Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Simini Blocker
Hardcover, 144 pages (50 pages for Midnights)
Published 2nd November 2017 by Macmillan Children’s Books
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance
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Synopsis: 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…
Midnights was previously published as part of the My True Love Gave to Me anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins.
Overview: Rainbow Rowell has always been one of my favourite authors since I first picked up Fangirl. She continued to be so as I moved on to read Eleanor and Park, Carry On, Landline, Kindred Spirits, and now, this. To this day, Fangirl remains one of my top books, but this review focuses on the first short story in Almost Midnight, simply because it deserves a review on its own.
What I loved about the book: The best thing about every single one of Rainbow Rowell’s books is always her writing. It astounds me. There’s just something so earnest about her style that easily sways your heart and makes you feel for the character. I’ll always love this about her books. (Also, the way she describes her characters are unparalleled. I adore them so, so much.)
Highlight to read spoilers: Both Mags’s and Noel’s yearning for each other in the short story were so subtle, yet it was enough to pull at my heartstrings. When they finally got together at the end, I was just so relieved and happy for them that I actually teared up. I loved their conversations; they were just so sweet to each other.
Additionally, Simini Blocker’s illustrations complemented Midnights perfectly. Those captured moments were just right and made the short story feel even closer to my heart. She did such an amazing job.
Favourite passage: Mags glanced around the room until she found Noel again–standing on the couch. He was already looking at her. He stepped onto the coffee table in Mags’s direction and grinned, wolfishly. All of Noel’s grins were a little bit wolfish: he had way too many teeth. Mags took a breath that shook on the way out. (Noel was her person.)
What didn’t work for me: This short story is honestly flawless. The only thing I might really complain about is wanting more of Mags’s and Noel’s story. I want to know more about them!
Conclusion: Although this review focuses on only one of the short stories in Almost Midnight, the other short story, Kindred Spirits, is also a fantastic read. If you haven’t read any of Rainbow Rowell’s works and want something short to sample, Almost Midnight is your best bet. If you want a novel, Fangirl is the way to go. This author will not let you down.