“Before This is Over”

“Before This is Over” is not my usual type of book. For instance, I have no interest in books about deadly viruses and potential zombie outbreaks, not that this book had the latter, but it did have a deadly virus that confined one family to their home and everyone else to quarantine, if not death. When I picked up the book, it hooked me from the first few pages so I thought I’d give it a try.

There is a deadly virus called Manba spreading throughout the world, a virus that materializes itself in two days with symptoms of coughing, fever, headaches, and then death. Finally, it arrives on suburban mom Hannah’s doorstep. As Hannah is preparing for the worst, and even when the worst shows up, I thought that there would be a lot more tension, a lot more ZOINKS! if you will. Most of that feeling never materialized. For one, Hannah is the epitome of a helicopter mom and it gets annoying real fast. She is determined to do what it takes to protect her family, and while I understand “family first” but her behavior toward her elderly neighbor, the three-year-old girl, even the cat, was pretty awful. During the course of the novel, I found myself questioning her reasoning. I found her rude and it was though her worst side came out during the crisis.

I thought that the writer did a good job of setting the scene inside the house, of developing the claustrophobia that the family members felt being trapped altogether. I myself was going stir-crazy there with them. I really wanted more tension in the novel, for something to happen, and then when the end finally happened, it felt rushed. Like a loose end that needed to be tied up. I really wish that I was also able to see what happened in the outside world, that the scope of the story widened. While a compelling read, my interest began to read in the middle of the book, and I found myself skimming it just to learn what happens to the family.

Barnes and Noble e-mailed a 25% coupon. At first, I debated purchasing anything because I’d just gotten two new books from Book of the Month (The Chalk Artist and Eleanor Oliphant is Fine) but of course I bought two new books because I’m me. I ended up with Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker and The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of Civilizations. I’m not sure how I feel about the latter because I’m not sure how it’ll hold up over time, given all the new research coming out. I guess I better read it before it does! We watched Downsizing recently, which featured climate change and the end of the earth, which made me break out The Ends of the World, a book about the previous 5 mass extinctions, which I have to read too.

Earlier today, this girl I follow on Instagram posted a picture of a book with the caption: “Some millennials post pictures of their food. I do this.” Okay, well, ~high and mighty~, you can do both, you know?

I got two wisdom teeth taken out yesterday. I feel like garbage and also sad because I had tickets to a screening of Jumanji that I had to miss out on.