Today’s the day, guys.
Stop the Rain is releasing.
I loved this baby since I first heard of it back when Kassie was writing it. And I have been anticipating the release so. hard.
And mannn… it was something else.
You see, Harley is basically my nephew. It’s hard to explain, and it dates back to when Kassie was writing this book and I was writing my suicide awareness novel and we would share snippets and Harley made me think of my MC Nathan from Broken. The result is Harley became almost my child, like Nathan’s brother. And so when reading this book it was as if I was reading the story of my own child.
But anyways, here’s my review.
Stop the Rain:
Never Leave a Fallen Comrade
~ Synopsis ~
He left his entire world in Iraq. So why did the war follow him home?
Harley Keane and his best friend Nigel were just kids when 9/11 rocked their world and changed their lives forever. When they’re finally old enough to join the Army, all their childhood dreams seem about to come true. But war wasn’t supposed to be like this. A kid’s dream isn’t supposed to become a living nightmare. Fellow soldiers aren’t supposed to bleed out in front of your eyes.
Back home, safe and unwounded, Harley feels anything but. Why would God spare him when so many others were taken? Why won’t the nightmares stop, even when he’s awake? And how long can he hide the truth that threatens everything he has left? When Harley’s invisible scars refuse to stay hidden, will he let anyone close enough to help? And how do you go on with life when “okay” isn’t okay at all?
~ My Review ~
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ & 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙
5+ stars & 9/10 hearts. Yes, I knew this book would be amazing. And it was just as amazing as I expected. I fangirl over Kassie Angle’s books a lot, but this one I cannot fangirl over. It is too real for fangirling. Somewhere out there, someone like me has their own Harley—a Harley that you can’t shut the book covers on and put down when your heart hurts too much. This book was superbly well written. The style is perfect for this type of story. It was heartbreaking and filled with hope. It was beautiful and terrifying and painful and hilarious. It is just overall beautiful and life-changing. It’s one of those books you need to reread periodically so that it stays in your mind & keeps changing you. And it’s a book that I think everyone should read—no matter your nationality or beliefs. Because this book will teach you something about real heroes and brokenness and beauty and hope and life.
I don’t think I can pick favourite quotes this time around. I will update this review when I reread it. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my honest review. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts & opinions.
~ Author Bio ~
Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Army girl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unexpectedly into the world of indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more people understand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her and more of her writing at SoldierGirlStories.com.
~ Links ~
~ Author’s Note ~
This wasn’t a hard story to write. I wrote 75k words in six months. That’s blindingly fast for me. It took me three years to write 80k words before.
I was just terrified of it.
Mainstream novels, trying to cater to what everyone wants to hear, have a bad habit of portraying PTSD in the worst ways possible. And a lot of other things too, but that’s a subject for another time.
Truth isn’t pretty. Truth is harsh sometimes, cutting sometimes, never want some people want to hear. And watering down the truth to something pretty, something culturally acceptable, is worse than not sharing the truth at all.
That’s why so many mainstream novels easily slip into misconstruing the truth. It’s easier to sell what people want to hear.
And in this case, people don’t want to hear that there’s no easy cure for PTSD, or that invisible scars are just as real as any other, or that PTSD doesn’t turn you into a dangerous monster.
Sounds pretty bad, right? But they keep doing it. And people keep reading it. Maybe not knowing it could be any different, or maybe just not caring.
That’s not to say they all do (looking at you, Indivisible…) (there’s a reason I always tell people to read that book). But so many do that I’m automatically hesitant of almost any novel claiming to touch on PTSD.
And it just carried over: I was almost hesitant of my own story too. Hesitant of doing it wrong and turning it into one more book I would shred were I to pick it up somewhere. Or worse, having someone else pick it up and get the wrong idea about PTSD.
Because there’s a responsibility to everyone who really went through this kind of thing to portray it as accurately as possible. Even if accurately doesn’t look like what everyone out there thinks it does (spoiler alert, it doesn’t).
Or maybe, especially if.
And that made it a hard story.
But that’s also what made it a worthwhile story. Because if I have the chance to make a difference about something I’m passionate about, then that’s what I’m going to do. If someone can realize the truth about soldiers they walk by every day, that will always make it worthwhile.
If I can be one small voice of change against what the world believes about people I love, then I will never be silenced.
Because Harley’s story isn’t just some made-up fantasy. Neither is Keith’s. And neither is Nigel’s.