Feel the Rain [under] your skin…

Oof.

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. 

Is this the upside of falling down?

“It’s the upside of falling down”, Kieran says. “It’s why you jump in the first place… for that moment.”

The Upside of Falling Down, Rebekah Crane

I received a copy of The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane from Skyscape and Two Lions through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was the perfect palette cleanser. It was a light, quick read with a happy ending. The plot wasn’t groundbreaking and was, at times, a little formulaic, but I had fun while I was reading it.

The Upside of Falling Down is a boy-meets-girl story (more girl-meets-boy, but that’s semantics) about Clementine Haas, who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Ireland. Clementine wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is or what happened. During her stay in the hospital she meets Kieran O’Connell, a blue-eyed Irish boy who she can’t help but feel drawn to. Clementine, in an act of desperation, assumes the identity of “Jane” and dares Kieran to help her escape the hospital. Little does Kieran know, but “Jane” is trying to escape the life she forgot and forge a new life until she remembers who she is.

The first part of the novel is a little slow and I wish that the plot picked up faster than it did. A lot of the beginning was describing Clementine’s confusion and frustration with not knowing herself, but at the midway point is when the plot starts picking up. Crane weaves in memories of Clementine’s past life as Clementine is remembering them. I really liked this touch because it gave you some insight as to why Clementine was in Ireland in the first place and hints at who she was with.

My biggest complaint is that the twist at the end came in the second to last chapter which didn’t give the book enough time to wrap up without feeling rushed. I wish it had been revealed a little sooner so I could have enjoyed more of the resolution. However, I did enjoy the twist (wasn’t completely expecting it which is always a plus!) and thought it was a good way for the author to tie in Clementine’s old life with her new one.

Since I am sucker for romance and will happily admit I love boy-meets-girl novels, I really enjoyed this read. Knowing it was YA helped me overlook some of the far-fetched aspects of the plot and just let myself enjoy a cute love story with a really great meet-cute. Of course I was rooting for Clementine and Kieran to be happy in the end because their relationship was really cute and made me daydream about meet-cutes the way I used to in high school. I even I think I had a little crush on Kieran. I mean, c’mon, a gorgeous Irish boy with blue eyes who makes it his personal mission to help you? How could you say no?

Overall, I give it a three and a half out of five stars. It had a happy ending that wrapped up nicely and, while I wished it were earlier in the story, a twist that I wasn’t completely expecting. I would say this book would great when you want a quick read that you don’t have to focus on too much.

Pick up a copy when it comes out January 2018!

My dog is cruel (not really).

The best and worst thing your pet can do to you is make you comfortable during the work week.

This morning was so hard because my dog was cuddled up next to me which made me warm and comfortable. This led to me not wanting to get up for work and being very sad when I finally had to get up. Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling with my dog. It’s probably the time I’m at my happiest, but having to leave is painful. It was even more painful because my boyfriend gets to hang out with her all day since today was his day off.

Today has been a crazy day at work. From a presentation to technical issues with our automated email programs, I’ve been running mental laps all day. Not to mention I had to deal with airport traffic so my sister could visit my mom and her future school in Memphis. This crazy day is making me really look forward to when I can go home, put on some pajamas, and get back in bed with my dog to relax.

I’d really like to finish the book I’m reading right now (What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror by David Wong) because it’s hilarious and I want to get to a good start on this month of reading. I’ve loved this series (John Dies at the End) quite a bit. David Wong writes some of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read, but they’re also some of the most interesting books I’ve read. He has a very smart sense of humor and does a great job of making his characters come to life. If you like funny, sci-fi books, Wong’s books are definitely for you!

I’m also currently reading The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane since I received an electronic ARC from the published Skyscape and Two Lions through NetGalley for review. It’s pretty good so far! This book follows the story of Clementine Haas, who finds herself with a case of complete case of amnesia from a plane crash that she is the sole survivor of. Clementine feels lost and in exchange for her forgotten life begins a new one with a complete stranger, Kieran O’Connell.

I’m really looking forward to finishing both of the books and letting you guys know all about how they are and how you should probably read them, but for now… I have to get back to my day at work and hopefully finish it without going crazy.