Written by: Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Pages: 345, Hardcover
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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.
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.
Gena/Finn. Boy where do I start. I’ve told many people if I was rating this books first half it would’ve been 5 stars, if I was rating the second half alone it would be 2. So I guess overall I’m giving it 3.5? I don’t know. This book started out so high. These two girls becoming friends, and falling in love, the story told through emails and texts, fandom being such a huge part of their lives…It was all just so amazing and wonderful, I was speeding through this book at record speeds, I was texting people saying you have to get this book.
Then at the midway point things went dark. Which I don’t mind! The moment the girls realize that it’s time to throw caution to the wind and be together! That climatic moment where they realize they love each other! That amazing cliché moment of contemporaries that I love………but it never came.
One of the elements of this book is that Gena writes “Fix it” fanfiction where she changes the ending of the episode to make everyone happy. Whelp. I need fix it fanfic for the end of Gena/Finn.
The entire end. Like actually the final page I was trying to get my Kindle to move forward because the book was FINALLY getting back on its feet and yet… that was the end of the story? I was left confused and wholly unsatisfied.
The romance, UGH. There’s no way for me to not talk about this without spoilers so SPOILER WARNING. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. This book was set up and even pitched as this great romance between these two girls. Yet by the end of the book one of the girls has practically completely agreed to be with her boyfriend again, and the other girl is being set up with another guy. This wonderful homosexual romance has been shattered for heterosexual romances on both ends. m/m romances are so well represented in books that I was so excited for a f/f romance! Finally the representation! For the two girls to be bisexual was even better! But then it was shattered on the ground. Leaving me feeling so upset and really angry truthfully. OKAY END SPOILERS END SPOILERS AND END RANT.
As let down as I was by the ending of this book I was as thrilled with the first half of the book. Honestly the first half had me grinning and squealing and laughing so brightly. I fell in love with these two girls, which stayed true even as I felt the authors betrayed them in the end. Gena and Finn reminded me of so many online friendships I’ve had (Even if all of those relationships have stayed strictly platonic). I loved this look at fangirls, the way that we act and feel was so accurately represented here.
I also loved the formatting. The way we got to read the entire story was so great and riveting. I loved the emails and texts and even journal entries. I really am thrilled with this way of YA that is showing a new and different way to write. I would love to see so much more of it.
I’m… so torn I guess. I won’t be buying this book. I was that let down from the book. But I will never tell you to not read a book. But I will honestly suggest getting this one from the library, or borrowing from a friend before rushing to the store and buying it.