Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 17 2014
Genres: LGBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: I Bought It
A sweet contemporary romance about a boy who falls in love with his best friend, and the girls who help them get together.Jamie Peterson has a problem: Even though he tries to keep his feelings to himself, everyone seems to know how he feels about Mason, and the girls in his art class are determined to help them get together. Telling the truth could ruin Jamie and Mason's friendship, but it could also mean a chance at happiness. Falling in love is easy, except when it's not, and Jamie must decide if coming clean to Mason is worth facing his worst fear.
In Fan Art, Sarah Tregay, the author of the romantic Love and Leftovers, explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most. Fan Art is perfect for fans of contemporary romances as well as novels like Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg.
Aww, this book was so sweet! Honestly it was a truly adorable little story. Heart-warming and fluffy – it was just what I was in the mood to read. I had never read anything by Sarah Tregay prior to reading this book but I will definitely be checking out her other works.
Fan Art is the story of Jamie Peterson. He is a kid who seems to have everything going for him. Well-liked and popular with his peers, a decent student with College in the bag – he seems to have the world at his fingertips. Jamie is gay but is not out to anyone bar his immediate family.
Things are going to get a little more complicated for Jamie when he realises he is crushing on his (straight) best friend Mason. It gets a whole lot more complicated when he is forced to reject a piece for the school magazine – a comic with significant LGBT content submitted by his art classmate – a prominent member of the school’s GSA.
Jamie is reluctant to come out of the closet whilst still in high school. Fighting for the comic’s inclusion is something he feels could garner him too much of the wrong kind of attention – yet he feels compelled to do so anyway. This is the beginning of a journey for Jamie – his route to accepting his sexuality and being comfortable in his own skin.
I really enjoyed this story but it was not without its share of flaws. The aforementioned comic is criticised by several of the students for being lacking in substance – the only thing that really stands out about it is that the central storyline is about two boys falling in love with each other. The same criticism could be made for Fan Art itself. The plot is a little generic and something I have seen many times before – except that the central protagonist is gay and his crush is his male best friend.
Still, I loved the book almost despite myself. I had the biggest smile on my face while reading it and it thoroughly entertained and cheered me up. It could never claim true originality but it was so uplifting, earnest, and heartfelt that I couldn’t help but falling in love with the story and the characters.
Jamie was a really likeable protagonist. He had his fair share of insecurities and annoying traits but I could see why he was such a popular kid. He was just nice, caring, and friendly even if he was a little bit clueless at times! Seriously Jamie – how could you not know that a certain character was clearly in love with you – it was so obvious!
I also really liked the art class girls who went above and beyond to try to get Jamie his happily ever after – even if they went a little too overboard and the plan ended up backfiring. Eden in particular was an interesting character and I would have liked to have seen more of her story.
Mason was also a really great character though he was not really present for most of the novel. I would have liked to have gotten to know a bit more about him and his somewhat turbulent family life. What we did get to see of him I really liked though. He was a great friend to Jamie and I liked how easy he ultimately was with the situation. I also loved Jamie’s family (his mother and step-father were really supportive and active in his life and his little twin sisters were adorable).
Overall, this was just a really sweet feel-good book. I was totally fangirling along with the art girls about Jamie and his love-life and I was really happy with the resolution (even though I would have preferred a slightly longer denouement).