Review of Scattered Showers: Stories

Scattered Showers:StoriesScattered Showers: Stories
by Rainbow Rowell; illus. by Jim Tierney
High School    Wednesday/St. Martin’s    288 pp.
11/22    9781250855411    $24.99
e-book ed.  9781250855428    $12.99

Teen readers of Rowell’s (Eleanor & Park, rev. 5/13; Fangirl, rev. 11/13) first short-story collection will relish spending time with her nine distinct narratives about love (four previously published). The author taps into her literary sweet spot of complex and memorable romance, including a friendship that evolves over multiple New Year’s Eves; a Star Wars movie premiere that brings two teens together; a college breakup healed by mixtapes from an unlikely source; and an invitation to a school dance that changes everything. New beginnings and longstanding relationships are staples, as are wintertime, Christmas, and Rowell’s home state of Nebraska, but variety in plot and characterization keep pages turning. These riveting character studies (including one of Simon and Baz from Carry On, rev. 1/16) often lead to truthful and profound conversations; within this mix of realism and fantasy (including the pandemic, a contemporary fairy tale, and a bit of metafiction), Rowell always addresses how love—in its many forms—is a fundamental aspect of life. Happy endings are in no way guaranteed (though they’re often implied), but every tale concludes with some degree of connection while leaving room for contemplation about what might happen next. There is a mauve and teal color palette in the text’s fonts, in scene-setting full-page illustrations at the beginning of each story, and in occasional spot art throughout.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Cynthia K. Ritter
Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is managing editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons University. She served on the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award committee.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.