“I need you to be my person. I need to see you. And hear you. I need you to stay alive. And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.”
Two festive short stories
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.
First published: 2017
I bought Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell more or less on a whim when I was browsing Book Depository (as one does). It was a split second decision and before I knew it I’d already paid for it and I was left thinking “was that really necessary?”. But then I figured I’d review it during my Festive Fortnight. It’s marketed as “two festive short stories”, after all. So, here we are!
First off, I adore Rainbow Rowell and her work. Eleanor & Park blew me away and Fangirl gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it. So, I was really looking forward to these stories. I love festiveness, I love Rainbow Rowell; what could go wrong? That might sound ominous, but it really isn’t, because I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. The illustrations by Simini Blocker are adorable additions as well – they made me smile!
Midnights was actually a reread for me, since it’s also featured in My True Love Gave To Me (an anthology of holiday stories), which I read last year. It was just as cute as I remembered it to be. It was by far my favourite story of MTLGTM, and I stand by that after this reread. It’s the perfect holiday read: festive, light, sweet and with a lot of heart.
Mags is a lovely main character and I think a lot of people can really relate to her struggles. She feels as if everyone has moved on and made something of themselves, and she has stayed behind. Pair an identity crisis with an adorable romance and a cute friendship and you’ve got a winner as far as I’m concerned. Even though this was a reread, I had to keep reading until the end!
Kindred Spirits was a new story for me. I’d heard about it when it came out and I really wanted to read it then because yay Star Wars! I didn’t really feel like buying a single short story, though, which is why I didn’t get around to reading it back then. But I’m glad I did now because it’s a really cute story! I’m not really sure why it’s dubbed ‘festive’
(okay, I do; it’s marketing), apart from the fact that it’s cold where they are, but I’ll let that one slide.
I really liked all the Star Wars talk – I’m nowhere near as big of a fan as Elena and her fellow line-members, but I am HYPED for The Last Jedi (going to see it tomorrow), so it was fun to read this a few weeks before a new Star Wars film. I liked Gabe and Troy and their sad little line and the fact they made something of it together. I’m not really sold on Elena as a main character, though. Her personality was a bit all over the place. I couldn’t really get a grasp on who she was. The ending of the story was absolute gold, though. Probably my favourite part of the entire story!
If you’re still looking for a fun festive read, or a nice bookish Christmas gift, Almost Midnight is a lovely choice. I spent an evening cosied up with it on the sofa and had a great time!