Happy Book Birthday to Hannah Moskowitz’s and Kat Helgeson’s YA GENA/FINN (Chronicle Books).
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.
Let’s hear from Kat:
“Hannah and I met in an online community writing fanfiction. We were part of a group that came up with story prompts for the things we wanted to read and wrote stories to fit each other’s prompts. Hannah and I were answering each other’s requests more than anybody else, and as time went by we started talking about our real lives as well. Then Hannah came to Chicago for a publicity event and we had the chance to meet in person. We planned to just have dinner together and go our separate ways, but we enjoyed each other’s company so much that we ended up spending the whole weekend together. It wasn’t long after that that we mutually came up with the idea of a book telling the story of the deep connections that can come out of internet fandom and the way online friendships can transition into three-dimensional ones. A lot of people talk about online relationships as something distinct from “real” relationships, and what I came to understand by knowing Hannah was that the interactions that happen online can be as real and meaningful as any other.”
Here’s a bit from their editor, Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books:
“It was clear to us immediately that this was a story told about real young adults, by real young adults. So much of YA fiction is aimed at teens without any sense of what motivates them, how they talk, how they relate to each other. The relationship in GENA/FINN is visceral and honest, complicated and indefinable: in other words, real. It’s so rare to see a book that captures life as well as Hannah and Kat have here. I was sold immediately and finished an hour and a half later.”
What other people are saying:
“Vividly portrays the minute-to-minute nature of modern communication.”-Publishers Weekly
“Allows readers to close the cover pondering all the different ways humans can love.”-School Library Journal
“I liked Gena and I liked Finn, not just as characters but as people. Although their experiences were different from mine, I could see myself in both women–all of the uncertainty and indecisiveness and insecurity.”– Billie Bloebaum, A Children’s Place, Portland, OR
“If Hannah Moskowitz writes it-or in this case, co-writes it-I will read it.”–Leila Roy, Bookshelves of Doom, a Kirkus Reviews Blog
“It’s very satisfying to see this moment in fandom and Internet-originating relationships so capably represented.”-Kirkus Reviews
“This portrayal of the fan world is spot-on. focused firmly on the real, messy relationships that can form in the digital age.”–Booklist
Find GENA/FINN at Goodreads, Amazon, B&N.
You can find Kat on her website and twitter, and Hannah on her website and twitter.