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.
“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.
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