Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Fan Art by Sarah TregayFan Art by Sarah Tregay
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

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.

Adorable and very light; a perfect book for reading while I was on the road to BEA. While I had minor problems with this one, it was overall a real heartwarming love story that left me with a smile on my face.

Jamie is gay, and it seems like everyone knows it except his crush, Mason – who also happens to be his best friend. From the beginning, I could tell this was going to be a fun-frustrating kind of read with a lot of longing and a lot of heart. Although it’s not exactly the most unique book out there – it’s a simple angst-filled LGBT story I’ve seen a few times, now – it has a lot to offer with its charismatic characters and the adoption of a unique angle with adding a fan art/comic element to the mix. The comic that the surrounds the plot also has a lot of parallels with the novel itself. The comic’s critics complained of lack of plot, of being nothing but a love story that would be dull if not for the homosexuality of its leads, which mirrors this book exactly. While I agree with the critiques in a way about its plot – this book is definitely slow in its pacing, to say the least – I also think it’s much more than just a love story. It’s a story about a guy getting the courage to show his true self in a world that is still largely against it. It’s a story about a relationship that comes with infinite struggles – from parental disapproval, to general discrimination, already seen by the students fear of not getting sponsored again. It’s a story told at an important time in our history, especially for teenagers who are fighting the same fights.

The MC, Jamie, could be a bit dense at times. It was clear to the reader for a long time that Mason was also in love with him. He kept offering hints and gestures that completely went over Jamie’s head. I just wanted to slap him silly at times and make him realize his staying in the closet was only making him suffer all the more. He kept bringing up frail excuses to not tell Mason – “Oh, well, he kissed a girl” – “his hand grabbing mine must have been a mistake” – like, NO, DUDE!! Argh! The longing part? It was definitely present! Even when I was frustrated with Jamie, though, I loved anticipating the moment where they would finally kiss, because we all knew it was coming, and it was going to be epic! (And it was!)

The side characters are very well written with tons of charisma and charm to win us over. The teenage voices are all realistic, including the drama, stupid decisions, and reactions surrounding this story. The poems scattered throughout are a wonderful addition to the novel, as well, that shows bits and pieces of how everyone has some kind of fears to overcome, some obstacles to sort out to begin to find themselves. Even though they’re not crucial to the plot itself, they do give the book this extra layer of depth.

Jamie does need a bit of patience on our part, but I found myself smiling, laughing, and sighing at the adventure that was his last year of high school – his last year in the closet. And I forgive him for being so oblivious, because who never thinks the best case scenario is the most unlikely?


4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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25 Responses to “Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay”

  1. Pili

    Very nice review, Giselle!
    I find that this sounds like an adorable read that I’ll be keeping in my radar for this summer when I need a light and fun read with a lil wick at art and fandom!

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Aww! This sounds like such an adorable read, Giselle. I like that it uses comic too instead of just being angsty and depressing to read like so many LGBTQ books seem to be.
    Jamie does sound like he could be very frustrating at times, but it also sounds kind of realistic considering his situation.
    I’m going to have to pick this book up! Lovely review, Giselle and I’m glad that you found it to be more than just a romance about a gay teenager. 🙂

  3. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    I am happy to see you liked this one Giselle. I haven’t seen a ton of reviews for it yet, but I didn’t expect this one to be so light. I am pleasantly surprised to see you describe it as that. I was going to pass on this one, but you review has me rethinking that.

    It sounds well done and I am excited to see these side characters with charisma, and I want to see that epic kiss!

    Great review Giselle 😉

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  4. Siiri

    Lots of love for this one today–it’s the third 4 star review I’ve seen, heh. So happy to hear that you enjoyed, Giselle! Oh, so the best friend is also in love with him? That’s cool! Yay for awesome side characters 🙂 Can’t wait to read this pretty myself 🙂 Great review, Giselle!

  5. tonyalee

    Aww, this sounds like such a fun and sweet read! I love that there is a more to the story too, than just falling in love with your best friend.

    Great review!

  6. Michelle

    Awesome review! I’ve read many mixed reviews and a lot of them are negative, some even with 1 star ratings… now that scares me. But I always trust your word so I’ll pick it up as soon as I can, once I’m really craving for a light read. It’s always awesome when side characters are good; they always help brighten up a book in a way that we never think about. Aside from the minor disappointment of Jamie, I’m glad that you really enjoyed this one!

  7. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    I’m generally not a fan of contemporary to be honest. But maybe, MAYBE I’ll give this a try. It sort of sounds like something I would enjoy… aside from the character. I might have problems with the answer being right there, lol. O_o

  8. lily

    I’m hearing so many good things about this one and i think i’d enjoy the overall message this one is sending out as well! Lovely review 🙂

  9. Precious

    This sounds like such a fun and cute read! I’m really glad that you liked it and enjoys the MC’s journey throughout the book. I am so looking forward to reading this! Thanks for the review!

  10. Melliane

    I”m in love with the cover, it’s so cute! I confess I’m curious it sounds like a nice read and I’m curious to see the characters together. Thanks for the review!

  11. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    It’s a special kind of book that can make you smile and laugh and generally LOVE it while it is also driving you bonkers. This sounds great, Giselle. And as frustrating as Jamie clearly is, I think I’d be able to hang-on to that necessary patience, b/c being a teenager is hard. I have two sisters that are still teenagers, and I am VERY familiar with the kind of obstinate refusal to see what is right in front of them that seems to go hand-in-hand with adolescence. Will definitely be checking this one out 😉

  12. Rashika

    I had the hugest smile on my face reading this.
    ‘I just wanted to slap him silly’ was something I felt a lot when reading this and you know I actually didn’t realize the parallels between the comic and the story until you pointed it out but what you said it so true.

    Stories like these do need to make their way out there because we live in a world where homosexuality is still not widely expected. It’s important at this point of time because teenagers need to know it’s all right to be who they are.

    I’ll stop before I start getting deep.

    Fantastic review as always, Gee!! 🙂

  13. Jen

    Aww, this book sounds great! I’m actually really looking forward to reading this one, since I recently read TWO BOYS KISSING, and really enjoyed that LGBT book. I love the idea of the comic story paralleling with the actual one, I’m glad you liked that aspect! I’m sure I’m fine with the main character being a little dense, haha. Lovely review, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  14. Candace

    I really loved this one. I felt like it was pretty light and non dramatic, which I appreciated. I thought that Jamie acted about right concerning Mason. I think I would be afraid of making the wrong assumption and being extra cautious. It’s a cute book though, glad you enjoyed!

  15. Wendy Darling

    Aw, this sounds adorable! I love that we’re seeing more lighthearted lgbtq YA books, I feel as though they’re so scarce, but yet so needed. I’ve seen this book floating around, but I actually had no idea what it was about (or if I once did, I didn’t remember until I read this here), so thanks for the review, Giselle–definitely need to try to get to this one soon.