Blog Tour Book Review: THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD by Emily Barr

I received an eARC as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest opinion. It has not affected my opinions.

Blog tour graphic: title on red next to image of book
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 3 stars
Series: standalone


Title in orange on red with black outlines of famous landmarks

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 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 a effect on her. But what if Natasha isn’t everything she first appears to be?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD is described as a thriller, but it felt a little more contemporary to me, which isn’t my cup of tea. Objectively, it’s a really nice read, with an intriguing premise, but ultimately, not my thing, so I will endeavour to ensure my review reflects that!

The idea of the world ending in 6 months was the thing that drew me to the book. While the situation is more exaggerated than real life, it still feels a bit too real given we ARE heading straight for a climate emergency. I could well image we do hit the point where we do only have a limited time, but I think there’d be a lot more also going on (like sea level rise which would have affected some of the book’s locations etc)

I liked how the book showed so many different reactions – which felt very realistic. There were those who were living life to the full/excessively with big parties and massive spending. Others were firmly denying anything was happening (clinging to the 30% chance it could be stopped). More were carrying on like normal to avoid being paralysed, and yet more were turning to faith, cycling through many as they tried to find something that could explain it all.

Natasha was an interesting character, and how it was very slowly peeled back until it all suddenly went wrong and then was quickly wrapped up and explained. It did feel like, as a whole, the book lacked a creeping sense of unease that grew. Perhaps it was because I was expecting it to be a thriller, and so to be more intense that I missed a lot of it. It did really feel like a contemporary at first, and walks the line between them – unlike the murder mystery (etc) thrillers I’m used to.

If it wasn’t for the blurb, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything was off until the midway point, and then probably written it off until the third act where she says something very suspicious that tips Libby off. It’s always strange to see how a blurb affects your reading of a book (and I think the “thriller” categorisation also came into play here.)

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review: THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD by Emily Barr

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