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Almost Midnight | Rainbow Rowell | Review

Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell is a beautiful gift edition containing two wintery short stories: 'Midnights' and 'Kindred Spirits', decorated throughout for the first time with gorgeous black and white illustrations. 'Midnights' is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year's Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time... 'Kindred Spirits' is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan. - Goodreads

These two short stories by Rainbow Rowell are not only super sweet, but they are super short so they're perfect for those days when you have limited time but still want to read something.

Midnights is the story of Margaret 'Mags' and her annual outing to the New Years Eve party thrown by one of the girls at school. We first meet Mags standing outside the house, not wanting to be in there on the stroke of midnight...but then Rowell flashes back to the first NYE party Mags attended a few years back where she met Noel for the first time. From there, the story jumps forward one year at a time, at the same party, with the same kids, with the same countdown, until we reach present time outside the house again.

This is such a sweet story, and I really enjoyed how the it was written on the same day each year. Mags and Noel's friendship is brilliant, with their various quirks and reactions, and I could definitely see them being the protagonists of a longer story.
“The whole world is dancing with you” 
Kindred Spirits also takes place around midnight (surprise surprise, given the title of this collection), but this time the story is about Elena, a hard-core Star Wars fan who has her mind set on lining up outside the movie theatre days in advance to get into the latest installment: The Force Awakens. The lineup of people is not what she expected. She thought there'd be people dressed up as Wookies, as Storm Troopers, or rocking Leia buns. Instead, there's just a couple of geeks already camped out. It's those geeks she makes friends with, and the story follows her over the course of a few days and the things they get up to while waiting in line.

I loved this story. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I love Star Wars and I have been to multiple midnight showings over the years (dressed up, yes). The idea of 'kindred spirits' in this context is so spot on and Rowell paints an excellent picture of what can happen when you put like-minded people side by side. I can definitely see this story being expanded upon and following Elena and her geeky friends through adventures like this.

Both these stories are short and sweet, and the lovely drawings by Simini Blocker (who actually has a character named after them in Midnights) adds a special touch.

Have you read Almost Midnight? Or perhaps just one of these short stories? 

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