Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publication date: June 17th 2014
by Katherine Tegen Books
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.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-
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?