Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Posted September 25, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 2 Comments

Rain Reign by Ann M. MartinRain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Published by Feiwel and Friends on October 7th, 2014
Genres: contemporary, middle grade
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

Ann M. Martin is the author behind some of the best books of my childhood, The Babysitters’ Club. I haven’t read a book of hers since then, so I had no idea if I would still be able to connect to her writing. A lot of times authors from the old school of writing really throw me off with their style. There’s a lot of telling instead of showing, too much dialogue, etc. In the case of Rain Reign, I just didn’t care much.

The main character, Rose, is a child with high-functioning autism. Her voice is very unique, and that wasn’t my issue really. I think it was the whole homonym thing. It just really interrupted the flow of the narrative for me. Every time Rose found a new homophone ( I don’t know why she didn’t call them homophones because I never saw her call out a homograph, and homonyms can be both, so technically she had a fixation with homoPHONES not homonyms.)

But anyway. That was one thing that kept me from loving the book as much as I could. The other thing was the whole pet storyline. I cannot really talk about this without spoiling the book, so I will just say this: I don’t think the way the book ended was fair. Hasn’t this girl been through enough? View Spoiler »So it comes down to personal preference, and I did not like the direction of this book.

Honestly, I’m probably being too generous with my rating.

Not only did I not connect with the characters, but Rose’s father pissed me off the whole entire time. I know he was supposed to, but I don’t find child abuse entertaining either. There are topics I just don’t like reading about, and based on the blurb, I was expecting a story about a girl and her pet and the dog gets lost in a storm. That is partially what I got, but there were parts of the book I just didn’t care for.

And that’s why I’m rating it 3 stars. I don’t think it’s fair to one star a book just because it didn’t meet my expectations. It was a perfectly fine book…for the right person. Obviously my co-blogger Bekka liked it much more than I did. There was a lot of good here, and I am trying to be objective in my rating. But in the end, this book almost completely missed the mark for me.

That said, it will find a place in my husband’s classroom where I think kids will love it.

kara

2 responses to “Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

  1. I enjoyed this one. I didn’t love it, but I thought that it did a good job with the whole right/wrong thing. The whole homonym thing was a bit annoying, but to me, it was showing how much it was a part of her and that it was distracting. I passed this book on to my 8 year old neighbor and she loved it, and her 11 year old brother is reading it now. (He has high-functioning autism)

    Great review love. I’m sorry that the book didn’t quite work for you.
    Amy @ Book Loving Mom recently posted…Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. MartinMy Profile

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