As Simple as Snow

As Simple as Snow

by Gregory Galloway


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As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway

"Anna Cayne had moved here in August, just before our sophomore year in high school, but by February she had, one by one, killed everyone in town."

Anna—who prefers to be called Anastasia—is a slightly spooky and complicated high school girl with a penchant for riddles, Houdini tricks, and ghost stories. She spends much of her time writing obituaries for every living person in town. She is unlike anyone the narrator has ever known, and they make an unlikely, though happy, pair.

Then a week before Valentine's Day, Anna disappears, leaving behind only a dress placed neatly near a hole in the frozen river, and a string of unanswered questions. Desperate to find her, or at least to comprehend what happened and why, the narrator begins to reconstruct the past five months. And soon the fragments of curious events, intimate conversations, secrets, and peculiar letters (and the anonymous messages that continue to arrive) coalesce into haunting and surprising revelations that may implicate friends, relatives, and even Anna herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780147515810
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/21/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 545,260
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Gregory Galloway has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He lives in New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt

Good-bye to Everyone

Anna Cayne had moved here in August, just before our sophomore year in high school, but by February she had, one by one, killed everyone in town. She didn't do it all by herself—I helped with a few, including my best friend—but still, it was no small accomplishment, even if it was a small town.
  She captured all of these lives and deaths in fourteen black-jacketed composition notebooks. By the time she has finished, there were more than 1,500 obituaries, on just under 2,800 handwritten pages. The lives she wrote about were real, all true, but the deaths were fictions she invented, an average of around eight a day. "I'm not predicting the future," she said, "but it's only a matter of time before everyone catches up to me."
  She had known things about people, or had discovered them—the secrets and private information that showed up in her notebooks were things that people who had spent their entire lives in our town didn't know. The funny thing is, during the months when the bodies were piling up in the imagination of Anna Cayne, I don't think a single person actually died in town; it was the longest drought for the funeral home that anyone could remember.
  The obituaries were private; her friends and a few other people knew that Anna was working on them, but besides me, I don't believe anyone else was allowed to read them. She must have started the project on her very first day in town, the day I saw her sitting on the front lawn of her new home, writing in one of her notebooks as the rest of us stood with her parents, watching their belongings parade from thelong yellow truck into the house. And after she had written the last page almost seven months later, she was gone.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This strange tale manages to creep under your skin, and to stay there for some time."—People

"The writing is compelling; the pace as swift as that water churning under the ice."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A story about young love, suffused with mystery and magic . . . an absorbing read."—The Des Moines Register

"This rich, complex puzzle is the work of a talented author."—Publishers Weekly

"An intriguing debut."—School Library Journal

"Oddly mesmerizing . . . it's teasing foreshadowings and forbodings make it hard to forget."—Booklist

"Galloway does an excellent job of building suspense."—Library Journal

"One of the best books I've read in a long, long time."-Kaye Gibbons

Customer Reviews

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As Simple as Snow 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a gothic teenage girl named Anna Cayne who changes the life of a teenage guy. Anna wasn't your average teenage girl. She always wore black and wrote obituaries for fun. He was a normal boy with no real goals or strong views in life. He actually didn't think much about himself either. Since Anna moved to town everything he knew changed. Not only had his life changed but everyone around him as well. Now find out how something so simple can be so complicated in the life of a teenage boy.
megrockstar on LibraryThing 2 days ago
This book was very different than my usual read, it had a 'dark' feeling and a hint of mystery. I felt that it started off very slow for the first ~125pgs. After that I couldnt put it down. I will say the ending could have been better and left alot of questions. I did particularly like the readers guide at the end, it helped me recollect alot of question and things I had forgotten.
raspberrybee on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I loved this book. This was easily the best and most wonderful book I've read so far this year.It is the story of Anna and the narrator (who's name we are never told). They fall in love and I don't want to say much more. It is not a love story, I want to make that clear. It is just a wonderful novel and I recommend you go read it right now.
Cygnus555 on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Great kick off to a writing career. As far as I know, this is Greg's first novel. I was drawn in and curious throughout. Recommended highly!
escondidolibrary on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Story of the mysterious disappearance of goth girl Anna Cayne as told by the plain, normal guy who falls in love with her.
conradrader on LibraryThing 7 days ago
A good read, yet somewhat nihilistic tone, very close to what I remember high school being like for not being a popular jock.
dandelion1 on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Strange, eccentric goth girl meets suburan (or rural) boy whose name is never actually revealed. They hit it off, have a 4 month relationship that ends half way through the novel in her disappearance. The young man spends the rest of the story trying to discover the truth about family, what happened and himself. A very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annabelle_Haze More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was excellent not despite the fact it gave no clear-cut answers, but because of that. There are enough hints in the story to piece together what happened, but nothing is explicitly stated, and some things are left in the dark entirely. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book to begin with and then reached the end and wad baffled. There is no closure to the story and none of the questions are answered. I think the concept was creative but i did not like the way it was presented. I do all though think it is clever that you never know the main characters name. He leaves hints and if you look closely you will find tha its the authors own name.
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TheSwt3stCyn More than 1 year ago
The author starts off strong, leads us on and then gives us an ending that leaves you to wonder if he ran out of creativity.
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Miss_Scarlett13 More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after a friend insisted I read it. It starts of rather slow (not boring, just slow) but quickly gains momentum. It is one of the, er, more eccentric books I've read. It doesn't have a truly defined plot line, and I don't think we ever learn the narrators name. But, it is without a doubt, one of the better books I've read.
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katknit More than 1 year ago
As Simple as Snow is touted as anything but simple, full of mystery and subtle sorcery. For most readers over a certain age, however, (let's place it high at 35), it's nothing more than a slight twist on the typical, angst filled coming of age story. Ordinary, self-consciously unimaginative boy meets intellectual, ostentatiously quirky girl. She lures him with enigmatic word and number games, he falls into sophomore- year love with her, then she up and disappears. The town is frantic, thinking she's been murdered, but the enigmatic games continue in the form of cryptic messages, while taxpayers' money goes down the drain. Not surprising in the world of adolescents, the boy's only other friend also disappears. While this plot, for a while, generates interest as to their fates, what passes for resolution is, annoyingly, merely more questioning and angst. At the end of the interlude, a period of about six months, the boy has matured into a whole new identity because of what this girl taught him, and by implication, will grow into literary and personal greatness. The unnamed sophomore is a nicer kid than Holden Caulfield, but the drama's the same. Recommended for the "young adult" genre.
addica More than 1 year ago
This is one of the greatest books I have read; one of my top 10. I loved it all but the ending because I am the kind of girl who, when I¿m done reading and I close the book, I¿d like to feel complete; final. I don¿t like to end up asking questions after questions after I¿m done reading, which is what happened when I had finished reading As Simple as Snow. However, I still recommend this book to anyone in high school, anyone who likes the unexpected, or anyone who just loves to read.
This book is full of mystery, romance, and magic. This story is told through the words of a sophomore boy in high school. What¿s unique about this book is that the name of the narrator is NEVER mentioned, although the narrator¿s girlfriend gives us hints of what his name could be. Even his parents¿ names aren¿t mentioned.
This book is about the boy who falls in love with the new girl in town, but this new girl is no other typical teenage girl. I find her as unique as the book itself, and the narrator is drawn to her as well. She is into ¿riddles, Houdini tricks, and ghost stories¿. And one day, just a week before Valentine¿s Day, she does a Houdini and disappears. All that is left is her dress neatly placed next to a hole in the frozen river. A string of unanswered questions follows, and the narrator is desperate to find her, or at least understand what had happened and why.
Gregory Galloway, the author of As Simple as Snow, immediately draws you in and captures you in just the first sentence of the book. And by the end of the book, you would feel lost, uncertain, and have the attempt to answer those unanswered questions. It¿s not truly as big of a page-turner as the Twilight series, but it is a page-turner all the same.
It¿s an unforgettable book and will make you think of it for a long while.
HaleyMrsn More than 1 year ago
Anna Cayne disappears randomly, her boyfriend, who is never named, tried desperately to find her. He fell in love with her. He keeps receiving clues to her whereabouts from an unknown source. The weird thing is that no one in the town seems affected except him. Will he ever find her? READ THIS BOOK!!

This book really kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the odd quirks of Anna. She was very curious and got excited about learning new things. It also impressed me that Mr. Galloway paired the narrator and Anna together when they are both polar opposites. Anna is a Goth and he is an ex-jock. Anna reminds me a lot of myself. She¿s intrigued by the unexplainable, typical of me. I also like how this is a love story. It¿s a twisted love story though. The main character and Anna don¿t have a mushy relationship though, I like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago