Blog Tour | Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr

TitleThings to Do Before the End of the World

ByEmily Barr



PublishedMay 6th, 2021


GenreYoung Adult – Contemporary – Thriller

Buy it: Book Depository | Amazon

What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most? You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?

Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.

But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . . 

| Goodreads |

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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.


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.


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About The Author

Emily Barr
I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels for adults, one novella, and three book for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.


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16 thoughts on “Blog Tour | Things to Do Before the End of the World by Emily Barr

  1. this book sounds interesting. i have mixed feelings about the authors work. some books i loved, some i found so boring. but i love her writing style. anyways, great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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