Once a child TV star, Gena is a college-bound fan-fiction writer who is obsessed with one of the leads from her favorite show, Up Below. With loving yet absent parents, wealthy 18-year-old Gena gravitates toward her online Up Below community of reviewers and writers. When she meets 22-year-old super fan and blogger Finn, short for Stephanie, the two develop a bond that stretches into romance, despite the age difference between them, not to mention Finn’s live-in boyfriend, Charlie. As Gena and Finn grow closer, Finn’s fledgling career and relationships start to unwind, creating a listlessness and fear mirrored in Gena’s slow descent into depression and the return of childhood hallucinations. While the authors’ use of a jumble of formats—texts, chat messages, emails, comment threads, browser histories, and more—vividly portrays the minute-to-minute nature of modern communication and serves to question whether virtual lives can be more fulfilling than reality, the framework lessens the impact of significant emotional moments. Still, when Gena faces a life-changing tragedy, Finn and Charlie’s compassion highlights the elasticity of love, family, and identity. Ages 12–up. Agent: John Cusick, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/11/2016 Release date: 04/05/2016 Genre: Children's
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