As her controlled world begins fraying apart, the brother that Rain has taken care of most of her life becomes the support she needs most.
White, Jewish, 16-year-old Rain Rosenblatt made rules for herself a long time ago. Some of them have to do with her autistic twin brother Ethan’s needs, for which she is almost solely responsible, and some of them have to do with herself, her dreams, and the tight lid she keeps on them. Rain knows the important role she plays—reliable anchor for her divorced mother and her brother—a role that doesn’t leave room for the unpredictable. So she is not quite prepared when her school crush is requited and a new romance starts, when her usually isolated brother begins a relationship with her best friend, and especially when one night and one mistake throw life into chaos. The first-person narration punctuated by Rain’s cooking-blog posts and Ethan’s journal entries pulses with emotion as Rain tries to adjust to the changes in her life, and it crescendos to a frenetic cadence when her life itself is in danger. While Scheier’s narrative features but doesn’t center neurodivergence and is shot through with the barbs of stigma, breaking little new ground, Rain’s realization that she has always needed her brother as much as he’s needed her prioritizes Ethan’s validation alongside Rain’s growth.
Refreshingly thoughtful character development in a familiar package. (recipes) (Fiction. 14-17)