Oh, I have so many feelings in me right now that can only be described with incomprehensible sounds and many hand gestures. Unfortunately, I can't post those here, so I'll just try to make sense of them either way. Because I had somewhat high hopes for When It Rains, especially after the first few chapters when our heroine, Kate, actually made some sense.
So what is When It Rains about? It's about Kate and her struggles in the aftermath of being raped (this isn't a spoiler as it's described in the first few chapters). It's two years later and her best friend, Beau, is moving away to college, leaving her behind oblivious of what has happened to her. As Beau, who professes his love right before he leaves, moves, Kate meets newcomer to town, Asher. Then the story is about the stages of their newly found companionship and their own secrets.
The meaning behind the book is quite beautiful, and I could easily have loved this book. But I didn't. And the reason behind it is how the though subjects were executed, an overall issue in most NA books. Kate is a very believable character in the beginning, but that statement falls away as she meets Asher in the restaurant where she works. Fist I have to explain a little about how Kate is with people after she got raped.
Beau, her best friend since they were both five, has loved her, and Kate has loved him for as long as she can remember. But after she got raped, she can't handle people being too close or touch her. This goes for Beau too. This a boy she's known for most her life and is closer to than anyone else.
Now, let's look at how Asher behaves the first time he talks to Kate. He dares her to show him around, and even when she says she doesn't date, he insists, daring her to do it. When she says she works the next day, he simply asks to pick her up the next day. Again, he is a complete stranger. Kate is reluctant, but she does agree to it at last. For me, this got me very uncomfortable for her and I kept on wondering how she could agree to it with her background. I thought, okay I can maybe find a way to be fine with this.
However, on their second date, he makes her go on a road trip with her. Alone. Again, I could not in the least understand how Kate can agree to this, considering that when she got raped, the guy lured her into his house, alone. Somehow, I found this very odd with her reaction to how people treats her. Besides this I found Kate's reaction to some of his demanding requests highly confusing for the same reasons. For a girl who has lived in fear for two years, she is awfully comfortable with the things Asher does with her.
Since the book focuses mostly on their romance rather than her actually being raped, I disliked most parts of the book as I never understood their romance. She handles her past due to Asher finding his way into her life, not because of therapy or speaking to anyone but him. This is maybe understandable in some cases, but in Kate's, not the case. The other big topic in the book is Asher's own secret, but I won't get into that as I don't find myself the right person to be objective on that part due to several reasons. My personal opinion on that is that the issue has been covered so many times before, and one recently new that has been a very big hit in the YA area, and I didn't find When It Rains taking on any new or more interesting angle on it. The book could have been so much better if the right issues had been handled better. However, the main meaning behind it all is beautiful.