Gena/Finn by Kat Helgeson & Hannah Moskowitz
Publishing Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 308 pages
Young Adult Contemporary
The Premise from the Publisher: "Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences-Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend-the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena's world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes witha price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age" (Chronicle Books).
My overall thoughts and review: It has been a while since I've finished a book in one sitting. I knew instantly from the first few pages of the book that I would not be able to put it down. Moskowitz and Helgeson present this book through a series of "blog posts (tumblr style), emails, private messages, and chat logs" and I just love that style! It keeps me engaged and I loved how easy it was to move from different perspectives. The notion of "fandom" in the book really resonated with me and my undergraduate years when I was immersed in the world of harry potter fanfiction. I loved it so much and I even tried my hand at writing a few stories. I was able to meet some lovely people via that and some I am able to call my good friends today (yay livejournal!). The connection that you form with someone online can be scary because of all the horror stories you hear about, but in a way, it is quite freeing. I found it quite interesting how easy it was for me to open up about myself in an online forum, kind of like how Gena and Finn opened up to each other. I loved how their relationship grew over the course of the book, and how difficult it can be for certain people in your life to coincide with your online life. Also being super immersed in a fandom, and having your significant other not be entirely into it, is something I can definitely empathize with. My boyfriend isn't as into some fandoms as I am, but the good thing is, we're both ok with that. I really liked that the book demonstrated that, it is ok if your significant other doesn't enjoy the same fandoms as you. It happens. The important thing is that your significant other does not try to control what you like and don't like. I really liked how much Finn's boyfriend grew over the course of the book as well. He was super supportive of Finn! Anyways, I feel like I'm on a bit of a tangent, but I loved how this friendship/relationship blossomed over the course of the book. I loved how they spoke about Fandom in such a relatable way (Did anyone else think about Supernatural or Teen Wolf, whenever they spoke about Up Below?) All in all, this was a wonderful read that touched on many themes of relationships, friendship, overcoming loss, dealing with change and more. I loved that Moskowitz and Helgeson put together a narrative that shows the positives of online "relationships" and how they can move to RL. I think anyone that is an avid user of Tumblr, Twitter and other online platforms will love this! This was my first introduction to Moskowitz and Helgeson and I can't wait to read what they write next :)
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
1. Do you identify more with Gena or Finn?
HANNAH: Gena, of course.
KAT: Finn, except for the part where Gena is writing on everything but paper, because I do that. Also, I can't draw.
Many thanks to the lovely folks at Raincoast Books for organizing this awesome book tour and featuring some of my favorite book bloggers. I also want to thank Hannah and Kat for taking the time to answer my question! Please be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour :)
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own.