Title: Scattered Showers
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Wednesday books
Publication date: November 8, 2022
Length: 282 pages
Genre: Short stories
Rainbow Rowell has won fans all over the world by writing about love and life in a way that feels true.
In her first collection, she gives us nine beautifully crafted love stories. Girl meets boy camping outside a movie theater. Best friends debate the merits of high school dances. A prince romances a troll. A girl romances an imaginary boy. And Simon Snow himself returns for a holiday adventure.
It’s a feast of irresistible characters, hilarious dialogue, and masterful storytelling—in short, everything you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell book.
A new book by Rainbow Rowell is always a treat — and while I tend to shy away from short story collections, there was no way that I’d pass this one by.
Scattered Showers is a collection of nine stories, four previously published (of which I’d read three), and five brand new for this book. Familiar characters make appearances, but there’s lots of new stuff too. Overall, the tone is upbeat and often romantic. Content skews YA, but there’s some adult fiction too.
About the individual stories:
Midnights: Previously published in the anthology My True Love Gave to Me (2014). This one was new to me, A sweet friends-to-romance story, taking place over a series of New Year’s Eves. I liked it!
Kindred Spirits: Previously published as a stand-alone for World Book Day (2016). A re-read for me, but I was happy to read it again. A teen girl who’s a die-hard Star Wars fan decides to wait on line for the four days leading up to the release of the new movie. The experience isn’t what she expected it to be… but it’s just what she needs.
Winter Songs for Summer: New to this edition. Set in a college dorm, a girl who blasts sad music to wallow in her heartbreak is confronted by the boy whose room is directly under hers. At first, he just wants her to listen to something other than the song that’s driving him bananas, but as they share music and then cafeteria meals, they (of course) find an unexpected connection.
The Snow Ball: Also new. Two best friends, Owen and Libby, always spend Christmas Eve at home together watching movies… until the year Owen decides it’s time to go out. Romantic and positive and lots of fun.
If the Fates Allow: Originally published as an Amazon (and Audible) Original in 2021, I’d listened to the story already. The main character is Reagan, who we know from tthe Fangirl novel. Here, college is in the past, and we’re in the first year of the pandemic. Reagan goes to spend Thanksgiving with her isolated grandfather, but finds a surprising friendship with the young man spending the holiday next door. A socially distanced conversation from their neighboring back decks has Reagan reconsidering some of her non-COVID-related solitary ways.
The Prince and the Troll: Another one originally released as a stand-alone Amazon Original (2020), it’s a fairy tale-esque tale of a modern man who encounters a friendly bridge troll. There’s some climate change elements and odd concepts about life on the Road; it feels like a fable at times, but there’s also quite a lot of Starbucks involved. I felt that I didn’t really get it when I first listened to the audiobook, and reading it as part of Scattered Showers, it didn’t feel any clearer for me.
Mixed Messages: This new story mostly consists of texts between two friends, Beth and Jennifer, two main characters from the author’s 2011 novel Attachments. You don’t have to have read Attachments to appreciate the story. The characters are now in their forties, and we get a glimpse of their lives, their hopes and disappointments, and how their friendship has supported them both across the years. It’s lovely.
Snow for Christmas: A Simon Snow story! If you’re a Simon fan (count me in!), you’ll absolutely want to read this sweet story about Simon and Baz’s Christmas. Set after the events of the Simon series, it just made me really happy to see where these two are in their lives.
In Waiting: This quirky story might just be my favorite of the bunch! I won’t say anything about it, but it’s absolutely worth checking out!
Summing it all up:
This book is a treat for Rainbow Rowell fans! And the physical book itself is lovely, with a shiny cover, blue-colored page ends, cute illustrations throughout, and a ribbon placeholder. Definitely a great gift idea for anyone who loves the Simon books or any other of this author’s books and characters.