A dramatic new novel about the bond between a teen and her twin brother.
Rain has taken care of Ethan all of her life. Before she even knew what autism meant, she’s been her twin brother’s connection to the hostile world around him. She’s always prepared—when her father abandons them, when her mother gets sick, when Ethan is tortured by bullies from school—Rain is the reliable, stable one holding them all together. She’s both cautious carer and mad chef, preparing customized meals for her family and posting crazy recipes on her cooking blog.
Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and she’s sure that nothing will ever change—until one night when her world is turned upside down by a mistake she can’t take back. As her new romance with her long-time crush and her carefully constructed life begins to unravel, she discovers that the fragile brother whom she’s always protected has grown into a young man who no longer needs her. And now, for the first time, she finds that she needs him.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, published December 5th, 2017, in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
Rules of Rain is one of those books that would be perfectly right if it wasn’t so wrong, which isn’t the case for every book. I loved the premise, but was left wanting a lot more in the end.
The primary issue’s with the characters. Scheier set up the story so that each character has undeniable flaws and issues. Fine. It’s not pretty, but it creates room for character development later on. Where things started to get disappointing was when nothing got better over time. Ironically, things got worse.
Case in point: we meet Rain as a character who is fiercely defensive of her brother, only to find out that she resents her brother’s autism. Little by little, she makes statements to others repeatedly that stress her brother’s limitations and reject the reasonably well-adjusted person he’s turning out to be. In fact, at many points in the story, I wanted to defend Ethan from the things Rain said about him. Rain does turn around at the end of the story, but it wasn’t well-paced or believable.
The romance was another place where the story became disjointed, cliché, and repetitive. In a YA blogosphere that’s pushing so hard for every healthy theme in its romances, this book decides to pull out instalove, teen pregnancy, and a toxic relationship. #nothankyou
Overall, I was really anticipating this one for its autism and sibling dynamic but ended up being disappointed in the execution of it. In terms of literary value and representation, won’t recommend. 1 star.