ARC Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Fan artRating: 4/5
Genres: GLBT, Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS
Pre-Order on AMAZON THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

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.

REVIEW

“We aren’t some fictional couple you can slash together. We’re people. Real people!”

I came across this book while randomly scrolling through Edelweiss and it felt like I had hit the jackpot. Before we carry on, I think it’s somewhat important to explain what I just said. I once saw a video on youtube that got me thinking. The video had me hooked on to the idea of a guy trying to come out to his best friend and trying to tell him that he loved him. Suddenly, I wanted to know the story. I wanted to know what would happen. Would a happy ending occur or would things go down the drain and when I found this book it felt like a dream come true. I immediately downloaded it and I must say, this book did not disappoint. AT ALL. It was cute and fluffy and just all around sweet and it gave me the HEA I so desperately craved.

Jamie was a joy to read about and I don’t think I’ve been this happy to meet a character. It’s like going on a blind date (not that I would know) and then finding the person to be of your liking.  He has one thing most of the other teens in their final year of school I’ve read about don’t have. HE ISN’T OBSESSED WITH COLLEGE. This is important to me since it’s my last year as well and I am glad to have come across a character who understands my deal with college. He wants to go to college, he looks forward to it, but he isn’t OBSESSED. But that isn’t all. Jamie is all around relateable and a delightful character. I love his awkwardness, I love his fears, I love his modesty and I love how he strives to do the right thing even if it scares the crap out of him. Most of all though, I just love how he can be oblivious. And really, it’s was just so FUN watching him finally settle into his skin.

Jamie is hiding inside the closet. His parents know but he is too afraid to come out to everyone at school for the fear of messing up his relationship with his best friend. He doesn’t want things to become awkward between the two of them because he doesn’t know what he would do without Mason. The problem with that is that almost everyone knows that he’s gay (not that Jamie knows this). Or at least those girls in his art class do. This book turns into a slow journey of Jamie finding people who understand him and him finally letting go of his fears and embracing who he is.

Mason was adorable. He is a nerd, he is cute and he is also the bestest friend ever. He never pushes Jamie but instead gives Jamie the space he needs. Sadly though, Mason doesn’t play as big of a role as he could have. Mason is almost in the sidelines for large chunks of the book because this book isn’t about Mason and Jamie. It’s about Jamie. It’s about Jamie finally finding the courage to be who he is and so it has a large focus on the people Jamie meets on his journey to self-acceptance.

Like Eden and Challis. He becomes friends with the first and tries to smuggle in a LGBT friendly art piece for the art magazine the latter created. I actually loved his relationship with the gang. I loved watching him become friends with Eden and opening up to her. Jamie is always so confined because he has a secret to keep so it was a relief to see him finally relax a tad-bit.

The relationship with his family was great and realistic in some ways. His step-dad tries too hard and sometimes Jamie is annoyed by the fact that his mom had the twins but in the end he loves all of them and that is that.

Thou shalt not check out thy best friend.”

Well unless you’re sure they like you back but in Jamie’s case that’s not true. Hell Mason is probably straight and even if he was bi or gay, Jamie cannot be sure that Mason would like him back. A couple pages in and it’s kind of obvious which direction their relationship was headed in. The obviousness could have been annoying but it wasn’t. These two characters aren’t your usual cliches and neither was their relationship. It unfurled in a realistic manner. It was fun to lay back and watch everything unravel. Admittedly there were times where I just wanted to shake Jamie and tell him to stop being so blind but it all worked out in the end so it’s all good.

The plot of this book revolves around an art magazine and a certain LGBT friendly piece. The committee rejects the piece and that is what jump starts Jamie’s own journey of self-discovery. He becomes enraged at how people are close minded. It pisses him off that people could so easily waive off the idea because the community won’t accept it and because of this the LGBT community of his school won’t get a voice. The idea behind the art magazine was slightly weak but in the end it worked well with what the author was trying to achieve. Some of the art pieces were actually featured in the book and I enjoyed reading the poetry presented. Also it was fun seeing the gang trying to push the two together by dropping subtle hints (that Jamie was too scared, with good reason, to pick up on).

This book isn’t without some clichés. Obviously. But somehow they work. I didn’t feel like I was reading a completely unrealistic book. Yes sometimes it did border on unrealistic but it worked for me. I found it to be a thoroughly entertaining read and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read something chick-lity and light.

Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change.

Rating Report
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Overall: 3.8
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. laila campos says

    i think this is a good book to add to my LGBT tbr list, i am currently expanding my reading list to that direction. lovely review :)

    • Rashika says

      I haven’t read many LGBT books but I seem to have been lucky so far because I’ve loved the ones I’ve read.

    • Rashika says

      YAY! :D
      Aren’t we all on the lookout for more diversity? ;)

      I really hope you love it too Emily!! :)

  2. says

    I thought Fan Art is about people drawing fanarts.. seems like it’s MORE than an art. I haven’t read LGBT novel becauase I’m afraid it’s too angsty. But this one sound cute and fun read :D Love your review, if I didn’t read your review I might still ignore this book XD
    Haha I agree that meeting a character is like a blind date XD

    • Rashika says

      I am glad to have made you more curious about this one ;) I am pretty sure LGBT books are no more angsty than normal YA so it’s all good :D

  3. says

    I’m glad this one lived up to expectations! It’s always so, so awesome when you think you’ll like a book on a whim…and then it ends up being awesome. XD LOVE that feeling. Diversity rocks, too, although the cliches? *sigh* Guess it can’t be perfect. XD
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Honest YA Covers: Part 2My Profile

  4. says

    I’ve read a few awesome LGBT books lately, and this one sounds like I need to grab a copy, and soon. There’s something so pure about LGBT romance contemporaries, they seem so much more genuine and drama free. Awesome review, I love seeing the diversity on so many blogs lately, it really helps to expand my reading list with books I’ve never heard of. Thanks for sharing.
    Kelly recently posted…Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Wrap #22My Profile

    • Rashika says

      I definitely agree, I think I definitely need to expand more in the LGBT genre because I seem to have had pretty amazing luck so far!

      Thanks Kelly!! :D

  5. says

    I love it when a book is good enough to pull-off the obviousness of its direction. Mason and Jaime sound like fun, and I’m EXTREMELY curious about their story. I agree with Jeann about a good, light romance that still manages to portray LGBT well. That doesn’t happen often–most books that I’ve seen (while still being really great books) treat the subject matter MUCH more heavily, and that’s fine when you’re in the mood for it, but I like having a less heavy option too ;) Lovely review, Rashika!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. HamiltonMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      same here! I don’t always mind obviousness so long as it the journey is worth it :)
      I definitely agree with you, I feel like light hearted books in the LGBT genre seem rare to come by but they are important as well because they have a way of normalizing LGBT which is also very important.

      THANKS JESS! :)

  6. says

    I have read this book but in a hurry! I was reviewing it for PBT so . . .
    I was really disappointed, not to the book but on how the review works because it’s really in a hurry. So the next time I joined a book tour, I would not join with ARCs but only excerpts or reviews with eARC only. I did not expect that my first time would be frustrating.
    Yani recently posted…2015 Young Adult Debut NovelsMy Profile