Do you love Rainbow Rowell as much as I do? I thought I’d read everything she’d written – until Kate at Mom’s Radius posted about this one, a novella written especially for World Book Day in the UK. Happily, she’d bought a case and I won a copy in her giveaway!
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell. Macmillan (UK), 2016.
Rowell takes us to a movie theater in her usual Omaha setting. 18-year-old Elena, who keeps getting mistaken for a 12-year-old, has decided she’s up for the ultimate fan experience of getting in line a week early to wait for the opening of Star Wars: the Force Awakens. Unfortunately, there are only two other people in line: talkative Troy, who brags about the jobs he lost to waiting in line for previous Star Wars movies; and way-too-quiet Gabe, who seems her own age but won’t talk to her at all. The nights are very cold, there’s no place to shower or even to use the bathroom at night, her mother keeps calling Elena to try to convince her to come home, and Elena feels out of place as the only girl and the only Asian in the way-too-small line. She’s still determined to stay, and to put the very best spin on things she can in what she tells her friends and posts to Instagram.
This touches a lot of familiar Rowell themes, with the learning of uncomfortable truths about oneself leading to utterly believable, heart-tugging romance, told with empathy and humor. In this case, it’s mixed with a hefty dose of self-aware Star Wars fandom. It is short and sweet and well worth reading if you can get your hands on it.