cover image Scattered Showers

Scattered Showers

Rainbow Rowell, illus. by Jim Tierney. Wednesday, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-85541-1

Fangirl’s Reagan, Simon and Baz from the Simon Snow trilogy, and protagonists from Attachments feature alongside new Rowell characters in this frothy, genre-spanning short story amalgam. Tierney’s silhouette illustrations, rendered in energetic teals and magentas, precede the tales, introducing each story’s individual theme and central couple. In collection opener “Midnights,” reserved Mags recounts four New Year’s Eve parties over the course of her developing relationship with laid-back jokester Noel. College student Summer contends with a contentious neighbor while mourning a breakup in “Winter Songs for Summer.” In “Kindred Spirits,” a romance unfolds in a queue for the newest Star Wars release, and Reagan navigates family drama against a Covid-19 backdrop in “If the Fates Allow.” While most of the stories employ contemporary settings, others embody a more fanciful approach: “The Prince and the Troll” takes place in a world seemingly on the edge of ecological disaster, and “In Waiting” is set in a land of authorial imagination, where characters wait for the author to stop fiddling with the backstory to finish their novels. A playful mash-up of new fare and fan favorites for Rowell completists, and an inviting introduction for new readers. Most characters read as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Nov.)