eARC Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

Posted June 27, 2016 by Amber in Book Reviews / 47 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

eARC Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat HelgesonGena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz, Kat Helgeson
Published by Chronicle Books on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 287
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

Hey everyone. Friday I did a joint post on Run by Kody Keplinger and Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson. Here is my full-length review for Gena/Finn.

Cover Thoughts: This had a cover change, but while I said I liked the old cover more, I think I may actually like this a smidge more with it’s contrasting colors and more details with the internet era.

~Why I Wanted To Read~

I wanted to read Gena/Finn because it’s about fanfiction and online communities. Those are two topics that will make me read any book basically.

~Impact On Me~

I related to a lot of the things discussed in this book, primarily the relationship between the main characters, Gena and Finn. It made me almost die with a lot of feels. I did highlight a ton of passages where I was just like “YES. I KNOW WHAT THAT’S LIKE.”

First Line: Are you kidding me…?

Okay, what the shit was that episode?


By now, you already know, but if a book involves fanfiction or a writer of fanfiction, I will eat it up. This is exactly what I did with Gena/Finn. I related to this book a ton and actually, it reminded me of a couple website (a few websites, but namely two) I used to get on quite a bit called Quizilla and Mibba. Quizilla has since been bought out (tears), but Mibba’s still around! Anyway, both of these websites are really big with fanfiction. I loved how Gena/Finn incorporated blogging in the story along with fanfiction.

Blogging, because I am a blogger, of course, but also because I could just picture the blog posts unfolding on there. Fanfiction, because I used to read Fanfiction. I will admit that I wasn’t always into all of the fanfiction in the story, but I did really love the last one. Gena/Finn did fanfiction how I wished Fangirl had. I liked how there was an on-going communication with the online community, it wasn’t just a “I’m going to write stories, you’re going to read them.” kind of thing. It was even completed with annoying characters that you encounter online and may possibly even gossip about among friends.

It. Was. Just. So. Realistic!

Realistic will my word of the post.

Gena is the fanfiction writer of the story whereas Finn tends to write blog posts and draws. I loved the two different creative arts that these characters did.

The other part that I really liked in Gena/Finn was that both characters didn’t live at home. This can annoy me, but with the way it was done, it just felt so realistic to me. Gena was away at boarding school. Finn on the other hand was actually in college, but living with a boyfriend in an apartment. While I didn’t get a big sense of the classes, it gave me a strong vibe of being at college again. So there were definite points for nostalgia there. I loved seeing how the character dealt with being away from parents and how they dealt with their parents, namely Finn.

You may be wondering what the fanfiction written is about, it’s about a TV show called Up Below. Up Below revolves around two friends, it’s a very Supernatural-esque show. There’s a part in here where one of the characters talks about how tv raised them and they mention Boy Meets World AND Degrassi. As you can imagine, my heart exploded because those are my two of my favorite shows EVER. EVER. DEGRASSI <3 I just really really really loved that part a lot. Okay, back to the review now.

I just really need a moment because all of the blog posts about this show just hit me so hard. I get SO into the shows I watch. Like, an unbelievable amount* In an early post, there’s this quote about how the watchers didn’t see certain scenes, how unrealistic some scenes were and how it’s not good to tear shows down. I’m sure everyone has done this with a show. I have done this with SO many shows, I still do. It’s just a compulsion, we want things done how we want them. When they’re not, we (fans) can get incredibly passionate and incredibly angry, so I found a bit of this really hard-hitting.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, what completely pulled me into this story is how these Gena and Finn met. One of them had just written a story and the other read it and messaged them. Just like that, they hit it off and began messaging back and forth totally getting each other. I loved it so much. It gave me more nostalgia. This was just a big somewhat nostalgic book for me, I liked that part.

Look, read these passages and tell me you don’t feel that.

“…That was heavy. I mean, it’s fine, but is it weird that this is getting so personal? I don’t know. I don’t make internet friends…”

“You’ve never made internet friends, though? I’ve got like ten people who know that shit about me, and most of them aren’t ones I know in real life. I don’t know, I’m not exactly close to anyone, but it feels pretty safe to open up to people when it’s just words. and i’m not usually afraid of alienating people because I’m an independent women, etc. I’m good.”

Okay, maybe you don’t feel that, I do though, so I’m silently screaming because feelings.

I really liked how the girls because close friends in a short span of time, because that can happen with people. Their friendship was just so heartwarming and I loved how they could depend on eachother. I made note of this in my other Gena/Finn post, but I loved how they understood eachother when people in their real lives didn’t. Whether this was in regards to fanfiction, the online community, their general feelings or real life struggles. And there were a quite a few real life struggles. Struggles like living with a significant other, contemplating marriage, liking two different people at the same time, finding a job and mental illness.  I liked it a lot. They connected with eachother at a time when they would both need it. What I love most is that this the majority happens over the internet and I loved how it delved into real life.This brings me to the next thing:

Gena and Finn go to a convention and it is great. I wish there had been more details about it, because it didn’t really delve into it. This is also when things begin to shift in the story, quite greatly. Especially with genre and between characters. The girls get a lot closer to each other and it begins to alarm Finn’s boyfriend, Charlie. Charlie feels that the Gena and Finn may have feelings for each other. This causes relationship problems between him and Finn. While these relationship issues are a little intense, I loved seeing a couple actually have to go through issues. I loved reading about a couple that has their issues and it causes fights because that’s real. I didn’t always like Charlie, but I knew where he was coming from. Finn definitely annoyed me at times, but I loved her as well.

Back to Gena and Finn’s possible feelings for each other.

As for the genre switch, now that I think about it, it reminds me a lot about TV. You watch tv and everything’s great and you’re loving it, it’s exactly what you’re expecting and then an episode happens and you’re like, “What is this?”. Cue Demons from The 100. Am I right?

Actually, it reminds me of the last season of Boy Meets World, if you’ve watched that show (as Gena has), you may have noticed the huge genre switch in it. In the beginning it was very light hearted and then towards the end, while there were still a lot of light heartedness, it definitely went off the deep in in dramatics.

This was where Gena/Finn lost me a bit, while I loved the change in genre, it was very sudden. I didn’t feel like it was expanded on enough, but then again, that just relates back to a passage before in the book. I wish we had gotten more details about things. I wanted more conversations between a few people. This was pretty much the only thing I didn’t love in Gena/Finn. Everything else was great, the characters, the plot, the various issues.

There is a bit of group therapy done in here which I liked a lot. We only read from the character’s point of view and don’t experience many actual sessions, but it was interesting to read about.

A thing that I especially liked was the format of the book. I was reading an eARC, so I didn’t get the full affect, but there are Fanfics, blog posts, text messages, story comments, journal writings, and poetry in here. I liked seeing so many different aspects in it.

One thing I haven’t touched on yet:

Gena deals with a mental illness that I don’t believe is mentioned by name exactly, but I could be wrong. I liked seeing a character have a mental illness that didn’t rule her life, but it was mentioned in the day to day life. I do wish it had been talked about a lot more vividly because I didn’t exactly understand what she was diagnosed with or the medication she was taking. Speaking of which, that brought up a little part in the story where Gena has to worry about paying for her meeds. Once again, so realistic. Meds can be so expensive.

Some Things I Did Not Like:

Although I really liked Gena/Finn, there were some things I didn’t care too much for.

The girls relationships were really complicated to me and I never really understood what was going on. However, I do like that it was messy because feelings aren’t always clear cut.

I felt like Charlie did a 180 in part of the book which just left me wonder “What just happened?”. It seemed to be a really drastic change that I wasn’t super into.  I would have known exactly what changed him because i did not understand.

There’s also a somewhat change of scenery for Gena later in Gena/Finn which I just didn’t find very realistic. I didn’t think it would go down like that, I don’t even think it’s really allowed what happened.

There was at least one definite convenient moment that was only used for plot purposes and I was like “What? No, really, what?” It was so bizarre to me.

I do like that we hear about Gena and Finn’s parents throughout the book, but Gena’s seemed really out of touch. Literally. There was a time I felt like they would want to contact Gena, and as far as I remember, they didn’t, but other relatives did. It was still short lived though. I didn’t like this section at all. There should have been a lot more concern and hesitance than I saw portrayed.

~Final Thoughts~

The two perspectives of Gena and Finn were done so well, I thought they blended together good. I loved the writing of both of them, so the authors did a fantastic job there. Gena and Finn both had distinct personalities. If you like female friendships, online communities, Fanfiction and complicated relationships, Gena/Finn is for you. I really liked Gena/Finn overall despite some things I didn’t like or understand. I loved the natural friendship of the girls and their interactions with each other. I enjoyed reading about how they didn’t live at home because for once an absence of parents made some sense. This book is full of emotional feels for sure. 

~Do I Recommend?~


~Who Do I Recommend It To?~

  • Fans of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowelll
  • Fans of Fanfiction or online related books
  • Fans of strong female friendships
  • Fans of complicated relationships

~Would I Buy It?~


~Would I Re-Read It?~


Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

Posted June 27, 2016 by Amber in Book Reviews / 47 Comments


47 responses to “eARC Review: Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

  1. I really loved this book because of the depiction of fanfic/fandom. I’m kind of out of all my fandoms now, and reading this made me miss it.

  2. Huh, I have never heard of either Mibba or Quizilla, am I that young? I really just stuck to fanfiction.net, but I didn’t interact on it much. Also yes, I found it so realistic that the characters weren’t just “at home”, but actually had unique lives. And oh, look at you fangirling about BMW and Degrassi. You weirdo.

    I actually don’t really get into shows that much. Video games, yes, but I rarely have anyone to talk to about them. Except some of my friends (cough one). I never really thought about finding a community of people that love video games, only because well, I’m not sure I would be comfortable with it. So I think with Gena/Finn, I didn’t really “get” the fandom. I mean I understood it, but I didn’t connect with it much.

    Also. CHARLIE. I think that was the one thing that completely baffled me. He really did a 180, and I didn’t know what to expect or think of it. I mean, basically the ending of this was just really unexpected and just raises way too many questions. You know all of my thoughts already though hahah.

    Again. Great review. Wish I could steal your writing skills.

  3. I simply want to say I’m beginner to blogging and seriously liked this page. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You surely have amazing articles. Cheers for sharing your blog site.

  4. I just want to say I am very new to blogs and seriously liked your page. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with fabulous articles and reviews. With thanks for sharing your web site.

  5. A fascinating conversation deserves remark. I believe that you should create a lot more on this topic, it might not be a forbidden subject however normally individuals are insufficient to speak on such subjects. To the following. Thanks

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  7. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  8. You made some suitable factors there. I searched the web for the problem as well as located most individuals will certainly support with your website.

  9. The following time I review a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as high as this. I indicate, I recognize it was my choice to read, however I actually thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I listen to is a lot of whimpering regarding something that you can fix if you werent also hectic looking for focus.

  10. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything similar to this before. So nice to discover somebody by original ideas on this subject. realy appreciate starting this up. this excellent website can be something that is required on the internet, a person with some originality. useful problem for bringing a new challenge to your web!

  11. An intriguing conversation deserves comment. I assume that you ought to write much more on this subject, it may not be a frowned on subject however typically individuals are inadequate to talk on such subjects. To the next. Thanks

  12. The following time I review a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as long as this set. I indicate, I understand it was my option to review, yet I actually believed youd have something interesting to state. All I hear is a number of whimpering about something that you could deal with if you werent also active seeking attention.

  13. I was extremely delighted to locate this web-site. I intended to thanks for your time for this fantastic read!! I most definitely enjoying every bit of it as well as I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you article.

  14. I?d need to contact you right here. Which is not something I generally do! I enjoy checking out a blog post that will certainly make people believe. Likewise, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  15. I am the manager of JustCBD label (justcbdstore.com) and am planning to grow my wholesale side of business. I am hoping anybody at targetdomain give me some advice 🙂 I thought that the most ideal way to do this would be to talk to vape stores and cbd retailers. I was really hoping if anybody at all could suggest a reputable website where I can buy Vape Shop Business Leads I am presently taking a look at creativebeartech.com, theeliquidboutique.co.uk and wowitloveithaveit.com. On the fence which one would be the most suitable selection and would appreciate any support on this. Or would it be much simpler for me to scrape my own leads? Ideas?

  16. Youre so cool! I do not expect Ive read anything such as this prior to. So great to locate someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that is needed on the internet, a person with a little creativity. beneficial task for bringing something new to the web!

  17. This website is really a walk-through for every one of the info you wanted regarding this as well as didn?t know who to ask. Look right here, as well as you?ll definitely find it.

  18. I’m the manager of JustCBD brand (justcbdstore.com) and am seeking to broaden my wholesale side of business. It would be great if anybody at targetdomain is able to provide some guidance 🙂 I considered that the most effective way to accomplish this would be to talk to vape stores and cbd retail stores. I was hoping if anyone could suggest a trustworthy website where I can purchase CBD Shops B2B Data List I am already checking out creativebeartech.com, theeliquidboutique.co.uk and wowitloveithaveit.com. Not exactly sure which one would be the very best option and would appreciate any guidance on this. Or would it be simpler for me to scrape my own leads? Suggestions?

  19. I?m satisfied, I must claim. Truly hardly ever do I run into a blog site that?s both instructional and amusing, as well as let me tell you, you have struck the nail on the head. Your idea is exceptional; the issue is something that not nearly enough individuals are speaking intelligently around. I am extremely satisfied that I came across this in my search for something associating with this.

  20. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  21. Youre so great! I don’t intend Ive check out anything such as this prior to. So great to discover somebody with some original ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little creativity. beneficial job for bringing something new to the internet!

  22. There are some interesting points in time in this article yet I don?t recognize if I see all of them facility to heart. There is some legitimacy yet I will hold opinion up until I look into it additionally. Great article, many thanks and we desire much more! Included in FeedBurner too

  23. I was very pleased to locate this web-site. I intended to many thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciating every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you post.

  24. Environment awareness can be easily started by a easy awareness program corresponding to planting bushes to reduce air pollution and defend our environment. We can also help save our environment by making the right decisions in using merchandise and consuming habits which contribute to the destruction of the setting.

  25. After research a few of the article on your internet site currently, and also I really like your method of blog writing. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site checklist and will certainly be examining back quickly. Pls take a look at my web site also as well as let me know what you think.

  26. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  27. Aw, this was a truly wonderful article. In concept I want to put in composing like this in addition? requiring time and also actual effort to make a very good post? but what can I say? I postpone alot as well as by no means appear to get something done.

  28. A remarkable share, I simply offered this onto an associate that was doing a little evaluation on this. As well as he as a matter of fact acquired me breakfast because I discovered it for him. smile. So let me rephrase that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly concerning it as well as enjoy reading more on this subject. Preferably, as you end up being knowledge, would certainly you mind updating your blog with more details? It is very helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this article!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)