Scattered Showers: nine beautiful short stories

Scattered Showers: nine beautiful short stories

By Author / Illustrator

Rainbow Rowell


Romance & Relationships

Age range(s)



Pan Macmillan








Rainbow Rowell has won fans all over the world by writing about love and life in a way that feels true. In her first short story collection Scattered Showers, she gives us nine beautifully crafted love stories - wrapped in a beautiful hardback gift package including two-colour illustrations and sprayed edges. Illustrated throughout by Jim Tierney.

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.



Short stories are a notoriously difficult art form but the utterly brilliant Rainbow Rowell has nailed it with her very first collection. Scattered Showers showcases Rowell's trademark character-driven storytelling, realistic relationship building and witty dialogue with nine big-hearted, genre-spanning, inclusive stories centring on love and friendship in all its guises. Five of the stories are brand new, others allow favourite characters from Rowell's full-length novels to make a welcome return: Reagan from Fangirl, Beth and Jennifer from Attachments and Simon Snow from Carry On, which makes this book the perfect introduction to Rowell's writing for new readers while also being an irresistible indulgence for die-hard fans! It also cleverly bridges the gap between Rowell's YA and adult writing.

Though each story is very different, Rowell manages to set the scene, capture our attention and make us care deeply for the characters from the off. Her genius lies in creating realistic, slightly nerdy, socially awkward characters - far removed from the enhanced, glossy, larger-than-life stereotypes who often inhabit the pages of YA writing - and exploring the relationships which develop between them. Their world is a very ordinary one of high school dances, Star Wars movies, covid restrictions and break-up mixtapes. These are characters you'd take home to meet your parents, full of flaws and insecurities, who just want to be loved and accepted for who they are and get the happy endings they deserve. They build positive, healthy relationships through kindness, trust, the odd misunderstanding, and mutual respect which, in these Andrew Tate-tainted times, is refreshing. Such is Rowell’s skill, and her belief in the power of love, that even when those characters are princes, trolls, vampires and imaginary characters yet to be written into a story, we care about them just as deeply.

Scattered Showers is stunningly packaged too, with its eye-catching rainbow cover, coloured page edges and purpley print. Stylish, two-tone illustrations in minty green and magenta at the start of each story provide a neat introduction to the characters and action. Many of the stories are set over the Christmas/New Year holiday period which gives the book a festive feel but this is very much a read at any time, make yourself feel better book - a great big hug in book form. Buy it as a gift, as a present to yourself or as an end-of-the-year prize for students in upper KS3/4. It's almost impossible to read it without a big smile on your face.

Reading-resistant students or those lacking reading stamina will find this the perfect book to dip into and to keep coming back to. English teachers will adore it as a masterclass in character creation. Scattered Showers might be Rowell's first short story collection, I very much hope it isn't her last!

Similarly happy-making short story collections about making connections and falling in love include Serendipity (ed Marissa Meyer) and My True Love Gave to Me (ed Stephanie Perkins). Fans of Rainbow Rowell will also devour books by Simon James Green, Alice Oseman, Emma Lord, Holly Bourne, Casey McQuiston, Adam Silvera, David Levithan and Emery Lord.

288 pages / Reviewed by Eileen, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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