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Rowell, Rainbow. Kindred Spirits. 2016.

Rainbow Rowell and I are Kindred Spirits, for how does she articulate feelings I have had so perfectly???

This story is a novella at only 62 pages, but even in that short span, the book manages to convey deep thoughts. Elena is a senior in high school who adores Star Wars and wants to experience camping overnight for tickets. After much discussion with her mother, she camps out, becoming third in line. Expecting instant camaraderie, she is disappointed that the line remains only three people up until the day before the movie opens. During her wait, she gets to know the other two men, learning more about them and herself in the process. She especially gets to know Gabe, realizing later she goes to school with him, and that she and her friends are cliquey and oblivious to others such as him. The ending is hopeful that Elena will break out of her social shell and see there are others like her, if she only opens her eyes.

A quote that hit home was this:

“Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.” (Gabe)

“Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?” (Elena)

“Maybe.” (Gabe)

I have always felt I am socially in no-mans-land. I have always been the geekiest of my circle, but then when I try to branch out into other groups, I am too normal or “bougie/bourgeoisie” for people in arty circles. In high school I was too self conscious to admit my fascination with Star Trek and Star Wars, but in college I could not keep my love of Star Trek TNG to myself anymore. My friends in my sorority thought it was cute. I even had a Star Fleet Academy sticker in the back window of my sports car.

As an adult now, especially with my job as a Teen Librarian, I can embrace who I really am. I like Star Wars. I like Star Trek. I like Pokémon GO. I like Avatar the Last Airbender. I like Rainbow Rowell. I like ElfQuest. But I also like being a Mom, Nashville (tv series), The Americans, pedicures, ADPi, hiking and hanging out with my (cliquey?) friends. I still am a social chameleon at times, moving between groups.

Although this book was shooting for a YA audience, it hit the bulls eye with a woman many years past HS, making me proud of who I am- including all my personality contradictions. Bravo RR, and THANK YOU!

-Nancy

 

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