Review: Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano

Title: Fall Like Rain
Author: Ana Tejano
Publication: September 28, 2014
Format: eARC, Smashwords Edition
Source: Publisher via Pinoy Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads | Smashwords | Amazon
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?

Review

I made it! I actually finished the book in a day but the reason why I didn't publish this review right away is that I am not really sure if I still know how to write a book review. It felt like it had been ages since I last wrote one and I don't know, I just feel that I'm not yet ready to do it again, as if talking about a book and sharing my thoughts aren't some of the things I know like the back of my hand.

Let me start by saying that the plot of this novella is not something unheard of, we've seen this several times in movies, TV series and even books like this but what made Fall Like Rain special is that it is cute and fluffy, it will certainly give you warm, fuzzy feelings and I must say, I definitely missed reading stories that give off happy vibes. The plot is simple. Rain has been in love with her best friend Mark but just can't spill it out and confess. Then, Lissa, Rain's cheery cousin comes into the picture making it more difficult for Rain to finally tell her guy best friend that she is in love with him. Vaguely familiar? Well, if you ask me, all these reminded me of a Jolina-Marvin movie. The one where Jolina uttered that infamous 'friendzone' line: "Oh yes kaibigan mo ako, kaibigan mo lang ako… And I'm so stupid to make the biggest mistake of falling in love with my bestfriend!" Bujoy, the character Jolina portrays has been in love with her bestfriend Ned (Marvin) and everyone else in their circle just assume that even if they still aren't a couple, they will definitely be one in the future. That's before Vanessa del Bianco entered their lives (Sorry! Forgot the name of her character there!).
"Everyone who met us for the first time thought we were together. When they found out we were not romantically involved, they assumed that we would get there eventually."
People from my high school batch would probably tell you that I only read this because I can totally relate. "The girl with a guy best friend?" That's Biena. "The girl so in love with her guy best friend?" Oh, definitely Biena. They were so caught up with the idea that my best friend and I will end up liking each other because, isn't that what happens in the movies? Our friends, classmates and everyone around us were programmed to think that life is like a screenplay that even though I shut them off, they would just tell me to wait it out because my best friend and I were meant to be. Until he wooed another girl, someone they know as well. Then, I thought everyone will stop bugging me to confess my feelings but that little plot twist made them more agitated, to the point that they hated this girl's guts because she knew all along that my best friend and I were supposed to end up together. Oh boy, if I can only travel ten years back, I would, to witness all these unfolding. But as I've always said, my best friend and me, we had those childhood friendships wherein you have to give being romantic a try, just to see if it would work, but invariably, it won't. Sometimes, I just want to blurt: Why can't you wrap your heads around the idea that a guy and a girl can be friends? Platonic. No romance involved and not even a slight premise of what people do in the bedroom. Just plain and pure friendship. Why? And then, I'll just hear my best friend tell me, "No one will understand what we are but us alone,".
"We didn't talk about relationships much in the years of our friendship - except whenever one of us was brokenhearted, and even those weren't discussed in detail."
If there is something that I like so much about this book, it's that it hits close to home. Not the happy-I'm-in-love-with-my-bestfriend (Oh, LSS!) dilemma but the way the author wrote the guy-girl bestfriend-ship. It was depicted in such a way that Rain still has her own set of best friends and Mark also has his own circle but even after all that, they still are the best of friends and I was really happy to read about that. Perhaps because I know, in real life, it's never like Bujoy and Ned who almost basically only have each other so their world crumbles when the other one went away, or like Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson's characters in Paano Na Kaya? wherein Kim's life only revolves around Gerald's character, Bogs. In the real world, you are busy with other things and you also have other friends. Yes, like Bea and Dingdong in She's the One.
I had to pause for a while to laugh at myself after I wrote all that. My friend, Karina would totally be rolling on the floor laughing if she ever saw those things and tell me, "You are the I'm-in-love-with-my-bestfriend expert. Admit it." Well, maybe I am, having years of experienced tucked under my belt. Hahaha. Oh, how about this line from My Best Friend's Wedding?
Fall Like Rain would be all too perfect if only I didn't know that Rain is an arguably independent 24-year-old professional. I actually felt that for one who already had relationships before, she is kind of naive. I almost thought that this is a high school type drama since that one hurdle plaguing them is just a one goddamn confession. Okay, hate me now for saying that. It's not just a confession, I get you, you can all start with that "But their friendship is on the line" argument on me but I won't have any of it! She could've at least tried, even once in that whole 6 years! Or send some signals, maybe? Because I can't remember a single time she sent Mark that I-like-you-like-you vibe. Or maybe, she is just too timid and reserved, who knows?
"I wished like crazy that the pain I saw in his eyes was the same as mine: the one you feel when you discover that the one you love was in love with someone else. But I had no someone else, so why would he feel that way? And in the first place, who said he loved me that way?"
If I'll turn my "I Am A Girl Theory" into a thesis or a book, (The one that says girls are crazy because they are some sensitive, insecure overthinker who happens to also think everyone should understand them even when they don't tell anyone anything) this will be part of its Related Literature. Rain is a fragile little girl. Too much assumptions, reading between the lines, and overthinking. She is that one annoying friend everyone should take care of (Realize everyone always had to come to her side and all the while we are hearing her thoughts she never thought of other people's problems but her wounded heart alone?). It's also hard to be friends with her because you always have to exert a little too much effort for her to open up. But who am I to judge? Aren't we all a little too reserved and self-absorbed sometimes? Well, especially when we are head over heels in love?

The Playlist

While I'm reading this, I humored myself by creating an 'Unrequited Love' playlist on Spotify.
Listen to them for some more #feels.

1. Why - Avril Lavigne
"Why, do you always do this to me? Why, couldn't you just see through me? How come, you act like this, like you just don't care at all? Do you expect me to believe I was the only one to fall?"

2. Why Can't It Be - Rannie Raymundo
"Why can't it be? Why can't it be the two of us? Why can't we be lovers, only friends?"

3. Friend of Mine - Odette Quesada
"You tell me 'bout the love you've had, I listen very eagerly. But deep inside you'll never see, this feeling of emptiness - it makes me feel sad."

4. All You Never Say - Birdy
"All you never say is that you love me so. All I'll never know is if you want me oh."

5. I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
"I can't make you love me if you don't. You can't make your heart feel something it won't"

6. Insensitive - Jann Arden
"I'm one of the chosen few who went ahead and fell for you. I'm out of vogue, I'm out of touch. I fell too fast, I feel too much."  

7. Every Now and Then - Earth Wind and Fire
"I can't escape the thought of all that might have been every now and then."

8. To Be With You - Mr. Big
"I'm the one who wants to be with you. Deep inside I hope you feel it too. Waited on a line of greens and blues just to be the next to be with you."

9. Wanted You More - Lady Antebellum
"Wasted too much time, should've seen the signs. Now I know, just what went wrong - I guess, I wanted you more."

10. Chasing Pavements - Adele
"Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements even if it leads nowhere?"

11. Shiver - Coldplay
"I'll always be waiting for you. So you know how much I need you. But you never even see me, do you?"

12. Even If - Jam Morales
"All those sleepless nights, all the tears I cried, all the pain I kept inside. I keep asking myself, 'Why?'."

13. Jealous - Nina
"When you looked at her where was I? Shoulda been in her place. Here I am, all alone imagining what might have been, what could have been? If I had been there."

14. Migraine - Moonstar88
"Oo nga pala, hindi nga pala tayo. Hanggang dito lang ako. Nangangarap na mapa-sayo."

15. I Never Told You - Colbie Caillat
"But I never told you what I should have said. No, I never told you, I just held it in."

16. Say That You Love Me - Martin Nievera
"Here I am alone starting to realize that my days would be brighter if I could learn to hide the feeling that I have for you keeps haunting me inside."

17. What Do We Mean To Each Other - Sergio Mendes
"What do we mean to each other, am I friend, am I lover is it over now?"

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About the Author

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).

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