My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Friendship Dynamics, Summer
I don’t typically dislike being in the minority because I can stand my ground, especially when it comes to book preferences, but I can’t help but be disappointed right now. This is an author that I have read twice before and both times she managed to impress me, plus this book was enjoyed by 98% of the people who have read it. Yet Shouting at the Rain is not as entertaining as Fish in a Tree or as moving as One for the Murphys. Actually, it’s somewhat annoying.
I liked the setting a lot. There’s something comfortable and peaceful about reading a story that is set near a beach, especially during the summer. I also liked Delsie’s Grammy, who reminded me of my own grandmother. The writing and pacing are great. Really, this is a book that should have worked for me. And it did… in the beginning. Getting to know Delsie’s personality, family situation and friends kept me hooked. But once I did those things and the story started to take more shape and drama flooded the setting, I became annoyed.
There is a lot of free meanness, bullying, nastiness in this story. I felt pretty bad for Delsie whose best friend started to abandon her for the new girl in town. But it’s a very… predictable, expected, familiar, recycled type of situation and conflict, especially for a middle grade story. I personally found this author’s previous releases much more original and beautiful. There’s also the fact that Delsie is hurting inside not just because of her best friend’s behaviour and the new girl’s mean gestures and words but also because she is looking for her mother who left her.
At times this book seemed too juvenile to appeal to an older audience and other times too heavy to appeal to a young audience. Odd.
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