, I felt she was pure evil.
I adored the Spanish setting. The house they rent in Spain is darling. I could see the pool and the back garden in my mind’s eye. When Olivia nurtures Harry the tomato and his pals, it is darling. When she finally bit into the juicy, ripe tomato, I could taste it. The Paris setting had me on edge. I knew it would be a terrible place for Olivia. So I didn’t enjoy the descriptions of the city as much as I could have had I not worried about Olivia’s welfare.
This story has everything it needs in the familial drama alone. The end of the world premise wasn’t necessary. Yet, it added just the right element to make the book even more exciting. I am happy to award Things To Do Before the End of The Word 4 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy young adult, coming-of-age stories with a bit of an edge, you will enjoy this novel.
About the Author – Emily Barr
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 books for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.