Finna by Nino Cipri

Title: Finna
Author: Nino Cipri
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Ava and Jules work a minimum wage job at a big box furniture store that just happens to also have a portal to other dimensions. When a customer falls through the portal, their manager forces them to go after her. Although Ava and Jules are exes, they have to work together to find the lost customer and survive in dimensions where everything wants to kill them. 

“My boss, Tricia, always said that we were a family. I should have realized she meant that I would have to put up with constant bullshit.”

Finna is a LGBTQ short story that has elements of fantasy, romance, and comedy. This was my first LGBTQ romance book and I think it was a really good one to start with. One of the most interesting components of the story was the fact that the character Jules is non-binary so their pronouns are they, them, and their. I am used to addressing people by these pronouns since I work in HR and want to avoid addressing someone by the incorrect pronouns, however, it was an adjustment reading a 3rd person narration with a non-binary character. In the first couple of chapters I would find myself trying to decipher if the author was talking about just Jules or both Jules and Ava. I got the hang of it after a couple of chapters though! If you are like me and don’t have experience reading a book with a non-binary character, I recommend coming to this book with an open mind. It will be a little challenging at first, but you will catch on quickly and it’s a great way for you to practice using those pronouns in the real world!

“Existence isn’t a gift, it’s a right, Jules had replied. But having to reclaim it every day makes life easier to appreciate, maybe.”

Although this book is only 92 pages, that is all it needed to relay some really strong messages. The first, obviously, being the harmful impact of discrimination and assumptions on LGBTQ and non-binary persons. For example, Jules talks about how their manager purposely only calls them by their name to avoid using the non-binary pronouns. Although this is better than assuming the wrong pronouns, it still shows Jules that the manager doesn’t want to put in the effort to make them feel included. Similarly, Ava and Jules struggle with people not taking their relationship seriously or assuming they are straight. Another strong message is how poorly hourly workers are treated, especially those that are young. In Finna, the manager blatantly has no regard for Ava or Jules’s safety and only cares about the reputation of the company. Nino Cipri wrote this book with the intention of bringing awareness to these issues and I think it was achieved.

“Of course Jules was alive, they had never faced a challenge whose ass they couldn’t kick, and they had the stores of righteous rage that all retail employees collected.”

If you are looking for something fun to read that may change your perspective on our society “norms” I highly suggest you read Finna!

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