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Gena/Finn
Gena/Finn
Gena/Finn
Электронная книга411 страниц2 часа

Gena/Finn

Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд

3/5

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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 with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.
ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательChronicle Books Digital
Дата выпуска17 мая 2016 г.
ISBN9781452143859
Gena/Finn
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Автор

Hannah Moskowitz

Hannah Moskowitz is the award-winning author of the young adult novels Sick Kids In Love; Not Otherwise Specified; Break; Invincible Summer; Gone, Gone, Gone; and Teeth; as well as the middle grade novels Zombie Tag and Marco Impossible. She lives in New York City. 

Читать больше произведений Hannah Moskowitz

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Рейтинг: 3.1607142857142856 из 5 звезд
3/5

56 оценок16 отзывов

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  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Even though I did not grow up in the digital age, and even though I have very limited knowledge of fanfiction/fandom and Cons in general - although, I have heard of Comic Con, so I am not totally living under a rock! – I do love epistolary novels. The idea of writing a story using a combination of written formats works well here. Of course, the instant messaging conversations flow better than the email conversations, but that is to be expected. It was easy to train my mind to skim over the sender receiver date/time info of the emails and focus on the messages, keeping the flow of the story going. I am not sure what to think about the fanfiction blog posts except to appreciate that there exists an online world that I don’t know much about and we will leave it at that. One thing I really like about written communications and the different formats/forums is that there is a freedom on the part of the writer to be as reserved or expressive as one chooses to be. Gena and Finn’s unique personalities comes through in their correspondence. One is able to feel the happiness, sadness, confusion, uneasiness and concern without a description being provided. I should add that this story isn’t some light piece of fluff. The story contains some real hard hitting messages concerning love, friendship, sacrifice, difficult decisions and the responsibility one has to care for others. By the end of the story, I felt a connection with Gena and Finn and feel that this is a solid and interesting piece of story-telling, once one gets past the very hocky/cheesy cop drama show that is the focus of the fanfiction/fandom that brings the two girls together. You really do have to dispel belief when reading the Up Down show/Con bits… or at least I had to as Up Down would never be the kind of show I would ever get all “fandom” over.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Gena and Finn are two young women with nothing in common except a love for Up Below, a TV show they both obsess over. There initial connection is online, sharing fan fiction and art on their blogs, and they soon meet in real life. As they struggle to cope with the difficulties in their daily lives, their relationship deepens as does their dependence on one another until tragedy strikes and neither knows how to deal with the fall out.The story is told through text messages, blog posts, and emails with artwork scattered throughout. At times the text look very much like what you find online including lack of punctuation and capital letters. This can make it difficult to read if you are unaccustomed to seeing it online. Fandom is at the base of this story which can seem strange and obsessive to those unfamiliar with it but the characters are likeable and genuine.This is a quick read that touches many issues: mental illness, sexual orientation, adolescence. Fan fiction enthusiasts will love the nonjudgmental look at the culture but the story and characters will appeal to anyone who knows that people are hard to understand, relationships aren’t easy, and growing up sucks.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This YA novel is told all in blog posts, text messages, emails, and journal entries and follows Gena, a high school senior, and Finn, a recent college grad, as they bond and become friends over a shared love of and participation in the fandom of a (fictional) cop show. I loved the first two thirds of this book to bits. The authors do an excellent job of recreating what fandom looks like on the internet, right down to the ways various fan personalities interact in comments on fanfic posts. The friendship between Gena and Finn was also lovely to watch develop. But then it turns out that Gena was a child actor and knows one of the actors on the show that has been the focus of the fanning in the book. And then there's a terrible accident on-set while Gena is there to do a quick guest spot, and the whole tenor of the book changes. Gena's knowing the actor might have worked if the book had integrated more fully how the lines between real people (actors) and characters get blurred (the story does touch on this, but it doesn't really become a fully realized piece of the book), but mostly it just muddies what the novel was doing. And the accident sends the whole thing into completely different territory than it was setting up in the first two thirds, exploring mental illness, trauma, and PTSD. I am one hundred percent here for explorations of those things in fiction, but it just felt like a different novel at that point. And finally, I was fully expecting Gena and Finn to end up together (come on, that slash in the title? that means romantic pairing in fandom, and if the characters don't get together, that's just full-on misleading in a novel about fandom), and the story seemed to being going in that direction. And then in the last third, it just kind of fizzles out. Ultimately, I quite enjoyed the way the story was told (the pseudo-epistolary form) and was fully invested until the last one hundred pages or so, but in the end, disappointing.
  • Рейтинг: 1 из 5 звезд
    1/5
    Damn it, I went into this book thinking that it would be all sorts of awesome, and it wasn't. I had to power through the last one hundred pages because I wanted to see if the book could be salvaged (if anything, it got worse!).This book tried way too damned hard to be many different things, and in the end, it didn't do any of those things well.First off, this book tried to be about fandom. At first, it was doing this really well, and I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book because Gena and Finn's friendship seemed to develop so well. Fandom can make these kind of relationships very intense and even all-consuming for a while, especially if you share in the creation of fanworks (a writer who finds an artist who does fanwork of their fics, two writers who bounce ideas off one another, a writer and reviewer who get into very intense discussions, etc). The only WTF I seemed to have about the fandom parts was that no one seemed to be a "shipper." Come on, Up Below seems a lot like Supernatural, and if you have been in that fandom at all (which I have and still am, no regrets!), almost EVERYONE is a shipper. But there are no shipping fics, and the Up Below fandom seems to be divided into gen jakegirls and gen tylergirls with NO shippers. Weird. But...whatever. Okay, I can still do this. But the whole fandom thing started taking a back seat to other things, and that is where the book went wrong, in my opinion.Because this is a fandom book, and we all know what the "/" means in fandom. It means a ship, as in relationship. It means a romance, or a hookup, or something. So I went into this book thinking that this was going to be a more romcom of two bisexual girls who bond over fandom and end up falling in love with one another. Nope, not that kind of book.Although Gena and Finn do have a very intense relationship, and Finn seems to be really confused about what exactly she feels for Gena in the second half of the book (and Gena tells another friend that she is attracted to Finn), it just isn't there. There were so many places that the authors could have gone here, and they didn't go down any good path, and that is what is so disappointing. Instead, the authors throw in some weird backstory about Gena is actually a childhood actress who knows one of the main actors (Zach, aka Jake on the show), and then she's kind of thrust back into the limelight and guest stars on one of the shows for Up Below. And while they are filming, inexplicably, a horrible accident occurs and Zach is killed (along with two others) and Gena is injured, sent to the hospital, and then has a mental breakdown, which isn't helped by the fact that EVEN THOUGH SHE IS SO AGAINST GOING OFF OF HER MEDICATIONS FOR MOST OF THE BOOK, SHE DECIDED FOR SOME REASON THAT IS NEVER DISCLOSED TO STOP TAKING HER MEDICATIONS. WHY? Oh, but we know why, don't we? Because that makes her vulnerable, and Finn and her boyfriend Charlie infantalize Gena so freaking much that it is disgusting, to the point that they are treating her like a child. Finn even CALLS her a kid. Just because someone struggles with mental health issues does not make them a child, and just because someone has a mental breakdown does not mean that they are effectively whisked off the romantic front and regulated to child status.Except that is EXACTLY what the authors do. They use Gena's mental illness to bring the straight couple closer, effectively shooing Gena off the stage when it comes to Finn's conflicted feelings, because oh she's mentally ill. FUCK THAT.I think it would have been SO much better if the authors hadn't gone down the "romance" path, because that feels like where the book took a solid turn for the worse.Also, the end pretty much sets it up so Finn and Gena won't be involved with the fandom anymore, because they are both jakegirls and Jake's character has to be killed off because the actor portraying him died in that accident. They do watch the Season 4 premiere, where Jake "dies," and they are both like "meh" about the entire series now. So...basically, the moral of this story is to "grow up," marry some guy because you've been with him for four years and you aren't getting any younger, that bi girls don't end up together, that mental illness precludes you from forming a solid romantic relationship (but you are allowed to have a crush on some guy in your trauma group because he ~*gets you*~), and leave the fandom behind.Yeah, I so wish that I hadn't purchased a physical copy of this book. Do not want. Do not recommend.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) are two young women who meet online and bond over their shared love for a TV series, a cop drama called Up Below. Soon, they begin to develop a deep friendship that may be blossoming into something more, something that complicates both their lives.I have to say, things like this weird me out a little bit. As a fangirl from way, way back when we had only one Star Trek crew and liked it that way, I'm just not used to the way fan cultures like the one these characters participate in are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream and getting spotlights like this shown on them. When the heck did that happen? But even as it confuses me, it also fascinates me, so there was no way I wasn't going to read this book.My feelings about the novel itself are kind of mixed. It's very clear from the outset that the authors have experience in online fannish subculture, because they capture aspects of it pretty well, but they do it in a way that felt much shallower to me than Rainbow Rowell's treatment in Fangirl (which, by the way, I happily recommend). I also can't help thinking that the snippets of fan fiction and fan art the two characters impress each other with aren't actually all that good, although I admit to being a little bit snobbish about such things.The structure of the book is interesting, as it's a sort of 21st century epistolary novel, told through blog posts, e-mails, text messages, post-it notes, etc. Mostly this works very well, feels very natural, and moves the story along nicely, but I think the conceit falls down towards the end and starts to feel like the artifice it is.As for the plot, it wasn't exactly the quiet, sweet story of bonds of love and friendship developing between fans that I was expecting or hoping for, instead taking a couple of implausible and melodramatic turns to reach an ending I didn't find entirely satisfying.Bottom line: it's a quick, decent read, and one that understands its subject matter reasonably well, but not quite the book I wanted it to be.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Gena/Finn is the story of two young women who are brought together across the country by their shared fandom for the same television drama (think Supernatural). As their friendship intensifies via internet and phone, they begin to expand into other areas of each other's lives, and soon they find themselves questioning the nature of their relationship.The book is written entirely through the written communications of the characters (emails, texts, blog posts, etc...). I found the form to be easy to get into, and overall enjoyable.About a third of the way into the book, I started wanting a break in the form in order to portray deeper communication between Gena and Finn. The first time they meet in person, for instance, I wanted dialogue; I wanted to hear the actual conversations, instead of getting the story through emails and texts as they talk about their time together.However! Moskowitz and Helgeson had a clever and satisfying solution to this. Later in the story, when all of the main characters are together, the form switches primarily to journal entries - still true to the written-communication-only rule, but the nature of this type of writing versus a text exchange allows for much more in-depth exploration of emotions, and portrayal of scenes almost like in a traditional novel form. Brilliant.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    When Gena and Finn "meet" through an exchange of posts in the fandom for the TV series Up Below, they immediately hit it off. What initially starts off as two fangirls sharing similar interests quickly becomes a solid friendship. But when events no one could have imagined occur, the bond formed between these two young women alters yet again in ways neither expected.This book excels in several ways. First, it's a fantastically accurate representation of a fandom community. Second, it's a gorgeously created relationship; the evolution of Gena and Finn's relationship from internet friends to IRL friends and beyond is beautifully and believably done. Third, the gorgeous design succesfully renders a variety of mediums of communication (blog posts, Tumblr-equivalent posts, texts, emails, messenger chats, and handwritten notes) and doesn't distract from the plot that's happening. Finally, the book tackles some serious issues in its latter half and does it beautifully. I stayed up late to finish this one and read it all in less than a day. Highly recommended, particularly for anyone who's fallen into the fandom rabbit hole at some point in their lives.
  • Рейтинг: 2 из 5 звезд
    2/5
    I really loved the first half of this book. The characters felt real and their fannishness was so true to my experience of fandom--in terms of talking about emotions by discussing fandom events and fannish favorite characters, the intensity you can build in a relationship with someone online, how distancing it can be to keep aspects of your fannishness secret from a non-fannish partner as Finn does keeping her fannish intensity from Charlie... all of that rang SO true. The depiction of a character, Gena, who has a handle on managing her mental illness and past trauma was also really refreshing.

    I hated the middle development and especially the ending. Learning that Gena was a child star who had costarred on a tv show with the actor who plays one of the two dudes on her fannish-obsession tv show felt very forced. There's a lot to say about how fans interact with their fannish objects, but this made it feel weird to me, and the emotional weight of the book lost a lot of steam as Finn and Gena's correspondence and relationship took a back seat to plot about Gena's upcoming guest appearance on their show.

    The last quarter of the book pulls even further away from the emotional core of the novel. We learn that an explosion happened on set the day Gena was there. We're not sure how it happened, but the actor she had known and who played one of the show's main characters dies, and Gena is hospitalized and spends the rest of the book pretty much incapacitated with trauma from it while Finn and Charlie host her and try their best to keep up with her medical bills.

    I don't have a problem with the notion of putting characters through the wringer in a novel. However, in this case the trauma distances the characters from one another and obscures the ways their relationships chance to one another in response. We see Finn journaling with increasing anxiety about Gena's health, and Gena's pieces of the book descend into poetry (I personally don't like poetry, particularly as narrative device, so I didn't bother to put in the work reading between the lines on her bits). We don't see them come through this difficult situation together--instead, they're awkwardly living together at the end of the book, emotionally estranged, and instead of taking an opportunity to explore the possibilities of deep platonic attachment and love between two people (which is very common in fandom!), we see a weird ending where the two women no longer have fandom in common and only know how to relate to one another in spiky anxiety anymore. It felt like an emotional cop-out from either having an actual queer romance or having an interesting relationship, and felt like the end result is that fandom might just not be worth it anyhow?

    I dunno. I think think there are so many interesting stories to tell about fandom and the people who create it. We didn't need this story to resort to Gena knowing the actors personally to explore the emotional connection two women can build over a shared interest. We didn't need the actor to die and Gena to be implicated in the explosion to explore mental illness, trauma, PTSD, and the fannish network of survival, found family, and care. These plot devices detracted from rather than supporting the strengths of this book.

    Also, side note--I know it's a YA novel and we have to Keep Those Clean or whatever, but... why do we always have fannish representation that is afraid to engage with sexually explicit fanfic and the ways people connect to it? It seems like every mainstream novel about fangirls is keen to make sure their characters only write gen. Which, many people DO only write gen! But.

    This book was SO readable, the characters sparkled at the beginning and felt SO true to fannish life, and was set up SO well. I'm disappointed that the authors chose to go the dramatic direction they did rather than keep with a good thing.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    So, I pretty much grew up online.When I was eleven, I found this website about books -- coolreading.com -- with a message board. I wound up with some amazing friends from there, some of whom have been in my life for over fourteen years. They are some of my best friends, and my longest friends, and it mystifies me that I don't see more books about relationships forged online.Enter Gena/Finn.Gena and Finn are two young women who happen to be part of the same fandom -- think Supernatural fandom, but if Supernatural were a copy drama. They connect and form this intense friendship (plus maybe something more romantic than that -- bisexual main characters ftw!) that is shown entirely through texts, emails, journal entries, blog posts, fanfics, notes, internet searches, stuff like that.It's an intense book, and it also feels really accurate. There's that heightened sense of honesty that an online conversation can bring out. And the voice is perfect, too. Emails from Gena honestly read like emails from an 18-year-old. The structure, the lack of capitalization, the ways of emphasizing words. It was all very cool to read.I will say that the fandom part wasn't my favourite and that's... probably because it was done so well. I'm not much of a participant in fandom anymore, not even for shows and movies that I love. And this book, because of its accuracy, reminded me of why I loved fandom AND why I'm no longer a part of it.But overall, a very enjoyable read. If you loved Fangirl, Gena/Finn should be right up your alley too.I received a free copy of Gena/Finn from the publisher and LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    I received this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had a few different reactions to this book. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get through it because shortly after it begins, there is a lot of swearing. Normally I am not offended by swearing but in the first few pages there almost seems to be a swear word in every other sentence. That is just overkill. But I stuck with it and it mellowed out after those few pages. This book is written entirely in emails, IMs, blog posts, etc. It was an interesting way of telling the story and it kept my interest hooked in the two main characters. One thing I really wish is that there was a little bit more explanation on the show that these two girls are fangirling over. It would have been nice to have that bit to maybe connect with the characters. There were several times when Gena and Finn seemed to blend together and it was hard to keep their characters separate. But it was still a fun, engaging read until all of a sudden… BAM! Plot twist and the book takes a dark turn and it’s like you’re thrown on a self-destructing roller coaster. It was fun in the beginning but the dark twist felt out of place. However, I did still enjoy reading the book. It wasn’t amazing but it was good.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Normally, this format--a novel told in texts and chats and blog posts and occasional handwritten notes--feels like it's trying too hard. But, for the story of two girls who meet through fandom and fanfic, it felt natural. I liked both Gena and Finn and remember being their ages and how it feels to think you're supposed to have everything all figured out but really you're still just a kid and how the fuck?

    But, when the tragedy strikes, the aftermath doesn't ring true. Not Gena's breakdown--I have no foundation on which to judge the portrayal of her particular mental illness--but the reactions of pretty much everyone else. Basically, no one seemed to care. Finn cared about what happened to Gena, but there were seven other people directly involved in the incident and it just didn't seem to have any impact on, well, anyone. There were a couple of "reaction shots", but, much like on the fictional TV show from the book, by the next scene (or at least the next episode) everything was back to normal. I could analyze why the authors made this choice, and I can see several legitimate reasons why they would. However, as a reader who was caught up in this world and these girls, it just felt off somehow, leaving me with an overall feeling of "meh" at the end, rather than the feeling of "wow" I had started with.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review. Gena and Finn meet through the internet, bonded by their love for the show Up Below and one of the main characters - Jake. They’re both dealing with a variety of real life issues, from rent to romance, but always find happiness in each other. Their relationship progresses quickly, but other things start to get in the way. Long story short; it’s complicated.The story starts strong. It’s exactly what it promises to be. It creates an Up Below fandom which feels like it heavily draws from Supernatural, which is absolutely a good thing. The style of the book is strong, any fan will be able to relate to the blogging and chatting and ALL THE FEELS.Finn is extremely relatable. She’s dealing with relationship troubles, job troubles and just overall lack of satisfaction in her life. Gena is a little more confusing and distant, there are parts of her that some people might identify with but on the whole she’s a very strange character. She’s eclectic, strange and fairly needy. It’s not bad it’s just difficult to feel connected to her.Do not pick up this book if you’re looking for an LGBT romance. It occasionally teases slightly but this is NOT a love story. The vaguely worded blurb, and even the title (Gena/Finn: in fandom speak we all know what / means) seem to hint at a romance. This is almost entirely baiting.The third part of this book is confusing. It practically throws out the text/e-mail/blog format in favour of journal writing, which means that a large portion of the third part is just written like a normal first person book. It loses what made it special. The ending is dramatic in a way t didn’t have to be, and in fact it sort of hurts the book. It stops being entirely about fandom and starts dealing with heavy topics. Books SHOULD deal with heavy topics but that’s not really what this book is set up to present.It was weird. The book devolves into an entirely different genre and while surprises are pleasant on occasion I didn’t pick up this book for this. The fandom plotline is almost entirely dropped - there’s maybe one or two blog posts that are never fully resolved. It was like the book didn’t know where it was going and suddenly decided to force a bunch of awkward plots to make the story more exciting. It quickly knocked itself down from being a five star book exploring fandom to a three star sort of average drama.This was supposed to be a book about fandom and a relationship between two girls. It ended up being the story of a girl dealing with mental illness and PTSD. The latter is not a bad idea for a book - but advertise it as what it is. Don’t promise a character driven romp through fandom and deliver this. There was a good story before the authors decided it wasn’t dramatic enough and decided to change directions into a different sort of book entirely.Nevertheless it’s a good read for fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, even if the ending falls short of expectations.