Size Doesn’t Matter (75): P.S. I Like You; Gena/Finn

Size Doesn’t Matter (75): P.S. I Like You; Gena/FinnP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 330
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

Kasie West has been incredibly consistent, providing top notch banterfluff book after book. P.S. I Like You continues that tradition, though it’s not my favorite of the bunch.

The ship, as always, is aces. Hate to love and romance through written communication, two of my favorite tropes, combine into a thing of snarky glory. Lily and Cade have great chemistry, and there’s a rather classic Pride and Prejudice sort of vibe to the way they’ve always misunderstood one another but not reevaluated. Their ship works even better for getting together a bit sooner than usually happens in this sort of contemporary romance, so that we can enjoy them still bantering and bickering lovingly.

Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn’t as strong in P.S. I Like You as in West’s other novels. Good as the ship is, I floundered in the beginning before they really started interacting much. Lily’s parents are super cute, and her brothers too, but her best friend Isabel is a shell of a character. She’s jealous to add tension, but gives way with no issue when that plot point’s done. She’s hispanic to add diversity, but she has no plot arc of her own. It’s a damn shame, really.

If you’re looking for a super cute romance, you cannot go wrong with Kasie West.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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

Size Doesn’t Matter (75): P.S. I Like You; Gena/FinnGena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz, Kat Helgeson
Published by Chronicle Books on May 17, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 287
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars

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.

Gena/Finn started out so damn well. I thought I was going to love this book wholeheartedly. But then things happened. Gena/Finn actually had me thinking about it grumpily all night, frustrated about how such promise turned into something else.

As the book’s description indicates, Gena/Finn focuses on fandom, specifically a Supernatural-esque fandom. Gena and Finn are both obsessed with Up Below, and they end up bonding after Finn reads Gena’s fic and draws some fan art of it. Both are a bit hesitant to become super close with a stranger online, but their bond quickly becomes very strong, and they become each other’s first person to tell about things.

It gets a bit heavy sometimes and does perfectly depict the fandom scary place. Twenty-two year old Finn actually debates whether she should remain with her long term boyfriend Charlie because he doesn’t understand why fictional characters and fandom are so important to her. That’s how much this show matters to them, and I think it’s shown so very well.

What the book’s description does NOT warn you about is how fucking depressing this book gets. You’re reading and it’s kind of heavy but still fun, as Gena struggles with college and mental health while Finn debates whether she wants to be with Charlie or Gena. Speaking of, that love triangle is so half-hearted. The romantic connection between Gena and Finn feels super forced; I wish they’d just been friends, much as I always want to root for f/f. An OT3 would actually make more sense here, I think, but whatever.

So yeah, everything’s sailing along and working great tonally, but then BAM SURPRISE TRAGEDY THAT SPIRALS NEVERENDINGLY. Yes, bad shit happens in life, and it’s not like the treatment’s terrible, but it’s not at all what the back copy has promised. I know it says their lives “begin to fall apart,” but seriously this is so beyond that. View Spoiler » Worst of all, the book JUST ENDS WITHOUT RESOLUTION. I’m so fucking angry about this lack of ending. There’s open-ended and then there’s “oh hey you forgot to put that ending thing here.” I did read an egalley, so maybe the finished copy had some edits? God, I hope so.

Gena/Finn has so much to recommend it: excellent writing, strong characters, solid depiction of mental health and fandom. Unfortunately, they’re almost outweighed by that mess of an ending.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif i wish i couldn't feel a damn thing supernatural

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