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Things to Do Before the End of the World

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Timely and powerful; the new coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks. 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 Timely and powerful; the new coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks. 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 . . . ?


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Timely and powerful; the new coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks. 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 Timely and powerful; the new coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks. 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 . . . ?

30 review for Things to Do Before the End of the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marti Leimbach

    In her young adult novel, THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD, Emily Barr imagines a situation in which atmospheric changes doom the earth. “The Creep” as it is called, will end life in exactly nine months. People live out what might be their final days on earth in a strange mixture of dread, fear, and celebration (why not? We’re gonna die anyway?). There are also those who live in a state of near-normal, this last of which reminds me of all of our lives since the pandemic. Olivia , a high In her young adult novel, THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD, Emily Barr imagines a situation in which atmospheric changes doom the earth. “The Creep” as it is called, will end life in exactly nine months. People live out what might be their final days on earth in a strange mixture of dread, fear, and celebration (why not? We’re gonna die anyway?). There are also those who live in a state of near-normal, this last of which reminds me of all of our lives since the pandemic. Olivia , a high school girl with serious social anxiety, has to decide how to live her final days on earth. Will she continue with her (mostly) lonely existence, refusing to take risks in love, and wishing she could be like other teenagers who can do such apparently ordinary things as go to parties? Or will the prospect of a ticking time clock that counts down to the end of humanity cause Libby to finally do the things and say the things she wants? And Libby is kind of special – if only she’d see it. For example, she takes part in a school play, performing a brilliant lead for Romeo and Juliet. She’s a doting sister to her younger half-siblings. She is loveable, charming, and funny. But she would like to tell her crush, Zoe, that she is in love with her. And she’d like to enjoy being around other people generally…if only she could figure out how. And then, unexpectedly, Libby discovers she has an 18-year-old American cousin, Natasha. Natasha is a wildly uninhibited enthusiast who challenges Libby to take risks, coaches and encrouaging her her through texts. When Libby’s family goes on what is likely to be their last holiday on earth, Natasha arrives to their rental house bringing her unusual exuberance, and whisks Libby off to explore Europe. She discloses that she’s psychic. No, really, Natasha hears voices in her head. It’s actually very well described. She talks about how she imagined everyone tuned into such voices and didn’t understand for a long time that she was different. And that her dreams sometimes ended up happening in real life. But she can’t predict the future: she doesn’t know whether the world really will end or scientists will come to the rescue. Meanwhile, they have a lot of living to do: and that’s where I have to stop describing this lovely, quirky book…because the spoilers would destroy the reading experience. Natasha is much more than she seems at first, and nothing like what you’ll expect. Libby is capable of far more than she ever imagined. The two of them blaze through Europe living up their last days (and hoping they won’t be their last as scientists are working on the climate change that has brought on the end of the atmosphere and therefore human existence). Of course, everything unravels eventually, but the fun in the book is to find out how. The novel’s chapters line up like a list of things to do before the end of the world, and I loved finding myself in its list of instructions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

    Super grateful for being part of the blog tour for this title & as always, my opinions are honest and my own. I ended up enjoying the book, I hoped to enjoy it even a little more, but it was very good, and the author's style resonates a lot with me, even so, it was not entirely what I expected. The plot begins with a certain super catastrophic but at the same time intriguing promise that manages to keep you hooked from the first pages, but then begins to transform into a more than anything contem Super grateful for being part of the blog tour for this title & as always, my opinions are honest and my own. I ended up enjoying the book, I hoped to enjoy it even a little more, but it was very good, and the author's style resonates a lot with me, even so, it was not entirely what I expected. The plot begins with a certain super catastrophic but at the same time intriguing promise that manages to keep you hooked from the first pages, but then begins to transform into a more than anything contemporary book of self-discovery, which wasn't an impediment to my enjoyment, it was just different and unexpected. I adore the author's style and how she always manages to give us a solid setting and relatable characters. In summary, I found a very interesting book to explore even though it doesn't cover the full experience that I expected, nor does it have a very clear direction. 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ You can find more of my reviews & other fun content on my A Book. A Thought. blog In this book, we follow Olivia, a highly introverted girl who's trying to live her life as comfortably as possible, until one-day humanity recognizes the damage has done to the earth for thousands of years is irreversible, therefore there are only nine months left till the "end of the world." Due to this tragic news, everyone is driven to start living their lives to the fullest and make the most of the time they have left as much as possible, which becomes a challenge for the shy Olivia who's still not sure how she wants to live her last months. But then almost out of nowhere Natasha, a cousin that Olivia didn't know, appears in her life and this will affect and change Olivia in ways she didn't expect. This is a very interesting plot to read, as I said before, I was expecting something denser in terms of the end of the world and this apocalyptic thing, you know, but instead, I found a point of view more focused on the contemporary side, and in the consequences or actions that this news has on people and how, above all, it affects the main character Libby (Olivia), who has always lived a little fearful and withdrawn from other people. This approach isn't something negative as such, just something surprising for me, anyway I think it's important to emphasize it in case any of you are interested in reading it and perhaps a contemporary plot isn't what you're really looking for. I'd already read the author in the past, I read The One Memory of Flora Banks and although I know it's an unpopular opinion, I loved it! So I was quite excited to read more about the author and even more to participate in this blog tour, which I don't regret since I think she has a very unique ability to describe settings, to create interesting and relatable characters, such as also to give a unique touch to their stories that make them stand out from others, perhaps exploring issues that aren't touched too much in the genre. This time I really liked the way the author gives personalities to the characters since both Olivia and Natasha and even the secondary characters, have very marked personalities and differ widely from each other, which puts the characters in difficult, uncomfortable, or even new situations, which makes the relationship between them help each of them to grow and develop, especially for Olivia this is an important factor since starting to interact with her cousin starts a strong journey of self-discovery and even acceptance for her. Although I don't care that the book is more focused on the story of the girls, and the things we would do if we knew that the world was going to end, instead of focusing more on the apocalyptic of the matter, I have to confess I'd have loved to have that point of view too, maybe something more dystopian where people make plans to try to survive or this kind of thing. In this book, it's rather a collective realization where everyone understands that although it's difficult to assimilate, the reality in which they live is like this, and now they must hurry to do everything they have always wanted to do. There are simply so many points to explore in a plot as such, that I feel that they were somehow left aside to focus on the more contemporary and human aspects. It also gives me the sense that it is poorly resolved as such, especially towards the end it's kind of messy as if the author didn't know well what definition to give it, in any case, I highlight the revelations since they seemed well executed. In summary, I think that when you give your book such a dark and urgent tone, maybe the focus should be more developed in that area at least for the first part of the book, and then transition to the worldly problems of the characters, even so, This is my opinion and as I always say, you don't have to think the same. As a contemporary plot, touches on extremely interesting and even important topics, such as revelations about the family, the search for who we are, and what we want to do with our lives. Why is it really worth fighting for? & the value of simply living fully, you know? What would you do if you knew that you only have nine months to live? I think it's an extremely interesting and intriguing question to explore and is asked quite intentionally in this book. I quite liked the book, I don't think it's a bad read at all, it's not what I expected certainly, even so, it provides very unique moments, great characters and life lessons, as well as reflective moments that explore things in life we can all feel identified with. I recommend it? Of course! but only if you're looking for a solid contemporary book with a plot focused on the existential as such rather than an apocalyptic plot, you know? in that case, it's super easy to read, flows for the most part well as well and the characters are worth it. I'm still interested in continuing to read the works of the author since I really like her writing style.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Things To Do Before the End of the World is a young adult dystopian thriller novel set over the course of an increasingly hot summer before the apocalypse, in Britain, Spain and France. Olivia has always been shy. When global events take away her future plans, and a previously unknown cousin arrives from the US, she realises she needs to seize life while she still can. But is anything quite as it seems? And who can she really trust? One minute you're walking in the park, hiding from a party. The Things To Do Before the End of the World is a young adult dystopian thriller novel set over the course of an increasingly hot summer before the apocalypse, in Britain, Spain and France. Olivia has always been shy. When global events take away her future plans, and a previously unknown cousin arrives from the US, she realises she needs to seize life while she still can. But is anything quite as it seems? And who can she really trust? 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 are 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 existed. 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 an affect on her. But what if Natasha isn't everything she first appears to be? This is a compelling, imaginative and enthralling read, and although it isn't as much about the dire situation on earth as it is about Olivia as a person; about her finding her voice, being brave, and travelling in the sunshine it is still a compelling tale. Themes Barr explores are adversity, love, loss, the power of friendship, identity, finding a place you feel you belong, LGBTQ+ rights and sexuality, which are all woven into the fabric of the story seamlessly. Protagonist, Olivia, suffers from social anxiety and insecurity, and I adored the way in which the author imbues her with the power to overcome it. It's well written, thought-provoking and easy to immerse yourself within the story and it gets you ruminating on exactly what you would do if you only had 9 months left on the planet. Woven into the narrative and at the heart of this book is the ubiquitous and urgent issue of climate change and the gradual warming of the planet. A highly entertaining, timely and riveting read with a slew of secrets, many lies, betrayal and deception about to be revealed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Theartsyreader

    What would you do if you got the news that you only have about a year left to live - and so does everyone else? That the world is about to go down? Quite a spooky thought if you ask me. It makes my stomach turn, it makes me scared. Humanity has lived through so many scary and possibly life-threatening scenarios - there were world wars, atomic catastrophies, and now we're living through a pandemic. Every day we have is a gift, and we should treat it as such - but I'm drifting off topic lol. Olivia What would you do if you got the news that you only have about a year left to live - and so does everyone else? That the world is about to go down? Quite a spooky thought if you ask me. It makes my stomach turn, it makes me scared. Humanity has lived through so many scary and possibly life-threatening scenarios - there were world wars, atomic catastrophies, and now we're living through a pandemic. Every day we have is a gift, and we should treat it as such - but I'm drifting off topic lol. Olivia - Libby - our heroine here, just got away from a Christmas party at her college when the breaking news hit her - and everyone else's - phone. I found it very interesting to see her reaction compared to that of the other people around her. While adult men are breaking down crying, Libby is taking the news almost as if... they don't really concern her. And I think that's exactly how Libby's life has been so far. It is as if she's been detached from it all, and I could feel with her so well, seeing my teenage self in her a bit. Libby is a great character in what I would say is her coming of age story - when her actual coming of age is stopped by the impending end of the world. I loved Libby's way of dealing with her problems, her social anxiety the way she did. The impending doom helped her insofar as it turned her decisions that were  'I'll do it one day' before the news of 'The Creep' (as people call the disaster that's about to strike out humanity) suddenly into 'If I don't do it now I will never do it'. She was given an ultimatum, and Libby made the most of it. After all, you can only panic for so long when you are given the news that the world ends in a year, before you have to start really living it. I loved the writing. Author Emily Barr made it into such a personal account, I loved reading Libby's uncensored thoughts in brackets, it felt like talking to a friend! I loved seeing the character coming out of her shell, even under these circumstances and despite her shyness. Reading about her liberation felt liberating to me too, and every time she managed to talk to strangers or did something else that not long ago would have been very hard, if not impossible, for her, I wanted to high five Libby. She isn't the only great character in this book, though. Her best friend Max, the one she barely exchanges more than six words with on a daily basis (they both feel more comfortable typing), her step-mother with the great taste in fancy clothes, her crush Zoe, her new found cousin Natasha, all these are amazing support characters that made this novel into something even more special. I loved that Libby has such a great connection with her family and that they are all so close. I loved her mum especially. While at first she seemed to turn toward religion as her way to cope with the impending end of the world, she was more of a free spirit and you could tell by the way she soon abandoned her church visits again. I loved how well she knew Libby, and the way she didn't judge her for being who she is. Libby appreciated her honesty too, and liked that her mother knew and understood her way of thinking, I feel like. Furthermore, Libby's step father, step-mother, dad, and her two half-siblings were all great, individual characters that added a nice touch to the story, every single one of them. Libby's two half-siblings were sweet, funny, loveable little toddlers who, over the course of the story, grow into smart little two-year-olds. It was lovely seeing how much Libby loved being around them, and how she blossomed in these scenes. It made me chuckle how she disregarded her father's and step-mother's rules the second they left the house, and how she made her own when it came to her siblings' wellbeing. Libby thought she was invisible back then, but she was actually loved by many people. If only she could have seen how special she was! I loved how she turned what she had in her head thinking she would one day possibly, maybe do, into reality. Even if it needed the knowledge that the world would soon come to an end to achieve that. Sometimes you need a little nudge to come out of your shell, and that was certainly a proper nudge that Libby got. One other character who has a really big impact on the story is Natasha, Libby's cousin she didn't know she had. Natasha lives far away, and they will never meet anyway, so why not talk to her, right? Well, not only that seems to turn out much different than Libby expected, there's also so much more to Natasha... but you will have to read this book yourself in order to find out what that is!! Things to Do Before the End of the World will be published on 13th May by Penguin. Mark the day in your calendars, you will not want to miss this amazing new YA story!!! 5 stars from me! For my full review go to my blog: https://theartsyreader.com/thewritere...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    When you’re told within the first few pages of the book that a “catastrophic breakdown of everything” is on the way in several months’ time, you don’t necessarily expect an uplifting read. Although I’d had a rough idea what the book was about (there’s a clue in the title), I did rather wonder at this point if I wanted to continue. Oh well, at least it’s not because of a virus. (The day when the world finds out about its impending doom happened to be my daughter’s birthday... so that’s nice.) In f When you’re told within the first few pages of the book that a “catastrophic breakdown of everything” is on the way in several months’ time, you don’t necessarily expect an uplifting read. Although I’d had a rough idea what the book was about (there’s a clue in the title), I did rather wonder at this point if I wanted to continue. Oh well, at least it’s not because of a virus. (The day when the world finds out about its impending doom happened to be my daughter’s birthday... so that’s nice.) In fact, the “end times” are more of a backdrop than a focus - we’re told relatively little in the way of specifics - as main character Olivia (Libby) experiences one very unexpected summer. Sixteen-year-old Libby isn’t exactly living her best life - she’s very lacking in confidence and the girl she’s been in love with for four years, Zoe Adebayo, is oblivious - but everything’s about to change when she finds a cousin she never knew she had. The ebullient Natasha is something of a force of nature, and before long Libby’s life is moving in completely unexpected directions and she’s doing things she never dreamed she was capable of. But how much does she know about Natasha, really? I’ve always enjoyed Emily Barr’s books, and this was no exception. Throughout the book there’s a lot Libby doesn’t know - what’s really going on with her mother? what, if anything, is Natasha up to? - and it was intriguing to see how things unfolded. Meanwhile, there’s the ever-present fear, dealt with in different ways by different characters, that the human race may not live to see the future. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review - I enjoyed it a lot.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] I was smitten with the story from the first page. Imagine knowing that you only have one year to live your life. As someone who gets stressed over managing daily tasks, I can’t even imagine what a mess I would be. I’m sure I would regularly panic if I were in Libby’s situation. I loved Libby from the start and could relate to her feelings. It’s challenging to feel positive when you see so much negativity around you. That’s why [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] I was smitten with the story from the first page. Imagine knowing that you only have one year to live your life. As someone who gets stressed over managing daily tasks, I can’t even imagine what a mess I would be. I’m sure I would regularly panic if I were in Libby’s situation. I loved Libby from the start and could relate to her feelings. It’s challenging to feel positive when you see so much negativity around you. That’s why I adored Natasha’s character. Natasha is vibrant, complex, and unpredictable. I loved the instant rapport Libby shares with Natasha and how Natasha encourages her to get past her fears and shyness and live her life. I also liked the way the author wrote about Natasha’s psychic personality, which makes her intriguing. The author beautifully writes the tale, where you don’t know how it would turn out. Some of the scenes that stood out for me were how Libby’s mother reacts when Natasha mentions Violet or when Libby’s attitude changes towards Natasha after what she hears. Moreover, I loved the various highlights the author makes of Spain, like The Prado and Prosecco, and highlights of Paris, like the Louvre. She brought the locations to life and made me feel close to the characters. The author paces the story nicely towards the end, wondering how things will turn out for the two in Paris. Speaking of which, the last few chapters of the events that transpire in Paris blew me away. It became a roller-coaster ride that I didn’t expect and made the story so memorable. Overall, I found “Things to Do Before the End of the World” beautiful and bittersweet with a mix of an adventure thriller, and I loved it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Muzmuz

    I started this book knowing that it would be about self-discovering, reaching for the stars, and just letting go of your shackles and fly. Needless to say that i have found those elements in the book which fit our heroine Olivia with her soft and shy personality, her struggles to lets go of her anxiety and fears, and to just live in the moment for whatever time left there is to live on this dying planet. Watching Olivia grow as she discovers more of herself with the help of the people around her e I started this book knowing that it would be about self-discovering, reaching for the stars, and just letting go of your shackles and fly. Needless to say that i have found those elements in the book which fit our heroine Olivia with her soft and shy personality, her struggles to lets go of her anxiety and fears, and to just live in the moment for whatever time left there is to live on this dying planet. Watching Olivia grow as she discovers more of herself with the help of the people around her especially her cousin is heartwarming, even if at times things seem to be weird and have a deeper meaning to them. The book is a nice quick journey through the last year on earth with Olivia traveling through different stops around the world, discovering bits and pieces of herself, of her past and her present. Both the writing styles and pace were perfect for the book’s tone and there is no time to get bored as the author hardly wastes words and doesn’t exaggerate things in order to make the plot appealing, since the characters and the setting of the book does it by itself. If you are into stories about self-discovering and overcoming your weakness then i would suggest this book to you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I read this book as part of a book tour with The Write Reads, with thanks to them and Penguin Platform for the opportunity. This book begins on a normal December night, with parties, cold, people everywhere but then that night goes from normal to horrific when everyone simultaneously receives a message that the world is going to end. Nine months. That's it. Nine months and everyone would be dead, how would you deal with that? Hide in the hills? Carry on as if nothing has happened? Live out your I read this book as part of a book tour with The Write Reads, with thanks to them and Penguin Platform for the opportunity. This book begins on a normal December night, with parties, cold, people everywhere but then that night goes from normal to horrific when everyone simultaneously receives a message that the world is going to end. Nine months. That's it. Nine months and everyone would be dead, how would you deal with that? Hide in the hills? Carry on as if nothing has happened? Live out your bucket list? For Libby Lewis, she carries on largely as normal, taking smaller risks such as joining the school play of Romeo and Juliet, but outside of that she lives her life as normal. When her estranged uncle dies, she is put into contact with her cousin Natasha who throws her stable normal life in a loop, and when they meet in Europe, her family holiday turns into a whirlwind of magic, fraud and deception. I read the One Memory of Flora Banks a few years ago, so when I was asked to take part in this tour I was ecstatic as I thoroughly enjoyed that book and Barr's style of writing. I think this book would be a great summer read, dark and gritty but it also sits comfortably within the "find yourself" genre too. I do think the main character's narrative was a little bland at times, but as that was literally described as her character I couldn't be too mad. This was a really well throughout and consistent book that flowed well and gripped my attention well too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    This cover is giving me 28 Days Later In France vibes, but the actual story gave me a bad Pretty Little Liars filler episode. I had the idea from the cover that this would be a final send off around Europe, as Olivia comes to terms with the world ending in September. But half way through, we were still in Spain and this story just didn't seem to know where it wanted to go. A big problem this story had was that it didn't need the apocalyptic element, and it never focused on it. Instead, this focus This cover is giving me 28 Days Later In France vibes, but the actual story gave me a bad Pretty Little Liars filler episode. I had the idea from the cover that this would be a final send off around Europe, as Olivia comes to terms with the world ending in September. But half way through, we were still in Spain and this story just didn't seem to know where it wanted to go. A big problem this story had was that it didn't need the apocalyptic element, and it never focused on it. Instead, this focused on Olivia, who has anxiety (same), meeting her extroverted cousin Natasha, who convinces her to go to France with her. Natasha is clearly hiding something, but Olivia doesn't question this enough as they perform magic tricks to tourists to earn money. Overall, I just felt frustrated. This story was really lacking descriptions to build a picture of Spain and France, especially Spain, which made it difficult for me to appreciate the cities at the end of the world. The drama with Natasha and the silly reveal at the end made the story weaker, and while I actually liked Olivia, the ending was exactly what I expected so that just disappointed me more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Phee Elizabeth

    Everyone has thought about what it would be like to die, how it would happen, how it would feel. The biggest fear and question is when is it going to happen? For Olivia, and the rest of the world, they know when. In nine months time, the world will come to a halt and they will cease to exist. All of them. 17-year-old Olivia has barely had the time to figure out who she is or what she wants to be by the time the world is informed of their death date. She’s socially inept, very shy and crushing on Everyone has thought about what it would be like to die, how it would happen, how it would feel. The biggest fear and question is when is it going to happen? For Olivia, and the rest of the world, they know when. In nine months time, the world will come to a halt and they will cease to exist. All of them. 17-year-old Olivia has barely had the time to figure out who she is or what she wants to be by the time the world is informed of their death date. She’s socially inept, very shy and crushing on a girl that she can barely speak to. The only way she really gets to speak to her is through emails that she never sends, or when she’s playing a character. With the end of the world looming, Olivia wants to put herself out there, to experience living before she isn’t able to anymore, but for some reason she just can’t. Enter, Natasha. The cousin Olivia never knew she had, and the person she never knew she needed. Natasha is everything Olivia wishes she could be; illusive, bold, brave, conversational, out there. Except, of course, things aren’t always as they seem to be with Natasha. When are they ever? Natasha thinks she can communicate with the dead, and with her dead dad no less, and soon everything starts to unravel. Natasha wants Olivia to do this, Natasha wants Olivia to do that, and Olivia doesn’t know how to say no. She just wants to keep her cousin happy and interested, because it’s her only way of getting herself out there before she dies. Before they all die. But how can Olivia trust Natasha to make her the person she wants to be, when she’s not sure that Natasha is the person Olivia thinks she is? I was provided an ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As an avid fan of Emily Barr and her writing, I had high hopes for this book. I’ve previously read every single one of Barr’s other published works, and raved about all of them. Things To Do Before You Die is no exception to that! I went in pretty blind on what the book was about, only knowing that I loved the author and the style of writing from her other books, and I was so pleasantly surprised. The relationship between Natasha and Olivia was toxic at best, and manipulative and frightening at it’s worst. Every chapter I was more and more suspicious of Natasha, and more and more fearful for sweet, unsuspecting Libby. Right up until that big plot twist in the last 30% of the book. Overall, I was so enticed the entire way through. I went in expecting one thing, and came out having experienced several things I didn’t expect, all in a good way. I don’t think I’ll be over this book for a while. Rating this book a cumulative 4/5 stars! Thoroughly enjoyed, and I can’t wait to see what Emily Barr does next.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mani

    I found this book to be an interesting read, I enjoyed most of the plot but occasionally felt things were not quite in keeping with the theme of the book and at times thought the plot was a little silly and unbelievable. But at the same time something in the writing kept me wanting to know more. It may be the easy to read writing style used by the author. For me the pacing was a little off in places, more so during the first half of the book. The pacing in the second half felt more steadier and m I found this book to be an interesting read, I enjoyed most of the plot but occasionally felt things were not quite in keeping with the theme of the book and at times thought the plot was a little silly and unbelievable. But at the same time something in the writing kept me wanting to know more. It may be the easy to read writing style used by the author. For me the pacing was a little off in places, more so during the first half of the book. The pacing in the second half felt more steadier and more to my liking. I found the whole “The Creep” thing really interesting but feel that Barr needed to go into it in a bit more detail as we don’t really get to know much more about it except for what we learn at the beginning of the book. The characters were an interesting lot. I thought Barr has done a great job with them. I liked how we saw them develop as the book progressed. Especially the main character Olivia (Libby). Natasha, Libby’s long lost cousin, on the other hand, was a character I could decide if I liked or not. Especially as I found her behaviour to be a little weird at time and I wasn’t entirely sure whether to trust her or not. Although I had a few issues with this book, it was definitely intriguing and fun read. This was my first book from this author but I will be looking into reading more from this author in the future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    (Ellie) ReadtoRamble

    2.5 STARS I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you so much to the blog tour organiser, the author, the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I went into this book expecting something, and I came out rather confused. I think this is definitely a case of "it's me not you" because I think that YA thrillers are just not at all the kind of books for me at all. For quite a big chunk of the book (maybe 50%) 2.5 STARS I read this book for a blog tour, so thank you so much to the blog tour organiser, the author, the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I went into this book expecting something, and I came out rather confused. I think this is definitely a case of "it's me not you" because I think that YA thrillers are just not at all the kind of books for me at all. For quite a big chunk of the book (maybe 50%), something happened with a certain character that I hated, to be honest. I was very uncomfortable reading it because it felt like it was really laughing in the face of spiritualism and I couldn't figure out if any of it was truthful or not. I didn't particularly like the characters, I found them flat and I hated one of them from the minute we met them. I feel like, for a book that has such a big plot, nothing happened and I just didn't like the plot devices used to make this a thriller or to make it give the reader the "omg" reaction. I don't want to bash this book because I can see how people would love it, it's just not for me. I did however find the pacing and the writing style to be really good and although I wasn't enjoying myself, I did keep reading because I like the author's voice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kay Cugini

    I found this book to be very unusual, I don't remember ever reading a book quite like it! Set to the backdrop of the world ending (Im no scientist but the explanation of toxic gases escaping from melting permafrost which will smother oxygen sounds mind boggling!) this is Libbys' story, she is painfully shy and unsure of herself, then Enter Cousin Natasha, who proceeds to pull Libby out of her shell by the scruff of her neck. Full disclosure I loathed Natasha from the start, as Im sure the writer i I found this book to be very unusual, I don't remember ever reading a book quite like it! Set to the backdrop of the world ending (Im no scientist but the explanation of toxic gases escaping from melting permafrost which will smother oxygen sounds mind boggling!) this is Libbys' story, she is painfully shy and unsure of herself, then Enter Cousin Natasha, who proceeds to pull Libby out of her shell by the scruff of her neck. Full disclosure I loathed Natasha from the start, as Im sure the writer intends, but all the characters are complex and interesting, as are the twists of the plot. (No spoilers) Im slightly confused by the ending though, was I meant to be? Very very good YA read, I found it a great plot, really well written.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Candyce Kirk

    When I first read the synopsis for Things to Do Before the End of the World I was really excited, because it sounded amazing. I mean a thriller taking place while knowing the world would end soon? Yes, please! Unfortunately, this wasn't what I was expecting at all. It's pitched as a thriller in the synopsis, but it's not one at all. The writing style kept me going and it was a fast read for the most part. Libby was an interesting character and my favorite part of this book was seeing her become m When I first read the synopsis for Things to Do Before the End of the World I was really excited, because it sounded amazing. I mean a thriller taking place while knowing the world would end soon? Yes, please! Unfortunately, this wasn't what I was expecting at all. It's pitched as a thriller in the synopsis, but it's not one at all. The writing style kept me going and it was a fast read for the most part. Libby was an interesting character and my favorite part of this book was seeing her become more confident. Daring to open up her mouth and stand up for herself. Also, the development of the relationship between her and her parents was nice to see as well. That's kind of where it ended for me though. Some aspects of this book just seemed to convenient and didn't make much sense. Also, not liking one of the characters that plays a big part of the book doesn't help the reading experience. Things to Do Before the End of the World just wasn't for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sammie

    You can find my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here. Many thanks to Penguin and TheWriteReads for an eARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. I’m a sucker for any sort of apocalyptic setting. Cheesy end-of-times movie? Bring it on. World ending in literature? Yes, please! That’s what immediately drew me to this book, for better or worse. The idea of potentially dark and dangerous secrets was an added bonus. Things to Do Before the End of the World is a contemporary coming-o You can find my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here. Many thanks to Penguin and TheWriteReads for an eARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. I’m a sucker for any sort of apocalyptic setting. Cheesy end-of-times movie? Bring it on. World ending in literature? Yes, please! That’s what immediately drew me to this book, for better or worse. The idea of potentially dark and dangerous secrets was an added bonus. Things to Do Before the End of the World is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a shy, introverted girl who finds herself as the world is ending. It’ll leave readers with plenty of things to contemplate about how people approach the end differently. I think this was a case of this book not being for me. I had thought the sci-fi, apocalyptic elements would play more of a role, and they didn’t. It was just kind of a convenient backdrop to set up the coming-of-age story. It’s also not much of a thriller. It’s really just a contemporary coming-of-age, and I think it holds a lot of promise for people who enjoy that genre. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much my least favorite genre, so it just didn’t work for me, which is more of a problem with me than the book. My Thoughts: - What would you do if the world were ending? Barr presents a series of interesting and varying approaches that will leave readers with plenty to think about. I love books that make you think, and this is no exception. Barr has such a lovely way of writing, especially deep, philosophical passages that get at the heart of the struggle. I mean, imagine finding out that you have nine months before everyone likely ceases to exist. The emotions! The turmoil! It’s absolutely delicious and delicate and precious. There were times I was frustrated with how people were handling the end times, but it’s so true to real life. Not everyone approaches it the same way, and there will always be those who refuse to admit it’s happening. Barr captures all the complex, raw, emotional aspects of facing the end of the world. - This book is perfect for fans of coming-of-age stories. Libby really comes out of her introverted shell, and her journey is enjoyable to read. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb at all to assume that most of you reading this are introverts. At least a good portion of you? So it might be easy for you to relate to Libby and her reluctance to go to parties or travel or exist in crowds. That seems reasonable to me, at least. Throughout the book, Libby is forced to come out of her shell or go to her death carrying all sorts of regrets. Not a particularly nice choice, but also not a particularly difficult one. It was nice seeing her become more confident and growing not only into herself but into the idea that she may not have long to live. - Despite having a depressing backdrop, this story manages to be wonderfully uplifting and ends on a perfect note. You know how I usually say I hate open endings? Well, the semi-open ending of this book is absolutely *chef’s kiss*. This is an example of it working absolutely perfect. This book is not all doom and gloom, which is pretty impressive. There are plenty of absolutely beautiful moments that really tug at your heartstrings. The world doesn’t exactly just give up and cease to function just because it’s likely going to cease to exist. People have very different philosophies, and it leads to some beautiful scenes as people struggle to make sense of it all. That’s not to say there aren’t dark moments, because there are, but the overall feeling is one of hope rather than resignation. Sticking Points: - The plot relies on an awful lot of conveniences, not all of which made sense to me. There were a lot of scenes where I thought, okay, but WHY did that character do that/believe that? I mean, obviously the plot required it, but I wanted more solid reasoning. This was mostly a problem in the last 25% or so of the book, where it felt like every time something new was set in motion, I didn’t understand how or why the characters had gotten there. I questioned a lot of character reactions, which made it hard for me to fully buy into all the things that happened. I wish there’d been a little more build-up around this part of the book, since this was the culminating part and it felt a bit rushed and not well justified or grounded. The plot twists were also pretty obvious from early on, which just made me wonder why it took the characters so long to reach the same realization that I had 100 pages ago. - If the inability to have more kids is a sensitive issue for you, I would caution you about picking up this book. This may have triggers for you. Of course, it may not. It may have just been me. I still want to caution anyone to go in with a degree of caution if this might bother you. Libby really doubles down on the idea that she’s miserable about who she is, and she would definitely be a different, more capable person if only she’d grown up with a sibling. This is brought up multiple times and is a repeated mantra for Libby. Putting aside the idea that it’s just false in general (which was annoying enough for me to start with), it’s a perspective that really frustrated me and a potential trigger.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Donovan

    This is a story about the impending apocalypse, but not in the way one might expect. A familiar concept is turned on its head as the narrative centres upon well developed characters and complex family dynamics, all taking place within an interesting variety of vibrant settings and a fast-paced plot that takes a long time to catch fire before ending on a high. Rather than depicting an oppressive dystopian society at the end of its existence, that premise is merely a plot device acting as a backdro This is a story about the impending apocalypse, but not in the way one might expect. A familiar concept is turned on its head as the narrative centres upon well developed characters and complex family dynamics, all taking place within an interesting variety of vibrant settings and a fast-paced plot that takes a long time to catch fire before ending on a high. Rather than depicting an oppressive dystopian society at the end of its existence, that premise is merely a plot device acting as a backdrop to what is perhaps more of a contemporary with some minor elements of a thriller. That and the lack of genuinely high stakes for most of the book made it a neat little spin on the genre, and while it might not have been altogether successful, it was certainly an enjoyable enough read. The news has just broken that the planet has suffered irreparable damage and everyone only has approximately nine months to live. There are many things Olivia wants to do before it happens, but she is too anxious and lacking in confidence to achieve any of them, instead taking comfort in spoiling her half-siblings and writing unsent emails to the girl she is secretly in love with. But then she is informed of the news that her uncle who lived in the United States has passed away in a car crash, leaving behind a cousin she never knew existed. She immediately makes contact with Natasha, who comes across as self-assured and with a very positive frame of mind, everything that Olivia aspires to be. The two eventually meet on holiday in Spain and under Natasha’s influence, Olivia becomes much more at ease with herself and around others. They soon begin to dress the same and perform magic to earn money from fellow tourists, but after spending increasing amounts of time in her cousin’s company, she begins to realise that Natasha is not what she seems. While there is a lot said about the upcoming end of the world and the actions of the characters are largely dictated by it, this theme does not actually have a huge effect on the story as a whole. Many of the events that happen here could have taken place without the presence of that entire sub-plot and it would not have made much of a difference, although the way the author presents the doomsday scenario is intriguing. There is no mass hysteria or desperate attempts to reverse the fate of the planet; just a general acceptance that there is not much time left and therefore everybody can live with a degree of freedom. As for the plot itself, certain elements were predictable but it really gets going towards the end, where there are plenty of questions to resolve and the odd unexpected twist. The entire book is told in the first person from Olivia’s point of view, and the author does an excellent job of capturing her shy personality and feelings of awkwardness. This made her relatable in some ways and there is an effective contrast made between her and Natasha, who by comparison is larger than life. Despite everything she encounters and the influence Natasha has on her, Olivia’s heart is always in the right place and we get a further insight into her thoughts with the observations that are written in brackets. Natasha’s exuberance is clear to see right from the start, but as soon as she actually meets Olivia and her family in Spain doubts about her true nature creep in and she always comes across as deceitful. All the magic tricks, fortune-telling, and her supposed ability to communicate with the dead were part of the mystery surrounding her, but for me this did get a bit too strange and also slightly tiresome. However, she is not the only character who is hiding something. Olivia’s parents have also not been totally honest with her during her lifetime even though they seem like good people, and the sub-plot about Violet was as fascinating as it was enduring. My favourite member of the supporting cast meanwhile was Zoe, who was really kind and her relationship with Olivia becomes adorable. The fast pace of the story means many of the settings are experienced without pausing for breath, but in spite of that the author still manages to pack in an impressive amount of detail and give everywhere a sense of place. I especially felt transported to the serene atmosphere of Moralzarzal and also the lavish hotel where Olivia and Natasha stay when they arrive in Paris. In terms of the ending, a lot happens in a short space of time but this part of the book was rarely anything less than entertaining. There were one or two revelations which I did not see coming and some things are left to the reader to make their own interpretation, but for Olivia it turns into a journey of understanding and self-discovery. Overall, there are a number of ideas and concepts involved in this story and they have varying degrees of success. The writing is good with Olivia’s perspective more or less spot on, and Emily Barr once again spoils us with the exotic settings. Quite whether the end of the world plotline works well is open to debate, but what cannot be denied is that it does provide an added dimension.

  17. 5 out of 5

    cafeyre

    What would you do if one day you discover that you have nine months left? Not because of a disease, but because all humankind and other species will extinct. When news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth and that it’s too late to repair it Olivia discovers that it is the time for her to start living her life. She was always a shy person who preferred to stay at home than socialize with people. Her social anxiety was always standing in her way to make new friends or tell the gir What would you do if one day you discover that you have nine months left? Not because of a disease, but because all humankind and other species will extinct. When news breaks that humans have done such damage to the earth and that it’s too late to repair it Olivia discovers that it is the time for her to start living her life. She was always a shy person who preferred to stay at home than socialize with people. Her social anxiety was always standing in her way to make new friends or tell the girls she loves about her feelings. Now she needs to decide if she will spend her last months living in a way she did before or be brave and live her life as fully as she can. However, it’s not as easy as it’s said. Out of blue, she discovers that she has a long-lost cousin that she didn’t even know existed. She decides to contact her, and their relations get closer each day. Natasha is everything Olivia always wanted to be. Her ease and self-confidence affect Libby, that she trusts everything she says. She convinces her that she is the only person that can help her to make her life better. However, when she joins Olivia and her family on the family trip, she realizes that Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be. BOOK REVIEW It’s a little bit hard for me to review this book since I was prepared for a completely different story than that. I thought it will be written more in a dystopian way, however, it was a more teen contemporary novel. As much as I enjoyed this book, I was also a little bit disappointed. I think the story overall is very well written, the plot interesting and the mystery very well structured. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I will like the main character Olivia, however, it’s only because I didn’t see all the qualities that we can learn about her throughout the book. I loved to watch her open and grow up. She changed a lot thanks to Natasha, and as much as she hurt her at the end I think it was kind of worth it. She broke the limits and finally started living. She spent her summer abroad learning how to forget about her fear. I really enjoyed her and Natasha running through Madrid and Paris and showing the magic tricks to people. Honestly, I would like to do it myself. Just run away to a nice city and perform to make money for hotels and food. Well, as good as it sounds, I knew from the start that there was something wrong with Natasha. There were a lot of signs on the way that were screaming at Libby “Run”. I was so surprised that her parents let her go with her to Madrid and then Paris when they knew that there was something wrong. I think this was one of these moments in the book that I could not understand, it was just so stupid. Besides, Natasha was a very sneaky person that knows how to sell her lies. On one side I dislike her for what she did to Libby for the faults of Natasha’s father. I could feel the anxiety coming from Olivia after what Natasha did to her. If I would be in her place, I would die from a heart attack. It would be so terrifying. However, there was this one side that even I wanted to believe that she is there with Olivia just because she wants to get to know her better. I wanted her to be like a sister to her because Libby deserves to have more people that love her in her life. The aspect of the end of the world situation was shown in this book from the perspective of “how people would behave if they know that they have only nine months left. I think that even if the chaos I expected to find in this book wasn’t there, the whole situation hit me hard. Especially in the situations when many species just started dying. This kind of situation opens your eyes because you can clearly see that there’s no coming back, no solution that will help you to survive. It was a very interesting background to show the change in the person. However, it’s very upsetting that when Olivia finally gets to the point she wants to live, she loses her time for a person that only wants to trick her, instead of with people that she loves. I would like to thank TheWriteReads, Emily Barr, and Penguin for inviting me to join this tour. I was enjoying reading this book a lot and I was happy to review it. I hope you guys enjoyed my review and will read this book yourself soon.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Louise

    Part eco-thriller, part mystery and part coming-of-age tale, Emily Barr’s Things to Do Before the End of the World is an odd book to categorise but, in spite of that, a compelling one to read. As the title suggests, Things to Do Before the End of the World takes place in a near future setting where humanity’s negligence has resulted in potentially irreversible environmental catastrophe. Melting polar ice caps and the subsequent rise in carbon dioxide levels is going to wipe out the majority of li Part eco-thriller, part mystery and part coming-of-age tale, Emily Barr’s Things to Do Before the End of the World is an odd book to categorise but, in spite of that, a compelling one to read. As the title suggests, Things to Do Before the End of the World takes place in a near future setting where humanity’s negligence has resulted in potentially irreversible environmental catastrophe. Melting polar ice caps and the subsequent rise in carbon dioxide levels is going to wipe out the majority of life on earth and, as the novel opens, its main character Olivia is having to come to terms with the fact that not only will the world most likely end but, more specifically, it is going to do so in precisely nine month’s time. Which rather puts her inability to socialise with her classmates at the school dance and her worries about her exams into perspective. Olivia – or Libby as she tends to be called – is shy, awkward and suffers from almost crippling social anxiety. Adept at planning out conversations and dreams in her head, she struggles to enact these in real life. Hence why despite her eloquently composed emails to the girl of her dreams, they’re going to sit unread in her drafts for what will quite possibly be the rest of Libby’s life. Until, that is, Natasha turns up. Confident, easy-going, and extroverted, Libby’s long-lost cousin is everything that Libby isn’t – and everything she wants to be. So when Natasha proposes an all-out ‘end of the world’ road trip, Libby decides to throw caution to the wind and go out to explore the world she feels like she’s been hiding from her whole life. But is Natasha everything she claims to be? Or are there secrets to be discovered before the end of the world? There is quite a lot going on in Things to Do Before the End of the World – possibly a little too much at times if I’m honest. Starting out with the imminent threat of ‘The Creep’ (as the rising levels of carbon dioxide come to be called), the book takes a turn into more comfortably YA ‘coming-of-age’ territory with an increasing focus on Libby’s insecurities and her budding romance, then switches modes into a Pretty Little Liars-style thriller/mystery as Libby’s doubts about Natasha develop, before ending back as a ‘coming-of-age’ story as Libby discovers the truth behind all the mysteries. Whilst all of these strands are interesting in and of themselves, the sudden lurches in tone were occasionally jarring and I did feel that some of the most interesting elements of the premise – most notably the threat of the ‘The Creep’ – were side-lined as the story continued in favour of more well-worn tropes such as the thriller and romance elements. That isn’t to say that Things to Do Before the End of the World isn’t an enjoyable read however. I rattled through it over the course of a couple of evenings and very much enjoyed my time with it. Libby makes for a likeable and interesting protagonist and the development of her unease about Natasha and her motives adds a creeping sense of unease to the proceedings that ensured the pages kept turning. But the ending did feel a tad rushed – with such a lot going on, there was a lot to wrap up – and whilst the ‘end of the world’ premise added a unique and interesting backdrop, I felt that element – emphasised quite heavily in the blurb and at the beginning of the novel – was underutilised in the rest of the story. That said, the ending does manage to be both heart-warming and poignant – no mean feat given the many layers and complexities of the plot – and I did really enjoy seeing the way in which Libby develops as a character over the course of the book. Offering plenty of drama and suspense and with a premise that, whilst not wholly realised for me, added an additional layer of complication to the well-trodden YA ‘coming-of-age’ narrative, Things to Do Before the End of the World makes for an interesting and unique addition to the YA thriller genre – and a fantastic way to while away some summer evenings or a sunny weekend! NB: This review appears on my blog at https://theshelfofunreadbooks.wordpre... as part of the blog tour for the book. My thanks go to the publisher and to Netgalley UK for providing an ecopy in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Snell

    Who knew that YA pre-apocalyptic thriller was a genre I was missing? Apparently Emily Barr did because that was something I've never read before, and I found myself getting really into it!! I'll be honest, I was expecting to be sceptical about this book. I was anticipating more YA 'finding yourself' story than thriller. Even better, the thriller part of the story very slowly creeps up on you. You know that something isn't quite right but, with something like the end of the world coming, you can Who knew that YA pre-apocalyptic thriller was a genre I was missing? Apparently Emily Barr did because that was something I've never read before, and I found myself getting really into it!! I'll be honest, I was expecting to be sceptical about this book. I was anticipating more YA 'finding yourself' story than thriller. Even better, the thriller part of the story very slowly creeps up on you. You know that something isn't quite right but, with something like the end of the world coming, you can imagine why someone might overlook some of the obvious tells ... In fact, all of those elements - of the teenager who is cripplingly shy and anxious and is desperate to be a slightly different person but doesn't know how, the backdrop of the end of times creeping ever closer, and the young woman who isn't quite what she seems - somehow work perfectly together. The author is playing her own game of smoke and mirrors and misdirection by presenting all of these elements together so that you are so overwhelmed by what appears to be going on, that you miss everything else. And I've got to say, that's some pretty clever writing. The impending apocalypse - the melting of the permafrosts and the irreversible end of a breathable atmosphere - and the world's reaction to time ticking away is also frighteningly believable. The majority of people are going about their daily lives, because perhaps the problem will be resolved before time is up, and what else can you do anyway? There seems to be a collective decision made that the last few months will be one epic 'see the world' party, but until then you go to school and you work each day and you hope it won't really happen. Libby's own growth throughout the story is surprising and steady. Thanks to the arrival of her estranged cousin she is being forced to come out of her shell; to learn slight of hand street magic, to talk with people, to stand up for herself. But can she use those skills when it really matters? And when being with the people you love matters more than everything else? Although the end of the world should be taking precedence, Libby's time with her family starts to raise questions - why is her mum distrustful of her cousin Natasha? Who is Violet? What happened between Libby and Natasha's dads? I can't really go into explaining the plot without giving it away. But it has TWISTS. Just like the end of the world (The Creep) these twists creep up on you too - you sort of know that they are there, and then bam! Surprise! I would have liked to have seen more of the pre-apocalyptic element - we see some signs of the end of times, but a lot of people also seem to be behaving rationally and calmly. There is talk of looting and fires and rioting, but we don't see those as much as you might expect, particularly given that there are a lot of scenes set in Madrid, Paris and finally London. I can understand why we don't - Libby herself is actively trying to avoid knowing anything, her mum and stepdad are trying to keep her calm and happy and, with everything going on with her and Natasha, she would be quite distracted ... but still, I would have liked a little more. But I also loved the UK setting - the references to college and Sixth Form. It all just made sense and (for this Brit reader) made the whole apocalypse feel understated and understandable. A really pleasing 4.5 stars (rounded down to 4) for this book! I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley, the publishers and The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bobby

    "I never worked out how to be myself in a way that I could bear. I never knew how to trust the world when it was outside my control." I really quite enjoyed another of Emily Barr's books, The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods, which was released in 2019 and one I was approved for on Netgalley (you can check out my review for that book here) so when I spotted her new release on there I knew I had to request it. Things to Do Before the End of the World is a mash-up of genres. The kind of overlyi "I never worked out how to be myself in a way that I could bear. I never knew how to trust the world when it was outside my control." I really quite enjoyed another of Emily Barr's books, The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods, which was released in 2019 and one I was approved for on Netgalley (you can check out my review for that book here) so when I spotted her new release on there I knew I had to request it. Things to Do Before the End of the World is a mash-up of genres. The kind of overlying theme is that the world is essentially ending pretty soon. Like in 9 months soon. Our main character Libby is a shy teenager who is struggling with her feelings for another girl at school and now has to deal with the fact that everything could be over in a matter of months. Adding to this her long lost cousin appears suddenly in her life and takes her under her wing, giving her a list of things to do before the world ends in the hopes of boosting her confidence. So we've got a sci-fi/dystopian kind of set up, with some contemporary themes regarding the characters but with a few thriller elements thrown in for good fun as well. Somehow it does manage to work though and whilst for the majority of the story it mainly feels like a contemporary, those other elements ramp up the stakes and intrigue of the plot. The world ending debacle is definitely a background portion of this as a way to set up other parts sort of like a chain reaction but I kind of liked that it wasn't the main focus as it allowed for the plot to move forward but not overshadow anything else. I also liked the settings too, the way the story moved from Winchester to Madrid to Paris, Barr did a great job of bringing those cities to life on the page. Libby is an interesting character, one that I can see some people being frustrated with due to her naivete and her trusting nature. I found a lot of my teenage self in her though, her struggle to show herself to the world and her natural instinct to retreat from any kind of social scene. We also both did school plays! I wasn't overly sold on her character as I felt she was maybe a bit too subservient but by the end I was really attached and fairly protective over her. It's difficult to talk about her cousin Natasha's character without giving away spoilers so I'll just say that she definitely brought the entertainment factor to this book. It was fun to read about the two of them running around Madrid and Paris performing magic tricks for money, if only it could've stayed that way! My main issues were with the pacing. In the first half we jump forward in time a fair bit. We go from December to July within about 100 pages, everything happening in those months goes by so quickly. Whereas in the second half we're pretty much solely in the month of August and the time period is over two or three weeks. I also felt that nothing much happens in the first three quarters of this book whilst it's setting up the characters and the relationship between Libby and Natasha, it was just dragging so much. It does redeem itself in the last quarter though as that's where things really get going and suddenly I was racing through in order to find out how it ends. It also targeted my anxiety so much, my heart was racing at the situation Libby found herself in. I could be persuaded to up my rating by half a star but I just didn't find myself invested in the storyline or the characters up until that last section. Barr is a great YA writer though who does a terrific job of blending contemporary with different genres and I'd be up for reading more of her work in the future as well as one of her previous books that I already own. * I received an ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes included in this review are subject to change. Massive thank you to Penguin for providing me with a copy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aviâja

    I received this as an ARC via NetGalley, but this has in no way had an impact on my review. Things to do Before the End of the World - a YA apocalyptic thriller - written by Emily Barr who is well-known for her YA writings. This is my first time reading a book of her's, and honestly, I am not sure what to think of it. Libby is a young teen girl who is very introverted and does not have high thoughts of herself as a person. The moment we step into the story we're presented with the date for the end I received this as an ARC via NetGalley, but this has in no way had an impact on my review. Things to do Before the End of the World - a YA apocalyptic thriller - written by Emily Barr who is well-known for her YA writings. This is my first time reading a book of her's, and honestly, I am not sure what to think of it. Libby is a young teen girl who is very introverted and does not have high thoughts of herself as a person. The moment we step into the story we're presented with the date for the end of the world, and this is when Libby decides that she'll try and live her life. Joining the theatre group and interacting with Zoe - her crush - is a great start. Libby's estranged uncle dies in a traffic incident and here she comes in contact with her cousin, Natasha, whom she didn't know existed. Several times throughout the beginning, we are introduced to the idea that Libby has wanted a sibling close to her age, instead of her two half-siblings on her father's side who are both toddlers. She wishes that she had someone that could look out for her as her little sister looks out for their little brother. She speculates, that if she had had a big sister she would have been a different person today. Someone she'd like to be. So when Natasha shows up, it's almost as if her wish has been granted. Natasha challenges Libby to get out of her shell, but there is something off about the cousin - which Libby overlooks both in the excitement of having someone looking out for her and the impending doom that is the end of the world. Getting into this story, I was under the impression that the end of the world would be more important for the story, but it feels more like a backdrop for a YA thriller. The thing is, even though the end of the world isn't the main part of the plot it still takes up a lot of space in the story. There are interactions between Libby and Natasha, but we're already halfway through the book when they finally get to meet each other IRL. At least, that's how it feels. The first half feels like a filler episode we get before the plot-filled episode. I'm not sure if it's due to the writing style, but I did feel like I was just waiting for things to happen. We get a lot of plot and actions in the last 1/3 of the book which I really enjoyed. It was here I wouldn't put the book down until I had gone to the end (no pun intended). But the ending itself just happened so quickly and I would have liked to get more of an opportunity to enjoy the end. The ending was still satisfying and tied up the story very well - it just felt rushed. I thought the end of the world would be more important, but it serves as a backdrop of a coming-of-age story mixed with a thriller. This is probably why I didn't enjoy the book as much as I could, my expectations for the book might have ruined it a bit for me. Sidenote: I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the cover definitely gave me a 28 Days Later vibe, which has affected my expectations of what kind of book I was getting. If you want to read a coming-of-age story mixed with a thriller I definitely will recommend this book for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Louise (Bookmarks and Stages blog Cannon

    Curtains up for a production of Romeo and Juliet, echoing the final scenes. It sets the scene for the rest of the book rather well in a temper of melancholy, in a way that makes you want to hug Olivia and then look her directly in the eye to tell her to go on the adventure to discover the family she never knew she had, until now. It is a weighty book, full of teenage angst and emotion, that her mum tries to assist with and tries to convince her to seek some extra guidance with all her social anxi Curtains up for a production of Romeo and Juliet, echoing the final scenes. It sets the scene for the rest of the book rather well in a temper of melancholy, in a way that makes you want to hug Olivia and then look her directly in the eye to tell her to go on the adventure to discover the family she never knew she had, until now. It is a weighty book, full of teenage angst and emotion, that her mum tries to assist with and tries to convince her to seek some extra guidance with all her social anxieties. I kept hoping for something uplifting and hopeful within the book, something that would seem to have Olivia on-track with life, instead of seeing her feel like she is clipped and heaved back with her social anxieties. It takes some time, but seek and you will find some positivity, some of it in the form of Natasha, who befriends Olivia, who eeks her outside of her innerself. The clever part isn't so much in the text within the text in each chapter, but the chapter headings themselves. That's where the "Things To Do Before The End of The World" really are, as they pointedly start to give readers a list that screams to do something and to live life. That's where the uplifting signs come from (except "Runaway". I wouldn't advocate anyone does that and "Don't Trust Anyone", although it does all fit well within the story). Some are also sensible and will be thought-provoking to teenagers as it reminds them to think about not wasting their time in education and also to think about their mum (or whoever takes care of them). The chapter headings really excited me, once I clocked onto what they were doing. These are what, more than anything, show teens about how to "live their best life", in a guidance sort of way. As for the story itself, teens will be able to relate, but I have to say, I had a bit of a heavy heart to begin with, when reading it as I waded through much negativity about the world, but there is a turning point and my heart somewhat lightened. It is all there and these elements stand out more than most. On the other-hand it shows what living with anxiety can do to a person and their views on the world. There are some pretty dark elements however, about hoping to be in contact with the dead and "playing" with tarot cards. The travel between Spain and France provides a bit of light relief and elements of that fun with the shows they see, the fashion and some of things the friends get up to and the plans they want to make. This does help turn a corner in the story and it starts to show some uplifting elements. It also has some realism of how life just isn't all a straight line and there are ups and downs and some curveballs, but  and in someways this is a positive in a world where people have come to expect life to be either all up or all down and in reality its a whole mixture. I think it will provide some thought-provoking elements for teenagers to hopefully be careful when they are abroad, but also to have some fun there and at home and to realise the world isn't all bleak.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    Whilst I was incredibly intrigued by the summary, at first I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about Libby and the whole situation, however, before I knew it, I had devoured the entire book within two hours! I was so gripped by Libby and her cousin, Natasha, as well as whether the world would truly end on the 17th September that I just couldn’t bring myself to put it down or go to sleep until I had finished the book. Libby is an incredibly shy 17-year-old who has been struggling to find herself or wh Whilst I was incredibly intrigued by the summary, at first I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about Libby and the whole situation, however, before I knew it, I had devoured the entire book within two hours! I was so gripped by Libby and her cousin, Natasha, as well as whether the world would truly end on the 17th September that I just couldn’t bring myself to put it down or go to sleep until I had finished the book. Libby is an incredibly shy 17-year-old who has been struggling to find herself or where she belongs, and now she has the added pressure of the fact that she may only have nine months to live before ‘the Creep’ poisons the atmosphere. I liked that, although she tried to push herself out of her comfort zone when she first came to terms with ‘the Creep’, that her personality didn’t change completely. She was still shy and still struggling. This felt much more realistic and caused me to feel much more endeared to Libby. Despite this she was still trying her best to become the person that she wanted to be, so much so that when she found out she had a cousin around her age that she enlisted her help in becoming more confident. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Natasha from the start, there was just something ever so slightly off about her and in her interactions with Libby, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. She seemed very kind and very helpful, and although she just lost her Dad, she didn’t seem to be that affected by it. However, everyone grieves differently so it was impossible to tell what was really going on. When Libby and Natasha were finally able to meet, I loved seeing the two interact together and to see how different they both were. It was nice to see someone cheer Libby on even if I was questioning her motives a lot of the time. Libby seemed to be becoming more confident which was lovely to see. The mystery surrounding Natasha truly kept me gripped, the way Barr presented her was done so cleverly, in a way where you were constantly second guessing yourself. Is there more to her than we think or is she just thrilled to find family before the world ends? I also enjoyed the way that Barr tackled the subject of ‘the Creep’ – it was always there in the background, getting closer, but never completely the sole focus which lived up to its moniker. The pacing of the novel was also incredibly well done. I liked how we would miss chunks of time but still understand what happened in that time. I thought it was a great way to show how insignificant the time they have left is and how quickly it flies by, regardless of whether you are doing everything you can to ensure survival or by living the best life you can in the time that you have left. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and it had so many layers and depths to it that I wasn’t initially expecting that made it such a captivating read. It is also a great take on the current climate crisis and has the ability to really get readers to take notice of one of the many possibilities, regardless of how terrifying they might be.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Have you ever wondered what you would do if you knew the world would end of a specific date? Well Olivia Lewis - better known as Libby - had never really considered it, but on the 12th December, the truth is revealed - humans have destroyed the planet so much, than the permafrost will have completed melted by September 17th, and will release toxic fumes in the air that will kill everyone and e I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Have you ever wondered what you would do if you knew the world would end of a specific date? Well Olivia Lewis - better known as Libby - had never really considered it, but on the 12th December, the truth is revealed - humans have destroyed the planet so much, than the permafrost will have completed melted by September 17th, and will release toxic fumes in the air that will kill everyone and everything. Now that she knows about 'the Creep', Libby is determined to live her best life - including performing as Juliet on stage, and telling the girl she likes the truth. But, when a long lost cousin comes out of the woodwork, and wants to meet up in Europe before it's too late, will Libby trust her gut that not everything about Natasha seems right, or has she gone too far? Alright, so I hadn't heard anything about this book until the blog tour invite came in, and I was intrigued. I'm not a lover of thrillers, but I guess I enjoyed it this time around. Libby was seventeen, and discovering that life for everyone would be over in just nine months times was a shocker to say the least. She starts to shake off some of her more introverted aspects, and branch out - especially when it came to her acting - and I loved seeing her growth in that way. That being said, I never really grew to love Libby, so wasn't overly invested in the story if I'm telling the truth. The idea of the world ending on a specific date was compelling, as was the explanation; we all know climate change is killing the planet, and the permafrost is hiding some pretty nasty things, so I appreciated the way Barr incorporated this into the story, but because of Libby's characterisation, she wasn't really looking into the scientific aspects of the 'Creep', and I would've liked more of that. Her family, especially her mother and step-father, who took her to Spain for the summer, were lovely, and though her dad wasn't as hands on - partially because he had two little ones at home to keep an eye on - he really came through for her at the end when she needed him. Now, turning to Natasha, it was clear from the started that something was up with her, and I never trusted the story she came out with. I also didn't like the way she pushed Libby, nor the way she was adamant they needed to pretend to be sisters - or rather twins. It was clear this was going to come to bite them later on, and Libby was a little too naive to be caught up in it all. I can understand why she was, but she needed to trust her gut a lot more than she did in reality. Also, the speaking with spirits, and fleecing strangers for money bit, always felt like an act for me, and was another way I really disliked Natasha. All in all, this was an okay read, though I wanted some more meat to the story if I'm truthful. It had all the building blocks, but was lacking something for me to give it more than three stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    Thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads, the publisher, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! 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 vi Thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads, the publisher, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! 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!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    3.5 stars I wasn’t really expecting much when I picked up this book, as I said, this isn’t my genre. It surprised me that I didn’t hate it at the end. The concept of the “end of the world” in this book is a bit new to me. I haven’t read anything with a concept like “The Creep,” or maybe I just don’t read enough apocalyptic stories. But one reason it’s new to me is because, well, it’s not virus. This ‘end of times’ element of the story kind of pushed into the background. Along the way, it became ju 3.5 stars I wasn’t really expecting much when I picked up this book, as I said, this isn’t my genre. It surprised me that I didn’t hate it at the end. The concept of the “end of the world” in this book is a bit new to me. I haven’t read anything with a concept like “The Creep,” or maybe I just don’t read enough apocalyptic stories. But one reason it’s new to me is because, well, it’s not virus. This ‘end of times’ element of the story kind of pushed into the background. Along the way, it became just a backdrop to make way for Libby’s, the main character, part of the plot. That make sense because the title itself points to things to do before the end of the world, thus the story is focused on things Libby will do. Libby is someone we already met before in other young adult contemporaries. She is shy and is trying to find her place and voice and confidence to maybe at least talk to her crush at school. And this end of the world thing pushed her to do the things she must or have always wanted to do but didn’t have the guts to do so before. Enter, Natasha, Libby’s cousin that she never knew. With Natasha’s help, Libby’s life is turning into different directions. But Natasha also isn’t what she appears to be. Which brings me to the thriller aspect of the story. It came a little bit late, to be honest. The devices used aren’t that new to me but that’s not an issue to me. I do think that they’re not enough to label this book a thriller. This book lacks the right devices to make the readers thrilled and, you know, surprised by the supposed reveals. As for the settings, Libby was in three countries, if I’m not mistaken – England, Spain and France. The reason I am not sure because I didn’t really feel immersed in those places. Maybe it’s the lack of description or maybe it’s because, for me, this book will still be the same even if it only happens in one country. I just had that feeling. So far, it sounds like I don’t like this book. I do like this book. I didn’t get bored reading it. I finished it in one go – this doesn’t say anything because I usually finish reading books in one sitting. But anyway, this book has its own charms as well. I think the family aspect is heartwarming. Most importantly, this book will make you think. In fact, just after reading the title, I felt like making some list of things I will do not before the end of the world but before I die. Despite my issues with this book, I still enjoyed it. As I said, I read it in one sitting. I am also sure that more readers will enjoy this even more than I did.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I love Emily Barr’s adult books. I really do. I find them gripping and I love the travel aspect of the thrillers she wrote in years gone by. I’ve devoured each one and champion her books to friends and family, who’ve enjoyed them alongside me. But I’m really not too sure about her foray into the YA genre. Things To Do Before The End Of The World has those travel aspects which I love about her. Set in England, Spain and France, our protagonist Olivia is a shy late teen, struggling to find her voi I love Emily Barr’s adult books. I really do. I find them gripping and I love the travel aspect of the thrillers she wrote in years gone by. I’ve devoured each one and champion her books to friends and family, who’ve enjoyed them alongside me. But I’m really not too sure about her foray into the YA genre. Things To Do Before The End Of The World has those travel aspects which I love about her. Set in England, Spain and France, our protagonist Olivia is a shy late teen, struggling to find her voice. She comes from a split family background, and is awkward and finds it hard to talk to people. The book starts as she pushes herself to audition for a play, starring as Juliet, alongside her crush Zoe (not currently single), who plays Romeo. She then discovers she has a cousin from the US, who subsequently sets her more challenges to get her to overcome her nerves. She then meets Natasha in Spain and travel together, doing street magic and palmistry which Natasha teaches to Olivia. But predictably secrets are revealed along the way. The end of the world thing doesn’t really work for me. It’s a terrifying idea, which I doubt many YA’s would enjoy, especially in the pandemic world we currently live in - which is scary enough in itself to get your head around. I have a 15 year old daughter, and while I know she would enjoy the thriller side of the travel story, would struggle with the idea of The Creep (where the world is running out of oxygen), and the death of birds and dogs and other animals described. I won’t be sharing this one with her for this reason. For me The Creep and the death of humankind just wasn’t really believable. It could have been so much better as an adult themed novel, with more realistic situations. Tamed for the YA market perhaps, the story just had too many holes in it. I enjoyed the book however, but only by glossing over the voice in my head telling me that people just wouldn’t behave like the author describes. It won’t put me off reading more of Emily Barr’s books though. She has an easy writing style, and I would recommend the book to the person who could deal with the topic in the current climate. However not if you question what you’re reading maybe! Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (jenjenreviews)

    For a list of trigger/content warnings, representation, and tropes for this book, see its page on booktriggerwarnings.com. Thank you so much to The Write Reads, Penguin, and Emily Barr, for allowing me to be part of this experience and for providing me with a complimentary digital copy in exchange for an honest review! Before I get started, I want to give a fair warning–something many other bloggers stated in their reviews–that this isn’t your normal apocalypse thriller. The book does starts out w For a list of trigger/content warnings, representation, and tropes for this book, see its page on booktriggerwarnings.com. Thank you so much to The Write Reads, Penguin, and Emily Barr, for allowing me to be part of this experience and for providing me with a complimentary digital copy in exchange for an honest review! Before I get started, I want to give a fair warning–something many other bloggers stated in their reviews–that this isn’t your normal apocalypse thriller. The book does starts out with a newsflash that the atmosphere is going to become uninhabitable in less than a year due to human’s lack of care about their effect on the environment (sounds about right). But in a twist of events, humans have no idea what to do now that they’ve been confronted with their shortened life-span, so people kind of just decide to go about their lives exactly the same way as before, albeit with a few more risks, parties, and vacations thrown into the mix. Rather than being a story about humanity falling apart at the end of the world, the plot instead focuses on a 17 year old girl, Olivia (Libby), who is desperate to break from her shell and truly live her life before she dies. She meets Natasha, a cousin she didn’t know existed, and takes off on a series of adventures that Natasha cooks up. As Libby gains more self-confidence, she begins to learn that her family tree is full of dark secrets. Why didn’t anyone tell her about her estranged cousin? What aren’t her parents telling her about their pasts? Is Natasha really as amazing as she seems to be? While the book took a while to get started (the first 50% or so reads more like a contemporary than a thriller), the story continues with a second-half that kept me hooked and anxious to read more. I enjoyed the writing quite a lot (Barr embodied the teenage mind well), and somehow the plot managed to be both predictable and unpredictable at the same time. There are several plot points that are pretty obvious, yet Emily Barr kept throwing twists at me that I never even thought about. Overall, I’m highly impressed with this book. I’ll admit that there were multiple aspects I didn’t like (unnecessary secrets, lack of parental authority, what I felt was a needless romance side story), but once I got to the end, I didn’t at all care. I was so caught up in how much I was enjoying the ride, that I completely forgot about any bumps I experienced along the way. I’m definitely going to look into reading more Emily Barr books in the future! I’ve heard great things!

  29. 5 out of 5

    B.S. Casey

    "What do you do at the end of the world? 1. Live your best life 2. Uncover family secrets 3. Trust no-one." Olivia was avoiding the Christmas party when she got the news - the end of the world was really coming. She thought the only things she had to worry about were not having the guts to talk to the girl she liked and being too scared to audition for Juliet in the play, but none of that mattered now. Humans have done so much irreversible damage to the planet that breathable air is running out - sc "What do you do at the end of the world? 1. Live your best life 2. Uncover family secrets 3. Trust no-one." Olivia was avoiding the Christmas party when she got the news - the end of the world was really coming. She thought the only things she had to worry about were not having the guts to talk to the girl she liked and being too scared to audition for Juliet in the play, but none of that mattered now. Humans have done so much irreversible damage to the planet that breathable air is running out - scientists estimate a year at most before Earth is altogether unliveable. Olivia thought she had all the time in the world to figure out who she wants to be and what she wants to do but now she's struggling to do anything. Until she meets Natasha - a long lost cousin who wants to reconnect with her family while she still can. She's amazing - beautiful, confident and so sure about who she is that it's giving Olivia hope in a hopeless world. As the two meet up to enjoy one last summer together, Olivia finds there's more nightmares coming her way than just mass extinction. "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." Things to Do Before the End of the World was a visceral, vibrant story about the end times that had such a unique charm and had me hooked. This was a strange version of the usual apocalypse stories that focused not on the end of the world itself, but the journey there. About the strange human tendencies to ignore and hide, about the things we do to cope; denial, religion, spiritualism, fighting and eventually acceptance. Olivia was a nervous, quiet soul who resonated with me immediately - she was so relatable and loveable that I would love to have her as a my friend in the end of days. She found a way to find true beauty in the world and try to savour every moment as well as she could. Hauntingly beautiful, wickedly sharp and devastatingly fun - this book is going to be living rent-free in my head quite possibly until the world ends. RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank you to Emily Barr, Penguin Random House UK and Netgalley for a reviews copy in return for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. I have a full spoiler free review of this book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w2Fx... This is a YA thriller, however I wouldn't pick this book up if you were looking for the thriller aspect alone as the thriller aspect only even starts to build around forty percent onwards in my opinion. I loved the premise behind this book, and this is what originally tempted me to pick it up. I think the end of the world idea I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. I have a full spoiler free review of this book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w2Fx... This is a YA thriller, however I wouldn't pick this book up if you were looking for the thriller aspect alone as the thriller aspect only even starts to build around forty percent onwards in my opinion. I loved the premise behind this book, and this is what originally tempted me to pick it up. I think the end of the world idea is fascinating, and that looking at human behaviour and different coping mechanisms would make for a great thriller storyline. However, the thriller side of things more follows another thread of storyline that is interlinked with the world ending. I didn't always enjoy the thriller side of things. I found the pacing to occasionally be a bit off, and the plot slightly silly and ridiculous. Yet I cannot deny that there was something about the writing that kept me going regardless. I can't remember the last time a book left me so torn. I didn't just struggle with pacing issues and hatred for storyline but also for feeling like the first twenty percent felt like ticking boxes. You name it and practically any kind of diversity or representation popped up, to a ridiculous and unbelievable extent. If it had felt authentic, I'd have been all for it, as it was it just felt too much. This isn't to say that there weren't wonderful diversity aspects in this book, as there were, just the first twenty percent came on a bit too strong. This all makes it sound like I didn't love this book, when truly I did. I think this book will stay with me for a long time to come. It gave me lots to think about, both in terms of what I would want to do if I were in that situation. What would I have done at that age in that situation would be an even more interesting direction. Meanwhile thoughts about our own mortality and how humans deal with that was touched upon regularly. Also the themes of family were at times incredibly heartwarming in this, and just incredibly wholesome at times. This is highly worth checking out, I just exercise caution that you may end up having a love hate relationship with this book too.

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