Book Reviews: The Haters + Gena/Finn

Posted April 28, 2016 by shooting in Uncategorized / 19 Comments

The Haters by Jesse Andrews 

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFor Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

Review: Okay, to be honest, I didn’t really like this one. It was almost a DNF for me mainly because I have a lot of books to read and I just didn’t want to invest time in something I wasn’t really liking. However, I persevered, because I was curious about how things would end and it wasn’t all bad. Overall, the characters felt realistic. The actual adventure of running off and doing a tour isn’t that most realistic, but it’s not unrealistic, if that makes sense. It’s something that could happen; it just felt a bit strange to be reading about these teens that did that. Anyway, I haven’t read Andrews’ debut Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and I hear great things about it, so I do want too. I just wouldn’t say this one was a favorite of mine. It’s definitely middle-of-the-range. I wouldn’t recommend it per se, but I could see people really liking how the teens spoke and acted like real people. Boys might enjoy it more than girls, with all of the guy humor, though!

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: Now this is a book that I really loved. For one thing, it’s easy for me to relate to as I have met a lot of great people online – whether we ever met in person or not. We’ve talked about the things we love, especially when it deals with some sort of fandom or nerdy love. For Gena (pronounced like Jenna) and Finn (two girls) they bond over the TV show Up Below. They start to write each other about their lives and the things they are going through. Finn is a bit older than Gena and she’s living away from her family with her boyfriend, but she’s not sure she really wants to marry him. As for Gena, she’s dealing with absent parents, mental health, and something of a secret that is revealed later.

As these two communicate, and especially after they meet in person, their friendship starts to blur a bit. Do they love each other as more than friends? Is one of them more in love than the other? It’s an interesting question and it was great to see this in a book. It’s easy, especially with girls, to see how friends could start to fall in love if they get too close to each other. Obviously this doesn’t happen with all best girl friends, but it is something that probably happens more often than people realize.

I loved the different formats -we get journal entries, text messages, emails, etc. It’s a lot of fun and it makes the story move quick, but also allows you an intimate look into both of these girl’s worlds.

Gena/Finn comes out May 17th – pre-order your copy now! 
Both of these books fall under the Unique Formatting Book Challenge. I explained Gena/Finn, but The Haters does as well; it’s just a bit more difficult to explain! I have everything linked up (including the monthly link up) under the page Unique Formatting Book Challenge – just look under my header for the link! 

19 responses to “Book Reviews: The Haters + Gena/Finn

  1. Glad you stuck with the first one and it sort of paid off, at least it wasn't horrible right?
    And yay for loving the second! That is always nice, especially after one you had to or almost had to DNF.

  2. The first book doesn't really sound like something I could get into either. I might be too old and over the angst that looks to be in that one. Isn't it funny though how we feel compelled to see a book out just to see what happens? I just did that with a book and even the ending was a dud!

  3. I don't read much fiction because I usually feel how you felt about The Haters. I'll read a few pages and then never finish the rest. But the Gena and Finn sounds interesting. Especially with the format being text mssgs and blog posts, ect. Great reviews!

  4. They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I admit to not finding the cover of The Hater at all appealing. A shame it didn't ultimately work for you despite the fact it sounds like it did have some redeeming features. Still, at least there was your second read, I'm glad you loved this one.

  5. I just bought The Haters, and I can't wait to get to it because I loved Me and Earl and the Dying Girl when I first read it. Plus Jesse is from my hometown, so it's even extra special.

    I haven't read Gena/Finn yet, but it's on my TBR list. I think it'll be one that I borrow from the library, though. I'm just not too sure that I'm ready to buy it.

  6. I've heard such great things about Me, Earl and the Dying Girl but The Haters is one I will probably pass on. I can't get past the totally unrealistic premise of three teens ditching summer camp and hitting the road. It boggles my mind and I can't get past it. The adult in me is screaming "that would never happen! The counsellors would notice, parents would be called, and their little trip would be stopped as quickly as it started." Yeah, totally not willing to just "go along" with that one.

    Gena/Finn sounds much more realistic/likable – and something worth taking a chance on. Great reviews, Lauren!

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