TITLE: Almost Midnight
AUTHOR: Rainbow Rowell
ILLUSTRATOR: Simini Blocker
GENRE: Contemporary | Romance | Young Adult
NOTE: This is a short story collection comprising of “Midnights” and “Kindred Spirits”.
SUMMARY: Friends, Noel and Mags, met and go to the same New Years Eve party since their high school years until their first freshman year of university on different parts of the country
I cannot express how much I loved this first story. Rowell has this beautiful gift in creating these funny interesting characters that I can’t help but A) fall in love with B) with that they were real so I could hang out with them C) relatable D) so incredibly genuine.
One thing I really liked about this story is how she shows that people and friends change after high school. She captures that so well with this group of friends. It reminds me of my the times my friends and I promised each other nothing would change after graduation, but change is inevitable. People move away or stay, but our lives change and so do we.
I know it got a bit serious then, but I swear this is such a feel good story you will love. It’s also so short you can read it under an hour.
SUMMARY: When Star Wars fan, Elena decides to camp out in line for the new Star Wars movie, she quickly realizes that the experience is nothing from what she imagined
When I first heard about this story, I’m not going to lie, I was hesitant because it revolved around Star Wars. I am not a Star Wars fan, not because of anything bad, but I’ve never seen the movies.
I was afraid of going into this short story thinking it would have a lot of Star Wars references, and it does, but not to the point I had no idea what was happening. The Star Wars movie line is simply a setting to place the story in, but it didn’t overwhelmed the narrative. It’s an enjoyable read no matter how well you know, love, or hate the movie franchise.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love how Rowell is able to write and develop her characters to be and feel so genuine and real. I love that they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors without ever feeling forced, and with a surprise or two along the way. This is true of both stories, but more so in this one.
This story touches on bullying lightly and briefly, but the way she does it is interesting. It doesn’t go too in depth, and it’s seen from a distance. However, I think it’s also very powerful because it’s not about the bully and the bullied, but the bystander, a point of view we rarely see (unless you’re Clay Jensen).
I bought this book blindly because it was a Rainbow Rowell book, and she never disappointing me. I was right, of course, but I wasn’t expecting the illustrations in this book. It was so fun to see how the characters were imagined by Rowell and Blocker. I don’t mind coming up with an image in my head of the characters, but I do like it when I have a clear image of the character, like in this book.
In the back cover of the book Rowell writes, “for older readers” however, I think it can be read by anyone. There’s nothing horribly obscene or even curse words. The only thing I would say is that the characters are slightly on the older side of YA. I think one can form a stronger connection to these characters if you’re 18 or older, but it ultimately doesn’t matter. The stories are about friendship, love, and growing up, if you can identify with at least one of these topics, you’ll definitely love this collection.
If you enjoyed Attachments, then you will like “Midnights”. If you enjoyed Fangirl, then you will like “Kindred Spirits”. In other words, if you’ve enjoyed her other novels, then you will love this short story collection.