May 17, 2016
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The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.I have always liked epistolary novels - you know, the ones that are told entirely through letters written by and/or between characters - so it seems natural that I now really enjoy books told through emails, IMs, blog posts, texts, etc. Even better with Gena/Finn, though, is that it is a fandom-having novel.
Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.
I loved that this was a book with fandom, fangirls, fanfic and even a con in it but especially that it felt real.
Obviously that's because it was: from author Hannah Moskowitz's Goodreads review of the book, "Once upon a time I met my best friend through fandom, and we wrote a book about two girls who meet their best friend through fandom." But it was a more enjoyable read that the little parts like fanfic summaries) were what fanfic summaries are, not what some author who isn't in any fandom imagines them to be or sees while researching.
It really lets you focus on the characters and their friendship, which are great. There was a lot more to both of them - form Genevieve or Gena's ('pronounced like Jenna,' [pg 55] by the way) past and all that she's dealing with as she graduates from boarding school and heads to college to Finn and her attempts at being finished with college, finding a job, living with her boyfriend.
Things became much more stressful and complicated for the two of them than I saw coming but it made for a great read and really showed the extent of their friendship - and its trials. I loved that things got hard, they got messy and confusing but it was real and true and properly hard and messy and confusing. It made for a better read than the lighter one I thought I was getting. (I alos really liked Charlie once we got to see, well hear/read, more from him.)
With what the characters are dealing with (including starting college, starting life after college, Finn's relationship with Charlie, etc) this is more of a New Adult than a Young Adult book but great for both audiences.
received for review, from publisher, vai NetGalley