Published by Chronicle Books on May 17th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, YA, Young Adult, LGBTQIA
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.
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 received a copy of this book for review, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
I am always on the look out for unique storytelling so when I heard about Gena/Finn, I knew I had to pick it up. Told through emails, fan journals, some art and photos, private messages and other mediums, Gena/Finn is the unique story of fandom and how it brings people together.
Gena and Finn are in completely different stages of their lives; Gena is almost done high school and is looking at colleges while Finn is done with her education and just trying to get a job so she can pay half the rent on the apartment she shares with her boyfriend. Soon, Gena and Finn bond over their love of a buddy-cop show, Up Below. Soon fandom talk turns into real talk turns into meeting at a con. Gena/Finn is the story of fandom, and how it bonds people together and has real consequences, and emotions, that go beyond the computer screen.
I loved Gena and Finn so much. Damn, they are wonderful characters. Gena totally resonates with me in terms of her expectations about college vs. reality and Finn related to the scared and unsure part of me that is constantly in overdrive.
While their relationship starts off happily, things inevitably get complicated. I don’t want to spoil too much because this novel is so fast-paced and awesome and I loved it. In terms of plot, there was a twist! I was so pleasantly shocked and surprised and I am perpetually amazed.
For fear of spoilers, I will just say: READ THIS BOOK. It will hurt your soul and maybe a piece of you will die but it will be so worth it because it is amazing.
Overall, Gena/Finn is one heck of a novel that I can’t wait for more people to read. If you love novels that are very character-focused and have a unique narrative, I highly recommend Gena/Finn.