Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Katherine Tegan Books (an imprint of Harper), 368 pages
Expected US Release Date: June 17, 2014
Format/Source: ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
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.
“Does someone not liking you back break your heart?”
I’ve tried to write the beginning of this review so many times, but I can’t decide which element to talk about first since I loved them all so much. I want to tell you all at once how much I adore Jamie and how much I adore Mason and how adorable this book is, filled with the lovely tension of crushes and loves and best friends-but-wanting-more and the complexities of being Out but not really out. I want to say all at once because I simply can’t make the decision what to say first.
I’ll start at the very beginning, because it is, indeed, a very good place to start. Jamie is just the best main character ever. He is sweet and friendly and open and confused, and I felt like he was immediately my best friend. I loved all his interactions with people, all his thoughts and considerations and doubt. I’m nowhere near Jamie or whatever he finds himself in, but I related to him on almost every level, and it was lovely.
I would never be his best friend though, but that’s because that spot belongs wholeheartedly to Mason. And I support and love them, all the jokes and touches and “I love you, man”s that are and are not said. In fact, I love most of the friendships in this book—even the ones between all the popular jocks, even if I’m not a real fan of those jocks themselves. I really liked Eden and Jamie, since it’s a friendship built on secrets and outsider understanding. I’m not quite a fan of Eden, actually—she’s a little too much for me—but I like what she and Jamie had and become.
Perhaps one of the reasons I loved this book as well is the incorporation of the Gumshoe—I am a journalism girl at heart (and by diploma!) and ran the school newspaper in high school and was Creative director of a non-profit magazine in college (I did the layouts, basically). It was wonderful reliving the memories of planning meetings, going to the printers, finding content, putting everything together…and even the hardships of debating back and forth on when you want a piece in or not. It’s a very hard thing to debate the merit of something for print, especially when it’s something that speaks to you—so I got Jamie. I definitely got him.
Though I do have to say I wasn’t really impressed by most of the poems printed in here. I did like At Night I Dream—but the others weren’t really anything special to me. I did, however, LOVE the comic that started it all, and I can’t wait to see the final version.
I found quite a bit of this story predictable as well, though not in an infuriatingly so way or anything. It was more like…once you read something, you could tell the direction it would go. And while I was more than happy with the way a lot of this works out, sometimes it would have been nice to be thrown off the trail a little bit.
Fan Art was such a fantastic story. I loved the plot and how much fun it was—I feel like it perfectly captured the end of Senior Year so well. The nostalgia of the known and loved for the last 4 years with the terrifying anticipation of what’s to come. I loved the small road trip, the Senior Ditch Day, the prank, prom, absolutely everything. Everyone should read it, because I promise you’ll find a little bit of yourself in it as well.