Review + Giveaway of Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

kindred spirits‘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?’
‘Maybe.’

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.*

Ever since Fangirl Rainbow Rowell has been one of my auto-buy authors, so when I saw that she was writing a novella for World Book Day and that I could pre-order it on Book Depository, I didn’t hesitate. Imagine my surprise when I get a giant box delivered to my house one Saturday and, unsure of what it is, peek inside to find not one but fifty copies of Rainbow’s short story!

I thought it must be some mistake on the part of the warehouse, but I’m not the only one who got 49 extra copies and Book Depository says it’s part of their World Book Day promotion. I donated most copies to various public libraries in my area and shared them with friends who are fans of Rainbow or just YA fans in general (it helps that I’m a Library and Info Science major–I know a lot of people who love books!). My mom even gave her copy to a waitress at a diner who saw her reading it and mentioned that it’s on her TBR list.

After all this donating and sharing, I have a couple of copies left to give away. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win, see the widget below! The entry period closes at midnight on April 1.

Now for the review…..

This short story is similar to Fangirl in a lot of ways, which of course means I adore it. Rainbow has a way of creating characters who read like real people; it makes it really difficult to leave her stories behind when I finish reading them because I become attached to the people, even in a story as brief as 62 pages. That takes a great amount of skill as a writer and I really admire that about her.

In Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, and now in “Kindred Spirits”, there is always a character who suffers from feeling like an outsider, whether it is due to a mental illness like anxiety or merely having different interests than those around them. I personally have anxiety *and* different interests from most of the people around me (I’m Cath’s definition of a nerd—I prefer fictional worlds to the real one), so it’s always refreshing and comforting to read a story by Rainbow. It’s a nice reminder that I’m not alone in those feelings, even though it often feels like it.

I made the mistake of reading the “Tuesday” section in the quiet study area of the library I work in when I got in early one morning; it took a hefty amount of self-control to not bust out laughing like a maniac! I also had to pee (thanks, large French Vanilla coffee!), which didn’t help matters and was really ironic (you’ll understand when you read the story). Thanks to work and school, I had to read it in 20-page spurts, but it could easily be read in a single sitting. It’s short and a page-turner, so you won’t want to put it down.

If you’re a Star Wars nerd, then you’ll especially enjoy this story. The section where the three characters discuss their least favorite movies also had me wanting to laugh out loud—Episode II was my favorite when I was a kid (I’m a sucker for romance), but watching it now I tend to cringe. I wanted to jump into the conversation with Troy, Gabe, and Elena to tell them my own opinions and history with the films! Side note: does anyone else think the shaaks look like giant potatoes?! That always cracked me up. Anyway, there are obviously a lot of references to the films, which were so fun to read.

Overall, this is a really cute, funny, quick read that still manages to touch briefly on some heavier topics like family issues and slight bullying. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Rainbow’s characters and storytelling, Star Wars, or fandom in general. Just make sure you’re in a place where you can comfortably laugh out loud—trust me, you’ll thank me for the warning!

*Synopsis and cover image are from Amazon.com.

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13 thoughts on “Review + Giveaway of Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

  1. Same thing happened to me. Thought I ordered one copy, 50 show up! LOL. My review and giveaway go up tomorrow! Haha

    I basically thought the same as you! Rainbow is a fantastic writer and I love her characters. Being a hard-core Star Wars fan, I found the ending entirely improbable. Like, no, I’m sorry, that would not happen no matter how sleep deprived. Implausible! That was my only problem with the book.

    Hahaha! I LOVED the conversation about their favorite movies. Episode II is the worst! It should have been solely about building that “Brother” relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think you know what I’m talking about regarding the end of that story arc and the lack of “brother”.

    Also, I’m lol’ing so hard that you had to pee while reading this book!!! Because of reasons! LOL!!

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    • I don’t know if the company also tweeted you, but they say it’s part of their World Book Day promotion. I wish they had given us a little warning! LOL I’m down to under 10 copies that I’ll gradually donate to different libraries as I visit them–I keep the books in my car in case I ever pass someplace that would take them or meet someone who would like it!

      YES!!! Totally agree. My mom read the story before I did and when I talked to her about it afterwards, she asked how I didn’t see the ending coming and I said: *SPOILER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T READ KS YET* “Uh, because if you love Star Wars enough to camp outside for four days then you love it enough to stay awake two more hours!!!” Gabe’s poor cousin….I’d be so mad! LOL

      I do wish there had been more emphasis on those two! Their interactions in Episode II were so great. One of my favorite scenes in all the films is when Anakin and Obi-Wan are flying over the city, Anakin just jumps out, and Obi-Wan mutters “I hate it when he does that.” It makes me laugh every time! The end, too, when they’re in the arena. I think I just love Obi-Wan!! Haha! The scenes with Anakin and Padme generally make me cringe now, though….

      Right?! I wanted to read as much as I could before I had to go to work, so I was thinking, ‘Where’s my cup??’ LOL!

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      • They didn’t tweet me! Thanks for the info, though! I’ve sent some around to friends, I’ll be donating hopefully a good chunk to libraries, and then giving away the rest.

        **CONTINUED SPOILER ALERT, RUN FAR FROM THIS THREAD**

        RIGHTT!!!! Omg, I was talking about the ending with my husband and he was like, not everyone is as big a Star Wars fan as you. But that’s exactly the point – the characters were claiming to be as big, if not bigger than me (er…don’t know if thats possible LOL) The adrenaline alone would keep you awake – I don’t care how many hours of sleep you got, how warm the theater was, or whatever other contributing factor, it’s just not possible! I was so saddened by the ending. The story was riding a huge 5 star wave and then it crashed down to 3. 😦 Lowest rated Rainbow book. All her books are 5 stars for me. Well, Carry On got 4 for a slow start.

        I know right! Obi-Wan was like “You were like my brother” and I was like, what! You were constantly disappointed by how rebellious Ani was …where was this kin ship? HAHAHA!! I love that part! I literally bit my fingernails the first time I saw that scene! HAHA OMG What about the sand speech in Episode II. “I hate sand. It’s so coarse.” OMFG, I can’t help but laugh my butt off.

        HAHAHAHA!!! That’s hilarious. Speaking of cups, I really want to go into Starbucks and tell them my name is General Ackbar and then whisper, “it’s a trap!”. Or tell them it’s Anakin. I’d legit keep that cup. Haha. Assuming the person knew how to spell Anakin.

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      • I texted all of my bookish friends and was like “PLEASE tell me you didn’t already order this so you can take a copy!” LOL I also gave a bunch of copies to a few different libraries. They were confused, but grateful!

        Exactly!! I LOVE Star Wars, but I don’t know that I would camp out for four days to see a midnight showing so that’s serious dedication right there! The only thing I really have to compare it to is midnight book releases for Harry Potter. I was always so exhausted having stayed up all night, but no matter how much my eyes were fighting to shut, I would stay up reading those books!! (Until my parents came in to make me actually go to sleep by taking my book…..hahaha.) You make such a good point about adrenaline! I guess she was just going for a funny ending, but thinking about that actually happening is so frustrating. And I agree about Carry On! Great book, but the first 100 pages sort of dragged.

        HAHAHAHAHA THE SAND!!!!! YES!!! “It gets evvvverywhere.” My friend and I quote that all the time because it’s just so ridiculous. Where did that come from?? It’s like both the lines and the way Hayden delivers them make the character seem so awkward. And right?! It was more like a father/son relationship because Obi-Wan was always lecturing Ani about what not to do and how not to behave. I would never refer to someone who treated me like that as my brother/sister, definitely more like a parent!

        That’s a brilliant idea! We should definitely test that out, but my hopes aren’t high that they’d get Anakin right…..maybe next time I’ll order as Padme, though I’m not sure I could keep a straight face LOL.

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    • Ah Fangirl is so good, isn’t it?! Kindred Spirits is equally good! I just wish it was longer! I know we just got Carry On at the end of last year, but I need another full length Rainbow story in my life ASAP

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      • Agreed, I just finished Kindred Spirits and it was definitely just as good. It could easily have been a full length novel and I wish it was!

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  2. Just got into Rainbow Rowell’s work. Kind of super late to the party, but I’m loving it. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I loved, loved Landline. Entertaining and engaging. I’d love to read this! I’m a romantic, so hard copies are my thing. Bummer this one isn’t available where I live! Nice blog. Sending you a high five from Mexico City!

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    • That’s awesome! Rainbow is fantastic 🙂 And I prefer hard copies as well, there’s something about an e-reader that just turns me off, though it does come in handy for galleys. Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoy the blog!

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