Let me start this review post with a greeting, because Fall Like Rain is celebrating its birthday today! Happy, happy birthday, Mark and Rain~ and congratulations to author Ana Tejano for being able to put this book out there for us to read. <3
If I haven’t said this yet, then let me say it now: One of my favorite tropes is the “Friends to Lovers” trope. I am a complete sucker for it. I write it. I read it. I wish I lived it too, but the universe can only give you so much, so. When I learned that Ana Tejano’s Fall Like Rain tackles just that, I knew I had to read. And so I did.
Rain De Castro has been in love with her best friend, Mark Velasco, for almost the entire time she has known him, but she’s clearly in the friend zone because he’s happily in a relationship. Or so she thought, until the news of his break-up reaches her. Now that Mark’s single again, she decides that it’s time to get out of the zone. But when her cousin Lissa comes into the picture and sets her eyes on Mark, Rain feels troubled when he gets a little too friendly with her. Rain is determined to fight for what she feels this time, but is it worth the effort if it’s a losing battle from the start? Will she back off to give way for her best friend’s happiness, even if it means losing him to someone else again?
Fall Like Rain is FREE on Amazon until October 3rd! Grab a copy now!
Click on the Read More button for my review of this story. There may be spoilers, so click at your own risk!
Rain has been in love with her best friend Mark for years, but she’s never told him because 1) she’s scared, and 2) he’s in a relationship. In other words, she’s in the dreaded friendzone. But when she finds out that his last relationship had ended, Rain feels that she should do something to get herself out of The Zone. However, she finds it’s not as easy as it seems, especially when her cousin Lissa comes into the picture.
The plot is very simple: young woman in love with her best friend struggles to come to terms with her feelings once and for all and decides object of her affection should know, even at the risk of losing the friendship. We’ve seen this happen countless times before, but like I said, I’m a sucker for this trope, so I have no problem lapping it all up.
That being said, if you’re looking for slow-burn kilig, you’re in for a good time. But if you’re expecting something flashy, fabulous, and brand-spanking new, this might not be your cup of tea. Fall Like Rain is told in a very simple narrative that allows you access into Rain’s world (it’s told in first person) to follow her as if you’re a friend who, like many of the peripheral characters in this book, wish her to “get the boy,” so to speak.
What I Loved
The reason why some people love certain tropes so much is because of this thing called “wish fulfillment,” in that by reading (or watching) something portraying that trope, a wish of theirs is fulfilled, albeit vicariously. I will freely admit that I’m one of those people, not because I have a friend whom I want to fall in love with me too, but because I have this personal preference of having a romantic relationship blossoming out of an established friendship. That, to me, is ideal, and seeing characters like Rain and Mark (and other non-fictional characters in my life) make me believe it’s something worth having.
The way Mark was written in this story was so dreamy, you can’t help but fall in love with him. It was on her eighteenth birthday party when Rain falls in love with him, a turning point in many a young woman’s life. What could have been a disastrous moment had been saved by Rain’s best friend, and from then on, she’d developed these feelings for him. Likewise, as I read through this part, I felt like I could fall in love with Mark too. Because come on, who wouldn’t? He’s such a damn sweetheart, it’s hard to believe men like him still exist in the real world. (But believe me, they do. They’re just really really elusive.)
Also, you might say it’s kind of hard to think of someone being in love with a person for that long and not say something about it but I’ll tell you this much: It happens.
I can still remember tweeting the author when I came across the scene where Mark says these lines. The circumstance was hardly romantic, but my heart was screaming! In my head, I was like “Rain . . . you’d better snag this man OR ELSE! OR ELSE!” The entire build up to this scene was something so realistic I could practically see myself in it. Too bad I don’t have a Mark to call in case of distress!
Also, who knew convenience stores could be so . . . conducive to romance?
I guess this is always the latent fear in everyone who’s in love (with their best friend or anyone else), the fear of rejection. All throughout the story, Rain kind of goes cha-cha-cha with thoughts like these. Like she wants to tell him, but fear snatches the words. Or an opportunity presents itself, but it quickly passes. Or she just completely closes herself up, thinking she doesn’t have the chance. As a reader, it was kind of frustrating to see her act that way, but when you think about it, hers are perfectly normal ways of reacting and/or coping with the situation.
Being in love is frustrating, fact. Being in love with someone who might not welcome this fact is even more frustrating, and sometimes the easier choice is just to step away and let it go. That was kind of how Rain wanted to cope with all these Mark issues, and it honestly frustrated me too, that there were so many missed opportunities, so many chances when the time seemed right for a confession but she never took it.
But if you ask me what I’d have done, you’d probably get frustrated at me too. Because I’d most probably do a Rain, and never show my face in front of my Mark ever again. Because y’know: out of sight, out of mind. 😛
Overall, I loved Fall Like Rain for its simplicity, the straightforward storytelling, and the very charming love interest. I may have wanted a little more conflict between the characters other than the ones ingrained in Rain’s head, but that’s just me. If you’re into lighthearted reads with happily ever afters (there, I said it!), you might want to pick this one up, too. <3
Overall rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Plus points for: It being very Filipino, and very relatable in that aspect. There’s family, there’s the places, the usual traditions and so forth. It felt like home, and I settled in the story like it is my own.
Because of this story, I wish I could: Have someone to call whenever I’m stranded because of a flood, because WHY THE HECK NOT.
Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing lead for a multinational company by day, manages a book club, and serves in her church community in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).