Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: "Two Years, No Rain" by Shawn Klomparens

Andy Dunne has always loved the complexity of predicting the weather, and he does a good job of doing it for the obscure satellite radio station that he works for. Then again, his job isn't that hard at the moment considering that it hasn't rained in almost two years in Southern California.

What is hard is the fact that his wife has left him, and has left their house almost empty. Further complicating things is that shortly after she leaves him, Andy loses his job. He's also involved in an intense flirtation with his very married co-worker, Hillary. Hillary convinces Andy to try out for a voice-over part on a children's television show, and the next thing he knows he lands himself the lead role. Suddenly he's gone from being a weather forecaster to the star of a kid's show, and hot moms everywhere are vying for his affection. As his small star rises, his relationship with Hillary intensifies, and he finds himself needing to make some major decisions. Will it be clear skies ahead for Andy, or is looking like thunderstorms?

What I enjoyed the most about Two Years, No Rain was the complicated relationships between the various characters. The relationship between Andy and his niece, Hannah, is especially heartwarming, particularly because I remember my own turbulent teenage years and wish that I could have had a cool uncle like that to hang out with. Despite his occasionally questionable decisions, you can tell throughout the book that Andy really loves his family, and would do absolutely anything to help them be happy. I can only describe the relationship between Andy and his "friend" Hillary as intense, perhaps even a little crazy. It was passionate, definitely, but I couldn't help but remember that Hillary had a husband throughout the book. That made me frown a little at their arrangement. Cheating isn't always about the sex, it can be about an emotional connection as well.

Despite my occasional reservations about Hillary and Andy, I couldn't stop thinking about one thing while reading Two Years, No Rain- "Man, Shawn Klomparens can write!". When his characters are feeling or experiencing something, I felt like I was right there alongside them. The family dynamics were complicated yet true-to-life, and his writing style engaging. I read this book as part of Catherine McKenzie's Make a Book a Bestseller initiative (full details can be found here), and I'm thankful that I've been introduced to a spectacular author whom I may not have been introduced to otherwise. I enjoyed his books so much that I will definitely be on the lookout for his next novel.

Now I'm going to do something that I don't normally do on this blog- I'm going to compare two books by the same author. While I enjoyed both books, and the writing style is similarly engaging in each, I would have to say that I preferred his book Jessica Z. It was raw, intense, and it even had a hint of mystery. I think the fact that Shawn Klomparens could write so convincingly from a female point of view makes Jessica Z. a book that will continue to stand out in my mind. I'm recommending both, but if you're on the fence as to which one to read first, it's the one that I would pick.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fiction fans, anyone wanting to win a Kindle while introducing themselves to a fantastic author
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I read this book as part of the Make a Book a Bestseller initiative.


  1. It sounds like I need to check out Jessica Z. I enjoyed Two Years, No Rain - I think one of my favorite things about it was that it was told from a male perspective. Great review!