Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

Scattered Showers – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Festive, fast paced, romantic, inclusive.
YA book title: Scattered Showers.
YA author: Rainbow Rowell.
YA illustrator: Jim Tierney
Genre: Short Stories.
Published by: Pan Macmillan.
ISBN: 9781529099119.
Recommended for children aged: 13+
First published: Hardback November 2022.
This children’s book is ideal for: KS3 & KS4 romance fans.

Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

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Our review:

Scattered Showers is the first short story collection from the best-selling author Rainbow Rowell, who burst onto both the children’s and adult bestseller lists in 2013 with Fangirl and continues to ride high in the charts with the Simon Snow trilogy. The nine stories in this collection showcase Rowell’s range of interests and abilities, with settings ranging from teenage parties to fantasy realms.

Midnights follows two best friends over consecutive New Year’s Eve parties as they try to navigate their changing relationship as they finish school and head to college.

Kindred Spirits (previously published as a stand-alone World Book Day title) see teenage science fiction fan Elena find companionship and acceptance in an all-night queue for the midnight screening of the new Star Wars film.

Winter Songs for Summer covers heartache, mix tapes and second chances at love.

True love wasn’t guaranteed. No one owed you love. And you couldn’t earn it.
You just had to be in the right place for it.

The Snow Ball is similar to Midnights, with friends realising they’d like to be something more, when a new girlfriend threatens to upset their Christmas traditions.

If the Fates Allow is a Covid-era tale of isolation and family responsibility set in small-town America and featuring Reagan from Fangirl.

The Prince and the Troll is simultaneously charming and disturbing, as a budding romance is threatened by an emerging environmental disaster, accompanied by the ever-present Starbucks.

Once upon a time, in a land that was losing, a man sat at the edge of a river.

Mixed Messages is written mostly in text messages between two women chatting about husbands, families and approaching menopause.

Snow for Christmas is set in Rowell’s popular Simon Snow universe (Carry On, Wayward Son and Any Way the Wind Blows) as Baz and Snow endure a slightly strained family Christmas.

In Waiting is an intriguing tale of what life might be like for an author’s characters before they are written and takes the idea that characters take control of their own stories to new heights.

“Am I … Is this … the story?”
“No. Not yet. This is like … the waiting room. You haven’t been written yet.”

Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

Themes of relationships – romantic, family or friendships – run throughout the collection, with protagonists ranging from teenagers to women in their late forties, as well as vampires, trolls and yet-to-be-written book characters. LGBTQ+ relationships are portrayed in a strong, positive light and five of the stories are set at Christmas time, giving a festive spin on the collection. The book itself is beautifully presented with an eye-catching rainbow cover and end pages, coloured text and full-page illustrations at the start of each story.

Scattered Showers will appeal to both Rowell’s established fans and those who are new to her work.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy.

If you like Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell you might also like: our reviews of This Book Kills by Ravena Guron, Curse Breaker by Simon Tudhope, The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho, The Silver Chain, written and illustrated by Jion Sheibani and Unraveller by Frances Hardinge

Browse our list of books for KS4

About Melanie Dillon

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Melanie has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management; a Post Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature focusing on the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme & LGBT YA fiction, and extensive experience working in school and public libraries. Linkedin | Reviews by Melanie Dillon