Finny is the story of Delphine Short, better known as Finny, whose adventurous odyssey of a life spans twenty eventful years from the time she's fourteen. She is an independent no-nonsense girl - the kind of girl I secretly envied in the playground. When her aunt pinched her cheeks, she would pinch her aunt back on the breast. Her father took every opportunity available to speak quotes and then solemnly proclaim the name of the person responsible for the quote. Her mother gave protocol advice fitting an upper echelon socialite. On top of this, her brother Sylvan was that annoying sibling or classmate you had who sucked up to his parents at every opportunity and pretended to be better than he was. Tired of all this drama, Finny decides to run away from home one day, thus setting several wheels in motion - wheels that define the rest of the book. Because Finny meets Earl.
Finny has a bunch of dysfunctional characters. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to mention even one normal character. And if you know me, I am all for dysfunctional books. Maybe because I think most people are dysfunctional in their own ways? Or maybe because I find them very endearing in their sweet little annoying characteristics. Finny probably seemed the most normal character to me, but she was hardly one. I loved her bluntness and her sassy jokes. I found I could identify so much with her and how when she spends a lot of time waiting for something good, it never happens. Earl was a totally different matter. I appreciated his dedication to his dream, but really, if I were his kin, I would have given him a sound beating. Finny and Earl loved each other a lot, but as most would expect, they have issues. Halfway into the book, I was praying that what-eventually-happened between the two wouldn't happen, and I was all ready to throw the book against my wall (figuratively) if it did. But of course, what-eventually-happened happened and I only hugged the book tighter. Does that say something about how well the ending fell into place without me having to groan out loud?
If I had to give you the name of a movie or book that Finny reminded me of, I would say 500 Days of Summer, and I don't even know why since the two are so disparate. The only similarity I can think of is the mixture of happiness and sadness that finishing the book (or movie) brings you. You're happy with it, but your reactions are more about the ride than the destination.
One of my favorite parts of the book were the last chapters of the first two sections. (The book is divided into three sections.) They are interludes in Finny's life, and Justin Kramon writes the chapters in that same hurried rush with which you talk of a "gap-filler" when recounting any story. The part between the important parts. The parts that are usually shown in movies with a heavy soulful background music. The part when you either go to the kitchen to get a glass of juice or when you stare at the screen feeling heavy for the characters. The statements aren't complete, but rather mere phrases that are only meant to explain what various characters are up to during the interlude.
Phone calls to Judith. Sylvan handing the phone to Finny each time... A winter night. Finny waking up and hearing Raskal whimpering in the kitchen... Afternoons with Poplan and Mr. Henckel. Coffee. The silver pot, the little silver spoons....
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I received this book for free from the publisher via TLC Book Tours.