How freaking short was this book? I’ll tell you — too freaking short! It’s quintessential Rainbow Rowell, but so sadly little of it. Covering three days in line to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kindred Spirits is a lovely meditation on geekdom, “nerd culture,” and the unfortunately antagonistic relationship that can arise between men and women in “nerd culture” when people feel ostracized by the mainstream and/or the opposite sex and wrap themselves in the protective cloaks of their interests and similar people with those interests.
Elena is a senior in high school who has a deep, abiding love for Star Wars. Transfixed from the first time she wanted the original trilogy, the films spoke to her. I’ll let Rainbow Rowell speak for herself, since putting things beautifully is her specialty: “If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out.” The new film represents not just another entity in the canon, created for her generation, but the opportunity to connect with other Star Wars geeks in one of the epic waiting lines she had heard so much about — ground zero for those who are so dedicated, they secure their spot in the theater days in advance. Imagine Elena’s disappointment when she shows up on the Monday night before the Thursday release to see that she will be only the third person waiting. Not only is there not an energizing crowd, but now she’ll actually have to interact with the other line members right off the bat, an intimidating prospect for an introvert who would have preferred to blend in and find her comfort level over time.
This anxiety manifests into reality when only one of the other two people in line, Troy, is sociable; the other boy, Gabe, seems bent on actively ignoring Elena as much as possible. “You won’t believe what happens next!” as they say on social media, but what unfolds over the three days is so perfectly charming and Rainbow Rowell that one is simply left to