Review: Kindred Spirits (Rainbow Rowell)

Book Review: Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
kindred spirits Book title Kindred Spirits
Format Short Story
Author Rainbow Rowell
Pages 96
Year published 2016
Category | Genre Young Adult | Contemporary
Rating 3.5 stars

Official Summary

‘Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’
‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

Kindred Spirits captured the spirits perfectly, but ended before it gets truly great.

Kindred Spirits was a short story released as part of World Book Day celebration in UK. However, it was also sold internationally in physical as well as ebook format. I bought this book accidentally when I browsed a certain ebook store with the evil one-click-purchase button. It was a very short read, as suggested by the format. From the synopsis, one could see that this book was mainly targeted to Star Wars fans, but will it work for non-fans?


In Kindred Spirits, Rainbow introduced us to Elena, a petite Vietnamese girl who looks way too young for her age. I AM ELENA, ladies and gents. I still got carded when I was 28. *high fives* This Elena, she’s a huge Star Wars fan and so she decided to wait in line and camp out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening night. Here she met other Star Wars fans and was put into multiple emergency and hilarious situations.

At a glimpse, one would think that people who don’t care about Star Wars would not get this story. I disagree. While it is true that you won’t get the Star Wars references, there are many things you could get from Kindred Spirits. One of them is the feeling of being in a fandom. Basically, if you ever was part of a fandom, you could relate to this story.

“She says you can buy your movie ticket online.”
“That’s not the point.”
“It’s just that –. Elena, I think this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in your life.”
“That’s a good thing, Mom. Think about how much worse it could be.”

The other message Rowell managed to deliver was how ‘exclusive’ a fandom could sometimes be. As you can read in the premise, Elena was asking if they’re mad that a semipopular girl like her dared to love Star Wars. I honestly think it is an issue today, not just in Star Wars but in almost every fandom. In Kindred Spirits, Rowell managed to smoothly blend this issue with another big-if not even bigger-issue, bullying. Elena’s back and forth banter with her companies made for amusing reading, but it offered much more than that.

My issue with Kindred Spirits was that it was too short. I didn’t ask for a full length book, but a novella would be nice. There were too many things she threw at us, but didn’t explore. In hindsight, this might be a conscious choice she made, still I cannot help but feeling disappointed upon realizing that the next page on my e-book was an extract from another book.

Final score

3.5 stars
3.5 stars (out of 5 stars)

Let me know, have you read Kindred Spirits or do you plan to read it? If you have read it, what do you think about it? Are you part of any fandom and did you ever have a memorable experience (be it good or bad) in the fandom?

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