Title: “Kindred Spirits”
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult Romance
I have been a big Rainbow Rowell fan ever since I read Eleanor and Park. Rowell has a way of writing real characters that pop off the page. Her last few offerings however, haven’t been up to par with her best work. Carry On was good, but it suffered from being a Harry Potter imitation. “Kindred Spirits,” Rainbow Rowell’s 60 page short story published on World Book Day in the UK has potential, but never quite takes off like her other stories.
“Kindred Spirits” tells the story of Elena, a twenty-something Star Wars fanatic, as she stands in line to get tickets for the latest film in the Star Wars saga The Force Awakens. Elena feels as though she is leading up to this moment her whole life, but when she arrives at her local theater, she discovers that there are only two other people in line with her. Too stubborn to go home, but too afraid to interact socially, Elena keeps to herself for most of the story. She eventually forges a connection with Gabe, a fellow Star Wars nerd and classmate. The couple eventually makes it to the movie only to fall asleep as the film starts. They wake up at the end and promise to see it together that night. Elena’s strained relationship with her father is touched upon briefly here, but it never really goes anywhere. That’s my main problem with the story. Nothing really happens. It’s a really nice set up for a story, but there is no pay off. “Kindred Spirits” would work better as a full fledged novel. There are certain plot threads that need to be fleshed out more to actually have any impact. The only drawback to extending “Kindred Spirits” into a novel is its resemblance to Fangirl.
Overall, I liked “Kindred Spirits.” It was a quick and enjoyable read but I just expected more from it. I hope Rainbow Rowell’s next story is closer in spirit to her earlier work.