Kissing the rain by Kevin Brooks

March 6, 2010
By , edison, NJ
Kevin Brook’s third novel “Kissing the Rain” might deceive readers at first to believe that it might be a sad book dealing with tragic events portrayed from the gloomy and dark cover. However, one of the many idioms of the English language that most readers have to remember is, “To never judge a book by its cover.” Having said this, even though the cover seems to be dull and gloomy the book is actually filled with aggressive writing and suspenseful plots but at some points it’s sad. The whole book is full with italics, capitals, capitals in italics, and slang , a strategy, which makes this book different from others. This book just makes you keep reading and reading hoping not to fall off of your bed from the never-ending suspense. Since the book is narrated through the main character fifteen-year-old Mike Nelson, it makes any teen feel as if they are experiencing the same things as him, which makes it enjoyable to read.
Mike Nelson is just an ordinary fifteen-year-old boy who like other teen goes to school, EATS alot, and sleeps. However, he’s different from his classmates because he’s always picked on and abused at because he’s fat for his age (the rain). Thus the reason why he got the nickname Moo. Everyday, he gets through school five days a week just having to “umberellise ” it without letting it affect him. His only way of having a “roof” over his head to block the rain is riding up to his favorite place, the bridge. The bridge where he can he gets alone time to forget the dreadful days at school, by gazing out onto the visible highway looking at all the cars going north and south. But then in one snap, one ordinary day changes his whole life around. All of a sudden he’s the center of attention, no more of the rain, the police and defending attorneys trying to get out the facts of what happened on that one evening on November 2.
From the “best seat in the house” he first witnesses a car chase and then a fight between four or five different men that stepped out of the cars. But during the fight a murder occurred later informed by police and they are determined to find out who it was by getting the facts right out of Moo’s mouth. Keith Vine, the charged man of murdering Mr. Burkes is not any old man but a notorious gang leader. He is tough and can do anything to get what he wants even if that means murdering or bribing. And even if he is in jail, he has a lot of men that work for him so no job is left unfinished. If Moo doesn’t testify against him he is dead. If there’s a bad guy, there’s always a good guy, which is officer DI Callan, who wants to arrest Vine with the help of Moo. This officer is not so naïve as a reader might think he is. If Moo doesn’t support him, Callan’s promises to arrest Moo’s father and put him in jail for fraud. With no one to rely on Moo is left alone to get of his problems. Will Moo be able to get out and settle all his troubles or will the stress be over his head and he ends up doing something very wrong?

I liked the fact that Kevin Brooks used the strategy of italics and capitalization. I thought it was very unique because this is the only book I read that any author would bother to do this in every sentence. I think Kevin Brooks didn’t do it for the writing to seem wacky, but it had some kind of purpose behind it. He wanted readers to remember certain key points that were important to the text. An example is, “ HEY, MOO! LOOKING SLIM TODAY! SHAKE IT, FAT BOY!” (33). This one example is Important to the whole story because these mocks are the reason why the story is how it is. Without the mocks, Moo would never go to bridge and witness the crime and meet all the people he does. He wanted us to put emphasis on certain key points that are important in the chapter or sentence.
I think the goal or theme of this book is to always stick to the one truth, and not change it around each time someone asks what happened. I think what this is trying to tell the readers is that changing the truth around each time causes confusion to others and to yourself too. That’s exactly what happened to Moo when all the officers were asking what happened. First he told the officers who took his statement one thing and then officer Callan another. Therefore, it got confusing for Callan because he kept asking till he was 100% reassured. Also, he was getting aggravated because all the attorneys and officers kept asking him again and again about the incident.
Even though this book was very interesting, I disliked that the book didn’t answer some the questions that were still in the reader’s minds. Like the most important, is Moo successful in his plan of kissing the rain? Also, I didn’t like the ending because I think the author was intending to make a cliffhanger at the end which wasn’t that well. Like many stories that have cliffhangers all the events at the end go so fast and full of suspense and then suddenly it’s over which makes it so good. But in this case the end was very slow like he gets the idea of “kissing the rain” and then plans to throw Vine off the bridge and then he goes to the bridge and it’s over. It would have been better if the events at the end went faster and it was finished during the court because that was when the most suspense was about whom he would support Callon or Vine.
Well, I can’t specifically relate to this topic to myself but I can relate this to other students who are just like Moo and get picked on for various reasons. Many students can’t fit into a new environment like school because they are the outliers of the group for whatever reason that maybe. Thus, since they are different from others it gives the other people a chance to pick on him /her and make them feel lowly of themselves and feel as if they never existed. Soon, this starts to affect their daily routines, loss of sleep and appetite. This is because of breakdowns due the abuses and insults. Then one day when it’s to much and they can’t take it anymore many times it lead to suicides. However, in the story Moo was capable of the rain and started to miss it when it was gone, but there are others who are not.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was very suspenseful and interesting to read about how a teenager deals with his surroundings of being fat. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fictional books and likes to read about how people that are different are treated.

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