world book day

Review: Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Kindred Spirits
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kindred Spirits is a stand-alone novella, written by Rainbow Rowell especially for World Book Day 2016. Kindred Spirits follows Elena, a huge Star Wars fan who dedicates an entire week to camping out waiting for the new movie, The Force Awakens. Expecting a crowd of hundreds, she’s disappointed to find a line of… three. Life in the cinema line isn’t as glamorous as she was expecting…

The cover is very similar to the cover of Fangirl and Carry On, and so initially I was expecting this book to be linked to those two books (which are linked themselves). Kindred Spirits is a completely stand-alone novella – so no need to read any of Rainbow’s other books to understand what’s going on.

My main issue with this book is that it will age very quickly. TFA came out 3 months ago, and this book already feels a little late. What I liked about Fangirl was that Rainbow took the Harry Potter phenomenon and made it her own, transforming that into Baz and Simon – it would have been fun to see that happen here too.

A short novella perfect for fans of Rainbow’s other works, but perhaps not the best introduction for new readers.
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Review: Spot the Difference by Juno Dawson

Spot the Difference
Spot the Difference by Juno Dawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spot the Difference is a novella, written especially for World Book Day by Juno Dawson. SPD focuses on Avery, a year 10 girl with severe acne, who is getting severely bullied for it. When a new experimental drug becomes available, Avery’s skin clears up – and her social life blooms. Suddenly, she’s in the A-List, with a hot boyfriend and everything’s going well – except she’s neglecting her friends.

Spot the Difference has to be the first book I’ve read which tackles the very common affliction that is teenage acne. Many characters in YA are flawless, with perfect skin, at a perfect weight, and seemingly without any physical or mental illness or disability. SPD introduces a cast of outcasts and cool kids – with Avery’s friend Lois with an underdeveloped arm, while her other friend Jessica is overweight. This was a huge breath of fresh air, although I would love to see more YA novels where disabled and overweight characters are allowed to be ‘cool’.

Although I enjoyed the story and the overall moral – but I found the instant rocketship to popularity once Avery’s face had healed a little unrealistic. In reality, if one of your ‘flaws’ ceases to be, it’s much more likely bullies will find something else to bully you for.

There was a lot going on in this novella, and this story would have easily worked for a full novel – the characters were well-rounded and developed, and there’s a full story arc.

A fun short story read, that tackles some serious issues that haven’t yet been tackled with sufficiently in YA. Highly recommended (and only £1!)

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