Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Value of Rain by Brandon Shire

The Value of Rain by Brandon Shire
Novel: 171pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Charles is 14, and after being discovered with his first love he is forced into a mental hospital to cure his sexuality . For the next ten years he endures mental and physical torture as part of that treatment and when he is finally free, he begins a relentless quest for vengeance against the woman who abetted his commitment, his mother Charlotte.

The Value of Rain chronicles Charles’ journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption, and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.
Half the proceeds from this book are donated to LGBT Youth charities.
What a roller coaster of emotions this book was for me, The Value of Rain is so far out of my reading zone you have no idea. Yet, I was interested in giving it a chance based on all the raves reviews. I have to say I was far from disappointed, and I am glad I gave it a chance.

Charles is fourteen and in love with a boy who makes his days better, he is the sunshine within his dark and gloomy life. This love leads the boys into a sexual relationship and later they are caught together. The events that unfold is tragic, horrendous, and will leave you positively heart broken. Charles is institutionalized by his mother and uncle, and left in a mental hospital to undergo 'treatment' to remove his homosexuality.

It's hard to imagine a mother doing that to her own child, but Charlotte is no mother. The years of suffering and heartache leaves Charles to plot revenge against those that took away his life and the love he had for a boy. With the help of a doctor and a father he never knew, Charles is given the opportunity to heal and move forward; but his mind is stuck in the past and he wants to see the end of his mother. Though Charlotte is dying, Charles is just unable to forgive and find some peace.

The  author writes an incredible tale of the most vicious circumstance that could ever befall a child. At times I felt the circumstances was a bit too extreme and extravagant, but it paints the picture that our children do suffer. Whether it be for their sexuality or the fact that they have parents who should never have given birth to children. It is sometimes a cruel world for the young, and they fall victim to people who hurt and abuse them. Which makes the reading experience for The Value of Rain that much stronger.

Charles is a complex and frustrating character and he really pisses me off. I  understood his need for revenge and hurting the person who hurt him, but he should have realized that there was no way to hurt a woman who willingly gave up a son. He's  also offered so much love but never accepts it, but I understand he is a giver of love but not one who accepts it (you will understand exactly what I mean when you read the book). He frustrates the crap out of me, but yet I  am sympathetic towards him. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't be very forgiving either.

Overall,  this book is a series of twists and scenes, that are harsh in its realism but fulfilling because of that. Its like a story written for the forgotten boys/girls and the cruelties they face with no one to care for them. It's a lot more than gay fiction, it's a great freaking read. Charles, and every character from this book will leave you spellbound and then break your heart, it's just that intense. Though Charles was a pawn in the game of adults and was left suffer, he still possesses the capability to love. I think it's for that reason why I like this book so much.
I would love to read about Charles again, the ending left too much to the imagination.

SideNote- Half the proceeds from the purchase of this book goes to LGBT charities combatting homelessness. That my friends is a very good thing, so give some support.


  1. Thank you so much for this stellar review.

  2. Now this one looks like one I'd like to read. The topic sounds like a hard one, but I always like reading stories that are realistic. Okay, your review convinced me. Off to buy it.

    1. It's a hard read, but it's very beautiful too. I hope you enjoy it Matt!


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