‘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 was a short story released as part of World Book Celebration in the UK. The story was also sold as a physical book as well as an eBook internationally. I’m not gonna lie, I bought the book because I loved Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, but also because the eBook was less than a Dollar.
In Kindred Spirits, we meet our main character Elena, a Vietnamese teenager who looks way too young for her age. Elena is a huge Star Wars fan so she decides to wait in line and camp out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening night. Here she meets a bunch of other fans and ends up in hilarious situations.
You might think that people who do not care about Star Wars will not get this book, but I have to disagree. I’m one of those people who couldn’t care less about the franchise, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this short story. I didn’t get most of the Star Wars references, but that’s not really what this story is about anyways. It’s about being in a fandom and how ‘exclusive’ they can be. If you’ve ever been part of a fandom you know what I’m talking about. It’s wonderful in a way because it’s like being part of a (small) group of people that all speak the same, complex language. But there is also the fear of not fitting in. In this short story, Elena asks herself if she’s allowed to like Star Wars as a semi popular high school girl.
I loved this short story for what it was, but felt like it ended right when it started to get interesting. The ending felt abrupt, almost like my eReader forgot to download the last chapter. Rowell threw a lot of things at us that she didn’t explore any further, and I can’t help but be a little disappointed by that.