As Simple as Snow

As Simple as Snow

by Gregory Galloway

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

"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: 323,105
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.
  Maybe.

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 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 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.
krsball on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I would have definitely loved as a high schooler. As an adult I liked the mystery. It was a quick, exciting read.
edecklund on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A "Young Adult" book that could only be called such because the characters are high school age. Yes, it explores many "coming of age" themes but not sophomorically. Very thought provoking, with memorable characters, a bit of mystery, some heavy elements, and a wee bit of humor. Later, I discovered there was a whole thing going on with people trying to figure out the story. Google the title, visit the author's website, get totally involved, or just enjoy a good read.
dw0rd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A "Young Adult" book that could only be called such because the characters are high school age. Yes, it explores many "coming of age" themes but not sophomorically. Very thought provoking, with memorable characters, a bit of mystery, some heavy elements, and a wee bit of humor. Later, I discovered there was a whole thing going on with people trying to figure out the story. Google the title, visit the author's website, get totally involved, or just enjoy a good read.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Anna Cayne is like no one that our narrator has ever met: she dresses like a goth, writes obituaries for everyone in town, listens to shortwave radio, seems to have read everything, is obsessed with Houdini and secret codes, and sends him cryptic messages and puzzles. Being her boyfriend has changed our narrator's life, but then she disappears a week before Valentine's day, with the only trace of where she's gone as cryptic as everything else she's ever done. No one knows if it was murder, suicide, or if she just ran away, and our narrator is desperate to find her, desperate to understand what happened, and turns to the only source of information he has - the months of notes and e-mails and mix CDs and other ephemera of their relationship, searching for a message that only Anna could leave.Review: As Simple as Snow is extraordinarily similar in plot to John Green's Paper Towns, and yet they were worlds apart in how much I enjoyed them. And, for the life of me, I can't quite put my finger on why I loved Paper Towns but could barely finish As Simple as Snow. My first instinct was that the difference was in the leading lady - that I found Anna so obnoxious that it ruined the book for me. It's not a bad guess - the narrator and the author find Anna's quirkiness charming, and the narrative pull of the book seems to rely on the reader finding her charming too... which I didn't (to say the least.) But then I remembered that I found Margo, the leading lady of Paper Towns, pretty obnoxious as well, although it was somewhat mediated by the fact that she wasn't around for as long. So it has to be something else.The main character? I think that's got some explanatory power; Quentin from Paper Towns is likeable enough to carry the story in his own right, even when the girl in question is in absentia, while the unnamed narrator of As Simple as Snow is kind of a cipher, with no real personality to recommend him. Also, this was clearly meant as a coming of age novel, but since the narrator only rebuilds his identity under the impetus and direction of another person, it was less than convincing on that front. Maybe it was the tone of the book? I don't think As Simple as Snow made me laugh once, whereas Paper Towns had me rolling on the floor in between making its serious points. Maybe the difference in the resolutions? As Simple as Snow leaves a *lot* - read: almost all - of questions unanswered, and while I realize that in real life not all threads wrap up neatly, it was still a little frustrating to listen to hour after hour of story where every little detail was treated as a Highly Significant and Meaningful Clue and then have nothing pan out. Or maybe it did pan out, but I was too annoyed by Anna during the Actually Important Clues to be paying full attention. Either way, I was disappointed. 2.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: I should have liked this book. I liked Stargirl; I loved Paper Towns. It seems like most people who liked one liked the others; I just didn't. But, at the same time, I can't entirely figure out why not, so if you liked the others, it might be worth your while to give As Simple as Snow a try.
schinders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
one of my favorite books of '05, enigmatic and engaging.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Teens really like this and it is pretty well written. It caused me to write my own obituary. It may inspire others.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story!! I am always looking for different story lines for my high school students. I like recommending this one to them. I think it is clever how there are music play lists to go along with the literature.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A YA puzzler, As Simple As Snow tells the story of a straight forward teen who meets a complicated Goth girl and falls hard. Over the course of one winter they are together. She is full of tricks and mind games, weaving herself into his life as they plan to be together forever. One of her hobbies is writing obituaries for everyone in the town. She talks about death and suicide and they make a pact to try to contact each other if anything happens. Their code is the phrase `as simple as snow¿.One February night she disappears. All that is found is her dress and a hole in the river. Did she drown? Was it suicide or murder? Where had she gone? Her body is never recovered and our main character is left to try and put the pieces together. At this point the book descended into an valley of teen angst and I basically lost interest.A disappointing ending to a book that started with so much promise. Lots of literary and musical references but the writing turned stilted and clumsy, and the characters were just too one dimensional and lacked depth. Unfortunately As Simple As Snow never really developed into the interesting story I had hoped for.
kpickett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The main character of this book, who is forever unnamed, falls in love with the mysterious Anna. Anna delights in challenging her lover with riddles and enigmas in a journey through the possibilities of the paranormal. When suddenly disappears leaving only a hole in the ice everyone supposes she is dead. The main character goes on a journey to try and reach her, where ever she is. The mystery is a little annoying but the book grips the reader and takes you along and makes you wonder.
megrockstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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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