Finny by Justin Kramon

Title:  Finny: A Novel
Author:  Justin Kramon
Release date:  July 13, 2010
Publisher:  Random House Trade Paperbacks
Pages:  384
Genre:  Adult fiction
Source:  Author

We first meet Finny Short when she is a preteen, just trying to get by in a family where she doesn’t feel she belongs.  As a fourteen-year-old, she is sent away to boarding school by her conservative parents in order to keep her away from her crush next door, Earl.  We follow Finny throughout her years at boarding school, and then into college and beyond.  We meet Judith, her boarding school roommate who turns into a lifelong friend, Earl who Finny keeps in touch with throughout her entire adult life, and her brother who turns out to be not such a bad guy as an adult.  Through it all, Finny is a charming and delightful character who sneaks into the reader’s heart and stays there for a long time.

I loved this novel.  Loved it.  I don’t know if the book would have been enjoyable had I not loved Finny herself, but since I did, the entire experience of reading her story was just fantastic.  She is such a charming, interesting, lovely individual and I honestly began to picture her as a real person while reading the novel.  I wanted to crawl inside her life, to immerse myself in what she was going through, to become her friend.  At some parts of the story, I wanted to give her a big hug and tell her everything was going to be okay, and other parts I just wanted to yell at her and tell her how wrong she was in her decisions.  Pretty much how I feel about my real friends at different points in our lives. 🙂

There is a certain something about Finny that I can’t quite explain, but whatever it is, it made the novel absolutely fantastic.  Something about the way it is written makes it feel timeless.  That’s the best way I can describe the feeling the novel gave me – it felt as though I could have just as easily been reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or something like it.  It felt like, although the book is quite modern, Finny could have been a girl from any generation going through what every girl/teen/twenty-something/thirty-something goes through.  I don’t know that I’m explaining this properly, but it honestly took the book from good to great for me.  I feel like this novel will be around for a long time to come.

You know how sometimes you just connect with a book – with its characters, with the story, with the writing, with everything about it – and you find yourself at a loss for words as to why?  Well, that’s exactly how I feel about Finny.  I feel like I’ve done an okay job telling you how much I loved this novel, but I’m still not sure my words did the book justice.  So do me a favor and just read it for yourself.  I seriously doubt it’s possible to be disappointed in this gem of a novel.

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25 thoughts on “Finny by Justin Kramon

  1. This sounds wonderful. I love how you compare it to A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, which automatically makes me put it on my wish list. But, I think I particularly like when you wrote that you think you “did an okay job” in relating how much you loved this story, since I think you did a really brilliant job — this heartfelt review is fabulous; well done!

    1. aww, thank you Natalie! It really did remind me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and to this day I’m stuck as to explaining exactly why. Such a fabulous novel!

  2. This sounds good! I was just talking with my sister the other day about how much we enjoy boarding school books, while at the same time being unbelievably glad we didn’t go to boarding school. 😉

    1. LOL I am the exact same way. I LOVE boarding school books but would have never survived boarding school myself. I’m too shy and especially as a teen, too awkward. It just wouldn’t have worked out for me. Glad I’m not the only one!

  3. Heather, thank you so much for this review. All the things you said really mean a lot to me. I really appreciate it. I’m so glad to have gotten to share the book with you.

    Kathy, so nice to see you here! Thanks again for your support of the book

    Misha, I really appreciate your interest.

    Natalie, thanks so much for your comment. And I agree, Heather’s review was so genuine and well-written, and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer introduction to the book.

    Jenny, it’s so funny that you mention that about boarding school. I feel that way about a lot of things I read about — how fun it is to experience it in a book, but how glad I am that it’s not me.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments, and please feel free to get in touch through my website.

    1. Hi Justin! Thanks again for sending me the book and also, for writing it! I really did love Finny (both the book and the character) and I’m so happy to be able to share my love for it with others. I certainly hope I’m on the list of contacts for when you put out your next novel as I’m very excited to see what you do next. 🙂

  4. Heather, thanks again! I’d be thrilled to have you review the next novel when it comes out. FINNY just went into a second printing, and I owe so much to the bloggers who have written about it and supported it from the start.

    booklogged, thank you so much for your interest in the book. I’m so glad the cover caught your eye, too. I was really happy when I saw what Random House had come up with. I hope it captures both the whimsy and warmth that I’d like people to find in the book.

  5. Sometimes I find that just talking about how something made you feel can be as good (maybe even better) than being able to exactly pinpoint what gave you the feeling. I’m putting Finny on my list. Great review.

  6. Great review! I’m excited to read this, but I accidentally packed my copy when moving, so it’s now in storage until the end of the month. Now I really can’t wait to get unpacked!

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