I really wanted to like Rules of Rain by Leah Scheier… I did, but I just could not. I almost fell into a reading slump after this book, but luckily I was able to pick something up that was interesting enough to keep me from slumping.
This book was really so-so for me. Rules of Rain tells the story of Rain and Ethan, who are twins. Rain feels an immense responsibility to take care of Ethan partially because he’s family and partially because he’s autistic. Rain feels that she has to be the one to take care of her brother through everything that life throws at them. Their parents divorce, their mother’s illness, bullies at school… it doesn’t matter. Rain is there for Ethan. That is until Ethan starts to want his independence. It is then that Rain realizes that the brother she’s spent her entire life protecting may not need her anymore, but she needs him more than ever.
First, I do want to go over some positives about this book because it does have them! The characters (with the exception of one which I will be getting into later) were interesting and likable. I think the side characters were the most interesting and if there had been some more focus on them, this book would have been way better. I also think that the character development from beginning to end was good. Both Ethan and Rain developed nicely by the end of the book. I also really enjoyed reading about how hard Ethan worked throughout this novel so he could achieve his dream. It can be hard to make the characters change for the better in only 300 pages, but I applaud Scheier for making it happen!
Another positive is the topic of this book. It features a main character with autism which isn’t something you see often in popular media. I am really glad that there are more books and media that feature autistic characters as of late (The Good Doctor on ABC as well as Atypical on Netflix are just a few recent examples). I want to read and see more media that features characters who aren’t neurotypical and Rules of Rain delivered on that.
Here’s where I’m going to get a bit negative. Rain. Rain got under my skin in the worst way at the beginning. I did not enjoy her as a character and while she did have great development, her point-of-view earlier in the novel really soured her for me. The biggest issue I had was that Rain was the narrator and the entire book went through her lens. Seeing things from Rain’s perspective really hampered my enjoyment of the other characters and development of this novel.
This book really did have a lot of promise for me. I truly that if it wasn’t told from Rain’s perspective (maybe third person, maybe from another character?), it would have been great.
I had to give it two and a half out stars because it did have some saving graces, but I just can’t stop thinking about how much I want to shake Rain in the beginning and tell her to cut it out.
I received a copy of Rules of Rain from SOURCEBOOKS Fire through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.