Scott Taylor's Reviews > As Simple as Snow

As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

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Read from November 28 to December 09, 2011

Improbable and somewhat incredulous high school romance between a realist and idealist that ends in a mystery. Whether the mystery is an actual mysterious happening or one contrived by the idealist is hard to tell. Anna, the idealist, is a goth girl who creates her own stamps, likes to write obituaries, and enjoys building mysteries. The other guy, unnamed, is hopelessly caught up in her quirky charms.

Many of the themes and subjects are those common to any breathing human being who had a high school experience. Jocks, goth people, nerds, geeks, people who don't know where they fit, and all kinds of emotions from jealousy to envy to love to anger to joy. I related to the settings and situations, even if its from a turbulent time in my life I am perfectly ok with forgetting about.

Anna is cute. She sends constant letters to unnamed, with little trinkets, tailor-made CDs, and riddles and notes in them. One time she sent a map to buried treasure that turned out to be a Valentine colored red box buried by a tree with the usual custom CD and a bunch of random stuff she found. The two lovers also develop a secret code that only they know so that, in case of doubt, they can confirm each others identity. It so captures the whimsy and randomness of young romantic abandon that one can't help but be charmed.

One thing I personally enjoyed were all the literary references. Writings and references to Poe, Lovecraft, other horror and mystery writers and many poets are peppered throughout the book. There is also a notable sequence about Houdini, one of my personal heroes. The author skillfully wove an aura of mystery into the narrative and effectively created a unique setting for the story.

The one big flaw in the book was the ending. I felt it left a lot too much to the imagination. There is a resolution to the mystery present, but its well hidden within some clues in the early narrative along with one particular obituary. Beyond the pages of this book, the two lovers presumably survive their turbulent teenage years and end up living happily ever after. But this ending is by no means clear. Kind of like being a teenager, actually.

Thanks for reading.

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