does an excellent job of building suspense around a sleepy
town in the dead of winter, a girl who knows too much, a teacher
with a past, and a boy struggling to navigate the waters of
losing someone and finding oneself.
[T]here’s no doubt that this rich, complex puzzle is
the work of a talented author.
– Publishers Weekly
strange tale manages to creep deeply under your skin, and
to stay there for some time.
Galloway recaptures the intensity, magic and
terror of adolescence. He preserves that teenage sense of
wonder at discovering everything as if it were new. Far from
cynical, As Simple as Snow presents in all its splendour that
adolescent yearning for a life well lived and testifies to
the importance of keeping those emotions alive, of not letting
adulthood wear down the imagination.
This novel's authentic portrayal of adolescence untempered
by a condescending adult gaze recalls another first novel,
Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides, with which it shares
some essential characteristics. Both authors chose not to
resolve their central mysteries fully, creating evocative
and disturbing ambiguities. Both books focus on enigmatic
teenage girls from an unusually tender male perspective. Both
of them are fuelled by plots that flirt with the murder-mystery
genre and are so haunting that they almost read like ghost
Emphasizing this kinship with the ghost story, Anna and G.G.
come to share a passion for reading ghost stories and for
creating their own. Perhaps the whole of As Simple as Snow
is a ghost story engineered by Anna for G.G.'s benefit.
Beyond the murder mystery and the ghost story, Galloway also
draws on Gothic fiction's fascination with the grotesque.
Essentially a work of realism, As Simple as Snow gains texture
and depth by acknowledging and incorporating other modes of
storytelling. . . .
. . . .Engaging mysteries, profound characters, heartbreaking
tenderness, a playful intermingling of genres and a maddeningly
involving plot all combine to make As Simple as Snow utterly
-- The Montreal Gazette, Claude Lalumiere
best novel I've read in a while.
Gregory Galloway's As Simple As Snow is a quiet mystery, told
from the perspective of a teenage boy who befriends an unusual
girl named Anastasia.
That's really all you need to know about the plot. The real
reason you should read this book is because it does such a
brilliant job building its characters, and gradually building
the elements of the story. This book blows away The Da Vinci
Code with the intricacy of its mystery, and it does so without
having to use chases and gunfights to spice things up.
You can choose to read this book in a couple of different
ways. If you want a light, fast, read, you can breeze through
the book and enjoy the story as it is. If you want a challenge,
you can twist your mind around all the subtle clues embedded
within the small details. Or, you can do what I did: read
the book once through quickly, and then go back and read it
again to try to catch everything that you missed. The book
was even better the second time through.
Sometimes you start looking for clues so intently that you
start to see patterns that aren't there. And I think that's
exactly what the author intended. It can really start to fry
your brain cells, but if you like puzzles and mysteries, you'll
like this book.
The Real Kato
This book was one of the best that I have
read in a long time, although the ending does leave the reader with some unanswered questions. It is a strange
tale and is so intriguing that it is almost impossible to put down. It will suck you in from the beginning and
hold your attention until the very last word. It is definitely a must read!
-- Teen Scene Magazine
Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway will be haunting me for
a long, long time.
Author Gregory Galloway has created a stunning and haunting
tale. Just as Anna herself, this book is hard to categorize.
Many would call "As Simple as Snow" a mystery, but
just as many might refer to it as a coming-of-age story. The
writing is engrossing, placing the reader on the same page
(no pun intended) as the narrator, trying to figure out Anna
herself as well the codes she used. Readers will be looking
for clues in the grand design while falling for this strong,
willful character and wondering why she left.
It even has an appropriately creepy website, where you may
download the mix CDs Anna created and watch a unique trailer
for the book. If the trailer doesn't make you want to read
the book immediately, I don't know what will.
This isn't a run-of-the-mill mystery, nor a cautionary tale.
It's a story about a boy, a girl, a town, a code. It's a story
about that time in your life when you realize nothing is as
simple as it seems. Once you realize that, you can't go back,
no matter how hard you try. You can only go forward.
-- Five Six Seven Eight
just completed reading Gregory Galloway's AS SIMPLE AS SNOW,
his first (published) novel. And I am near speechless, agog
with wonder. Gregory Galloway uses simple, declarative, even
affectless sentences (the protagonist's narrative voice) to
powerful advantage, creating an increasing sense of tension
and fright from beginning to end. A novel of character, the
author also has successfully crafted a thriller, loaded with
clues. And if you cannot discern its meaning (e.g., what happened
to Anna), then know there is a website that offers added depth
to the clues [that are] strewn craftily, deftly throughout
After hearing some rumbling about this book, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Within a few paragraphs I was completely hooked. Everything else fell to the wayside -- dinner, laundry, bills -- I had to get to the end! Once it was over, I wanted more. I can't wait to see what Gregory Galloway has in store for us next!
of a supernatural love story than a ghost story, the book
acutely charts the romance between an average teenage boy
and a hipster, and the grief he succumbs to when she disappears.
The clues the narrator receives that may reveal the ultimate
fate of Anna all fit together to form an amazing puzzle. It’s
a great supernatural mystery that’s handled realistically
and has rational explanations. [The narrator] pursues the
clues in the heartbreaking hope that Anna still exists in
some form, even if it’s a supernatural one. “There
are people you meet in life that will forever change you,
forever alter everything about yourself,” one character
says. “They become part of you, and if they leave, you
have been robbed of that treasure, a part of you has been
ripped away.” “As Simple As Snow” is a compelling
examination of grief that’s further amplified by its
supernatural undertones and the moving relationship at its
"As Simple As Snow," a beautiful, quirky novel that
will keep you up way, way too late trying to decode the cryptic
"acknowledgements" section, has spawned its own
site (assimpleassnow.com) for fans to commiserate.
“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.” This
is the line with which this mesmerizingly bizarre novel —
part mystery, part love story — opens. Anna Cayne loves
Houdini and ghost stories, dresses all in black, writes secret
codes and puzzles, and in her spare time writes make-believe
obituaries for everyone in town. When our nameless narrator
falls in love with her and she suddenly disappears, he begins
to receive cryptic messages that only Anna could have sent
him. Techincally an adult fiction/mystery novel, As Simple
As Snow could also be considered young adult, and would be
a fantastic read for a teen. (By the way, about the ending:
you’ll either love it, or you’ll want to come
throw the book at my head).
-- Hilary Emerson Lay
of ‘76 bookstore, Marblehead, MA
stranger comes to town and somebody leaves home: Greg Galloway’s
first novel encompasses both elements of the famous plot reduction
in a mystery that continues to resonate long after the last
page. Anna Cayne is the newcomer to Hamilton High, a Goth
sophomore in love with words, puzzles, codes and ghost stories.
Her hobby is to write the epitaph of everyone in town –
in short, a 21st century Wednesday Addams... The narrator
is, by his own account, completely unremarkable in every way
but the two become friends until Anna vanishes (need we say
mysteriously?). His search for her triggers more questions
than it answers, while revealing more than he wants to know
about his family and friends. Sound a little odd for a mystery?
Well, it is – but we really really like it!
Partners & Crime, Partner’s Pick
I can't put down As Simple as Snow. This one is even more
filled with cryptic maps and puzzles and clues than Extremely
Loud and Incredibly Close. It's about a high school boy who
meets a cute goth girl obsessed with poetry, wordplay, indie
music (she gives the unnamed narrator several CD mixes, and
the tracklists are included), shortwave radio spy-number stations,
and stage magic. And then one day she disappears. Her dress
is found spread out next to a hole in the ice over a frozen
river, and everyone assumes she's dead, but then the boyfriend
starts getting mysterious packages in the mail. It's ooh spooky
good and I think I can't go to sleep tonight until I finish.
-- I been havin a snake
I am very impressed with the story and the writing. The situation
is one which has me torn on my opinion of the author. I am
torn between the idea that I would not want to read another
book by him and that I cannot wait for him to write many more
so I may read them all. The only reason I would not read his
other writing is I would be afraid it would not be as original;
not as good. It is an odd feeling, one I am not used to, to
finish a book and be left with this strange appreciation for
the author because of the work he completed. The book was
not the best I have read, but Gregory Galloway took me in
directions that are usually left untraveled in my literary
adventures and for that I thank him.
new young adult novel is anything but simple! An unnamed narrator
— a high school boy who describes himself as so uninteresting
that he is like a glass of water — suddenly finds himself
the object of interest by a new student, a bright, artistic
goth–girl named Anna. She pursues our narrator, challenging
his taste in poets, books, and music until he falls hopelessly
in love. Then she disappears —leaving behind a labyrinth
of clues in letters, art, and music CDs. There is no way to
know whether she dead or alive, or where the clues are leading
him . . .but follow it he must. The novel pulls on lots of
resources: Houdini, beat poets, teen angst and disenchantment,
and music. Galloway's teens are bright, intelligent, passionately
interested in the world of ideas and puzzles. The book is
a real treat.
Midori Snyder, The Endicott Studio
night I finished the stupidest book I've ever read called
As Simple As Snow. It's so stupid I'm not even going to link
-- Fluent Sap