Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Book Title: Rain Reign
Author: Ann M. Martin
Publish Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: MG
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Normally I stay far away from Middle Grade books, mostly because I can’t really get into then. But, even from the synopsis, I could tell that this book was special. I was hoping that my hunch was right and that I could manage my expectations about this book because it was so different from what I normally read.

It was a very short book, but it took a long time for me to really get into it. I’m not exactly sure why it took 60% of the book for me to really enjoy it. Maybe it was because I couldn’t connect with Rose for the longest time. It wasn’t until she lost her dog, that I really started to connect with her.  I’ve always been an animal lover, especially as a ten year old. So, while I didn’t understand the OCD or the Asperger’s, I did understand the panic that ten year old Rose was experiencing when Rain got lost and my heart ached for her. 

Her father was truly awful. I was so angry with him for pretty much the entire book. He clearly struggled with having a special needs daughter, but he didn’t even try to understand her. That really upset me a lot. The only adult she could really truly count on was her uncle. That was heartbreaking. She had her teacher, she had her aide, but at home, she only had Rain. Her loyal, loving dog.

This book brought the feels at the end of the book. I was full on bawling, which was not something I was expecting given that it was a middle grade book. I did end up enjoying it, so I’m giving it 4 stars. I would totally recommend this book to younger readers.