Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Review: Fan Art

Release Date: June 17, 2014
Author: Sarah Tregay
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Length: 368 pages

When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.



Protagonist: Jamie is just trying to get through his final months of high school without any drama. Yeah right. Even though Jamie is out to his immediate family, who threw him a party upon coming out, he has yet to tell anyone else, even his best friend in the entire world, Mason. I really enjoyed Jamie's character, he has realistic flaws and fears that really help move not only his character development forward, but also the plot in a realistic albeit possibly idealistic way.

Romance: So ironically, while the romance or at least Jamie's feelings are a driving point to the plot there's not really very much romance. In fact what your in for is more romantic tension than anything else. Going into this I thought Jamie would already have feelings for Mason, but we get to see his crush develop over the course of the book. We see him go from denial to self-loathing and finally acceptance. the book isn't over at that point however and I really liked watching Jamie face not only his feelings for Mason but working toward coming out to him.

World-Building: So going into this, given the lack of pronouns referring to Mason in the synopsis and that Mason can be a girl's name, I had wrongly assumed that this was a story about a boy who falls for his female best friend and gets help from the girls in his art class to find a way to express his feelings. That alone sounded like an amazing story and reminded me a lot of my sophomore year of high school, sans art class fairy godmothers, but when I found out after reading the first page that Mason is male I became all the more interested. I feel weird having to state that it's an LGBT book instead of saying that it's a love story, but given the stigma not only in our real world life, but it this book it's sort of mandatory. That being said I really enjoyed the plot and world-building of this book, it's one of my first fluffy lighter contemporary and I have have to say it really started bringing me around to liking contemporaries in general as opposed to the darker more intense one I'm partial to.

Predictability: Given that this was more of a fun contemporary I went into it expecting it to turn out well, meaning that I didn't expect this book to really surprise me or have very many shocking twists. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a few that truly caught me off guard. Some were heartbreaking, other inspired hope for the characters and overall I was really impressed that this book, while being fluffy and happy, could still pull at my heartstrings like the more intense and darker contemporaries.

Ending: As I said before the ending of this book was a bit idealistic, however unlike Sia, the other fluffier contemporary I've read this book still has plenty of trouble and hardship ahead for these characters going forward and so the idealistic ending really helped to numb the possibly sadder things to come. It was a great ending to this book and while there were still a few things that I wondered about that were never answered, I couldn't fault the author or story for that as this is supposed to mirror real life and for everything to be wrapped up so neatly wouldn't seem real.


So yeah, I really loved this book, it gave me a new perspective on contemporaries. It's both light-hearted and fun, funny and heartwarming, and while it has it's sad and even heart-breaking moments. In the end this book is not only a great love story, but one that carries a powerful and great message.


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