I enjoyed this YA novel which has a doomsday scenario as it’s backdrop. It’s a long time since I’ve read a book by this author (I think that I was almost in the target audience last time, about 20 years ago!) but I’m pleased to see that she’s still producing great reads.
The novel’s protagonist, Libby, is very likeable and will appeal to plenty of introverted book lovers. She’s a great role model for YA readers as she shows that it is possible to overcome shyness, feelings of inadequacy and peer pressure, even when you only have months left to live. The character of Natasha, a psychic magician, also had plenty of appeal, and the chemistry between the two, and their evolving relationship drove the narrative.
I enjoyed the novel’s split settings of Winchester, Madrid and Paris, and the way that we dropped in on several art galleries along the way. It was interesting that Barr envisages a different reaction to the end of the world in different locations. I did worry initially that novel would be somewhat depressing, given it’s premise, but it was nice to see that Barr has her characters making the most of their time, whilst telling us about riots and protests which are carrying on in other places.
This novel fits into so many different categories – dystopian, mystery, adventure, travel, romance – and I did feel that it was sometimes spreading itself a little thin. However, overall this is a fun read with an interesting and unique premise.
‘Things to do Before the End of the World’ will be published on 6th May 2021. Thank you to NetGalley UK and the publisher for this ARC in return for my honest review.