Gena/Finn

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Fandom
Name: Gena/Finn
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Hana Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Date(s): 2016
Medium: Book
Country of Origin: United States
External Links:
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Gena/Finn is a young adult fandom novel centered on the strong but emotionally turbulent bond between two fans of a fictional Buddy cop show Up Below. Both Gena and Finn are big shippers of the leads Jake and Tyler. They bond quickly over the fandom and swap stories, leave comments on each other's fics and blog posts, and develop an intense emotional connection.

Gena (whom Finn calls "Evie" due to her username being EvinIf) is a former child star who keeps her mental illness under control with medication but suffers a slow degeneration of her stability as college takes its toll on her. Finn (real name Stephanie), meanwhile, is a college graduate adjusting to adult life who panics when her boyfriend Charlie brings up the prospect of marriage. The two begin an emotional affair, which makes things worse between Finn and Charlie and only worsens Gena's mental health.

When Zack, an old friend and co-star of Gena's as well as one of the main stars of Up Below, is killed in a set fire while Gena is doing a guest spot on the series, Finn rushes to her side, leading to her and Charlie eventually taking her home with them. The last of the book deals with Gena's recovery and how the show will go on without one of the lead characters.

The story is told in a unique format; rather than a traditional narrative, the book is made up of social media messages, text messages, e-mails, fanfiction, journal entries, and other pieces of the fandom. The story also discusses certain aspects of fandom beyond shipping, such as character wars. A fan named Mallory/Tylergirl93 constantly annoys both Gena and Finn by bashing Jake.

Fandom

The fandom for the book itself is tiny, with only three stories on AO3. The most popular ship is the OT3 of Gena/Finn/Charlie, as the story ends with the three of them all living together.

Review-wise, the book is not very well-liked among fans and readers, some of who felt the story became too depressing out of nowhere with the surprise character death and Gena's breakdown. Fans of the book, however, have praised it for its portrayal of female friendships and the bonds that can be formed through internet fandom. Gena and Finn's almost instantaneous connection and trust in each other resonates with people who form similar bonds with others through something as simple as a fanfic or a shared favorite character.

A third faction of readers enjoyed the first part due to its relatable portrayal of fandom and the friendship between the title characters, but felt let down by the sudden dark turn it took.[1] Others objected to the basic infantilization of Gena following her breakdown.

Up Below is meant to be a fictional Supernatural analog, with readers pointing out the similarities. However, parallels to other buddy shows can be drawn. The bond between Jake and Tyler as well as "tylergirls" bashing Jake can also be seen as similar to Voltron: Legendary Defender's Sheith fandom and Shiro fans' tendencies to bash Keith, respectively. The "tylergirl vs jakegirl" subplot is also a commentary on fan entitlement; at one point Mallory demands Gena "step out of her comfort zone" and focus solely on Tyler because he's more popular, causing Gena to angrily tell her off.

Queerbaiting criticism

Many readers who went into the book anticipating LGBT content and were excited when it seemed like a romance would bloom between the title characters were bitterly disappointed when Finn went back to Charlie, Gena seemed to fall for a boy in her support group, and Finn and Charlie more or less adopted Gena as their child after her breakdown. [2] [3]

Fanworks

Fanfiction

Reviews

References

  1. ^ Goodreads review - Lia
  2. ^ Goodreads review - Sam Scholar
  3. ^ My Literary Adventures