Reviews

"...a riveting second novel that explores the issue of suicide with a philosophical, never sensational, approach, inviting considerations of existentialism and nihilism. Adam is tragically out of tune with what he regards as a meaningless world in which fishing and drinking are the only ways to spend the summer he turns 17. Is his disaffection universal or is it an anomaly confined to his own troubled self? As it addresses these questions, Galloway’s book requires careful reading of the issues it addresses, but the effort is well worth it.."

BOOKLIST, starred review

"Snow, of course, is not really simple, and this clever first novel enmeshes its characters in situations that are more complex than they first appear to be. As related by an unnamed teenage boy, the suspenseful, open-ended plot concerns strange occurrences during an eventful winter in a seemingly quiet community. The possibly unreliable narrator is struggling through a lonely and rather bland adolescence until a new girl in his school's Goth crowd becomes interested in him romantically. Anna is anything but bland: she adores wordplay, odd facts, obscure jokes, ciphers, codes, the paranormal, and practical magic (especially the escape illusions of Harry Houdini), and her hobby is drafting obituaries for everyone in town. When she suddenly goes missing and is presumed dead, her heartsick boyfriend ponders her fate. An accident, surely–or was it? Suicide? Murder? Could Anna have run away? Why was her dress laid out so neatly near a hole in the ice? What about the bruises she tried to hide? Are her parents really grieving? Could a favorite teacher be involved? Though some readers may be frustrated when most questions remain unanswered, others will find their inner Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy stimulated by the abundant ambiguities, coincidences, and clues scattered throughout."

STARR E. SMITH, School Library Journal

"Galloway has written a thoughtful, darkly humorous, philosophical novel with great chapter titles that reads, in a way, like homage to some of the greatest writers of literature, such as Franz Kafka, who suffered from depression. More than that, this story is for older teens, many who know someone, or have themselves at one time, contemplated ending their life. Galloway takes the stigma behind suicide and throws it out the window by incorporating bits of wisdom as well as facts about suicide that will be surprising to some."

Tanya Paglia, VOYA

"... an honest, aching character study that captures small-town life and small-town despair, and takes both to an intriguing extreme. It thoughtfully explores the impulses that drive Adam, and what it feels like to be unwillingly locked into a body he’s tired of, and a life he sometimes hates but can’t escape. It’s daring, and deeply felt, and often grimly funny. ."

Tasha Robinson, The A.V. Club

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
As Simple As Snow