authors : hannah moskawitz & kat helgeson
pages : [hardcover[ 287
favorite character : finn
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.
So I think I read this entire book in one day because it’s just that addictive. I love novels that try out a new, innovative way of storytelling. Gena/Finn does this by alternating between the MCs for each chapter. The story is told in emails, text messages, journal entries, blog updates. There’s fanfiction and fanart as well. Gena and Finn first meet each other through Gena’s fanfiction. The two find an immediate connection, not just through their intense love of a TV show that bears a more than passing resemblance to other TV shows fans in real life obsess over. They also realize that they can open up to one another about their lives–their problems, hopes, dreams, and failures. When they meet in reality at a fan convention, their relationship just snowballs.
I was so excited to get my hands on a book that has too bisexual MCs. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like that before, which saddens me, but I love how more diverse books keep appearing in my reading schedule.
This book was awesome. I loved piecing together the characters’ pasts from what they would mention about themselves, because each had their secrets that of course they weren’t going to broadcast over the internet. And although for most of the book it read as little more than a cute and captivating contemporary read, there were twists in here I never anticipated that made it much more dramatic. And maybe made me lose a few tears toward the end–which I’m still not settled over. I mean, I’m happy with it, but . . It left me with so many emotions, and makes me keep thinking about it, which of course is the very best thing that any book could possibly do.
I want more. I know that there won’t be more, but I could read about Gena and Finn for ages. I love that it really emphasizes online relationships because I feel like so many people in this generation know and connect with so many people around the world, people they can genuinely be friends with, and that typically starts with a common interest in something. Whether it be a fantastic TV show or not.
I want more people to read this book. It’s such a quick read, I know that even reluctant readers will grab for it. It’s innovative, fun, and will have me looking out for both of these authors in the future.
A huge thank you to Chronicle Books for sending me this book to review. That in no way affected my opinion or review.