Rainbows and Raindrops (A Rainbowland Novel) by Kelley Lynn & Jenny S. Morris (2016)
YA Fiction | Contemporary | Loss
“Before… They are the Musketeers–one for all and all for Rain, or however that saying goes.
Now that Rain’s sixteen, freedom is at her fingertips. Cliff jumping at the lake. Rain’s first tattoo. Spence finally asking her out. With her friends by her side, there’s no reason Rain can’t be happy in a world that constantly tries to extinguish her addictive, carefree spirit.
After… It’s just Rain. No misfits and no Musketeers.
Until Rain pulls up to her new summer job and discovers the two people she’s been hiding from–Spence and Landon– are her new cabin mates. Landon’s determined to help Rain overcome her guilt and remember what once was. As they become closer, he awakens a part of her soul she never thought she’d feel again.
Making Rain wonder if, despite all the mistakes she’s made, it’s worth trying to get back to the girl she used to be.”
Expected Publication Date: April 18, 2016
pooled ink Review:
Beautiful. This book was beautiful. Trust me, I’ve got thick armor but this book got me to care. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t read many contemporary genre books so I usually take my time and choose carefully before I decide to buy or request one and I’m so incredibly glad that I took a chance with this book. It not once disappointed me.
I can’t tell you what I expected or hoped this book would be because I honestly didn’t know. I chose this book on an honest to goodness whim. I already said how I tend to mull over contemporary genre books more than other genres but for whatever reason I saw the cover, I read the blurb, and I was like yeah, let’s just go for it. And NetGalley approved me and yay! Sometimes good things in life indeed require a little risk. Rainbow and TJ understood that.
So this book is written in first person POV (via Rain) but it’s split between two time lines: “Before” and “After.” This was a brilliant move, in my opinion.
Totally non-linear as a whole, but linear within each time-frame of either “Before” or “After” and it made the story flow beautifully. If the book had simply taken place from start to finish chronologically it wouldn’t have had nearly the impact that it did, and also as I’m an ice queen I might have gotten bored. Instead the book began where I knew something truly tragic had happened…I just didn’t know what. I kept reading about the “Before” and everything was so happy and beautiful that I couldn’t quite guess what could have destroyed them and leached the color from their lives. The truth hits about mid-way through the book and from then on we witness how such a tragedy tore them apart and the different ways it affected them. We witness guilt as it began and guilt as it has grown.
This book is written with the perfect balance of “Before” and “After” and they also alternated at a good pace. We journeyed in the “Before” and then suddenly it felt right to come to a stopping point and snap back to the “After” but then the “After” skidded to a point where we really needed to leap back into the “Before”. It didn’t give me whiplash and it wasn’t confusing at all. Rather it felt natural and it kept the momentum of the story at a comfortable but never pausing pace.
The plot, the story itself, was painfully real. It wasn’t bogged down with bleak sadness nor was it shallowly skating around the hard truths. We see Rain weighed down with the self-accepted burden of all-consuming guilt…but even then life kept moving forward. Time can be annoying, or wise, like that. Just moving onward even when we don’t want it to.
I love how Rain still knew how to laugh, though. Perhaps it’s because she survived by trying to forget but while the guilt bled out the color in her life she still healed enough to smile, laugh, and tell jokes (not that any of that meant she was happy). It really shows how guilt is not a “then and now” thing, and it doesn’t just dissipate on its own. Guilt grows and festers and withholds. Time heals, yes. But while time gave Rain back her smile, the guilt kept it from being easy. Rain might laugh or smile in genuine response to something but then guilt would swoop in and claim that by tacking on more guilt leaving her ashamed of that smile or laugh. Guilty for that brief moment of happiness that she believed she didn’t deserve.
Rain needed to release that guilt and forgive herself and accept the factors of the event that were not her fault. It was a choice they made and an accident that followed.
The flashes of concern and caring displayed between friends in the “After” prove that they’re human and such a deep friendship cannot simply end. I liked that. This book danced in the grey areas of life and relationships while most authors or script writers just try to make things simple. Life isn’t simple.
This brings me to the characters. I adored all of the characters. Every single one of them. Rain was life, Landon was love, Spencer was concern, TJ was goodness. Even the secondary characters were beautifully written – Annie is everything, Stacy is perfect, and Knox is the best. The bond of friendship between the quartet of best friends made me envious but they made me smile so much that I couldn’t even be mad that I couldn’t be a part of their group. Rain and Spencer? Things are…perhaps still confused but like I said earlier, these kids’ friendship is far too deep and true to ever simply end. Rain and Landon? Now that I am really envious of. To have someone like that in your life is a pure blessing and ah man I will be rooting for them forever! I think I finally have a favorite OTP (well besides Juliette and Warner).
Okay, I’ve babbled for a really long time in this review. I apologize. But at the same time I totally don’t apologize because truly this book is so wonderful!
Rainbows and Raindrops is a beautiful kaleidoscope of emotions. It sings with true friendship, deep loss, and the journey of forgiveness. More than just a story this book whispers life in all its glorious colors, even black, from the first word to the final page. Just a snapshot of these teens’ lives and yet what a poignant memory it creates.
Purchase here: Rainbows and Raindrops
Meet Kelley Lynn!
YA author with genre commitment issues.
Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote.
Meet Jenny S. Morris!
I’m a YA author who loves all things geek, may have a Kdrama addiction, and prefers the rainy NW to any place I’ve ever lived. My debut novel is Road to Somewhere from Bloomsbury Spark.