Oct 10, 2014

Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Title: Rain Reign
Author: Ann M. Martin
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: 10.7.2014
Pages: 320
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

This is a review I have been agonizing over. And fair warning, it’s going to be a long one.

Let me start of by saying I’ve been a fan of Ann M. Martin from the BSC days. If you don’t know what the BSC is, then you have issues. BIG ones. My friends and I even started our own BSC when we were 11. So now that you know I’m already a lifelong fan of Martin’s, let’s move on.

I’m not someone who gets overly emotional when reading. I’ve just never been that girl who cries and sobs and gets so entrenched in fictional characters that it impacts me, Hannah, on an emotional level. That being said, I legit cried my way through this book. Heck, I’m tearing up writing this review.

Bear with me because I’m about to get more personal than I’ve ever been on this blog. This story is a little unique because I know Rose. I just call her a different name – my sister.

I have an older sister who has autism in addition to a multitude of other learning disabilities. It’s not been easy on my family – my parents never expected to have an almost 40-year-old child living with them because mentally she’s the age of a 9 year old. I never envisioned staying at the same job for 11 years because she worked with me and I was terrified of someone mistreating her if I left. My brother and sister-in-law also rearrange plans to help out. But we’re family and it’s what we do.

Also like Rose, my sister has this dog. This irritating 6 pound ball of fluff and yap that just centers her. It makes zero sense and unless you see it with your own eyes—you see the way my sister was before and after Lyla (the dog)—you’ll never get that bond and how it works. I still don’t quite get it.

No, my sister doesn’t have an obsession with homonyms like Rose does, but she has other quirks that sometimes drive me absolutely batty, so even though it takes a few pages to really get into Rose’s character and the pacing of the book, I found myself smiling and shaking my head because anything less would be untrue to the character.

Rose’s voice has this unique innocence that Martin nailed. It’s the same way my sister views the world. This beautiful way of how bad things can be washed away by the calendar flipping days.  The way you and I used to think before we became jaded and older. In a lot of ways I envy Rose and my sister.

This is not going to be a book people everywhere love or want to read. It will be weird and different and foreign to a lot of people. But to me? This is every day.  

Buy Rain Reign Now


  1. Thanks for the honest and beautiful review! This sounds like a really lovely story, though undoubtedly---as you write in your review---it will not appeal to all readers. It sounds like one of those MG novels that is actually for adults. But I have a particular interest in and love of characters with ASD and OCD, so I look forward to reading the story very much!

  2. This book sounds amazing. I have a cousin with Aspberger's and I have a sister with severe anxiety so as far as mental health goes, I think I'll definitely be able to relate. Isn't it so amazing the bond that ppl can have w/animals and how much of a difference they can make in somebody's life? I hadn't really heard much about this one, but I'll definitely be reading it. Beautiful review, Hannah!

  3. I've had my eye on this one ever since seeing it at BEA. I actually was not into the BSC series. I was more into the Point series and mysteries then lol! I do know what it is though. This sounds really well done and eye opening! Great review, Hannah!

  4. This is such a touching post! Kudos to your family for sticking together! I know it must not be easy, but you hardly see people nowadays stick it out and work together. Now I am all misty.

    BSC lover here (CLAUDIA FOREVER) and I am excited to see that Martin is still in the game. I really need to add this to my wish list.

  5. I'm sorry that I didn't read the BSC series (I blame my HIspanic upbringing!), I've heard to many people fall in love with them. I'm touched by your post, I've met your sister before and she's so sweet. The only book I've read that deals with autism is the Viral Nation series and I loved it (still waiting for the last book!). I'll keep an eye out for this one :)


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