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Fan Art

Review

Fan Art

Ever since they met in third grade, Jamie Peterson and his best friend Mason have been inseparable. They share movie nights together, have taco dinner nights, take road trips, offer each other a shoulder to cry on when needed, and, of course, know everything about each other. Er, everything except Jamie’s only secret: he’s gay. As if being stuck in the closet wasn’t bad enough, for the past two years, he’s been dying to be more than just Mason’s best friend. But with senior year coming to a close, time is running out and he still can’t find the words to tell his friend the truth.  
 
No, you’re not watching a high school romance movie --- you’re reading Sarah Tregay’s FAN ART. Needless to say, the plot is a bit cliché --- if I read another romance where somebody falls in love with their best friend and I’m going to lose my mind --- so you should instead focus on the other things that make this story entertaining, like the representation of the LGBT community! There are probably about five gay and lesbian characters and I have very rarely seen that many at once in a story. I think it is wonderful that minorities and acceptance are being showcased in this story along with the harsh reality of homophobia, religious conflict, and the fear of sharing who you are.
 
I enjoyed how caring Jamie was --- he definitely had his heart in the right place but doesn’t make the right decisions, which worked with the story. However, I also found him irritating and not too bright --- he kept assuming he was misreading Mason’s clear hints of affection. Additionally, he comes off as very passive and often complains about his issue but never actually steps up to handle it for himself, and his character perpetuated some major LGBT stereotypes, which bothered me more than I can express.
 
Now let’s talk about the good things.
 
First off, every single scene with Jamie’s family was amazing. I absolutely adored his parents and sisters, so much that I would consider them the best figures in the book despite the fact that they were only minor characters. Their love for each other was beautiful, heartwarming, and picked the book up in moments of high stress for Jamie for a bit of relief. I could go on forever about how great these sections were, but you just have to read it for yourself to understand the extent of how awesome these parents are.
 
I think it is wonderful that minorities and acceptance are being showcased in this story along with the harsh reality of homophobia, religious conflict, and the fear of sharing who you are.
 
There are also some one-liners in the book that I just found incredibly funny and couldn't stop laughing at. I think that these small parts were really great touches to the story and remind us that it is supposed to be a happy, light read.
 
Then we have the ending. I’m not going into details with this for spoiler reasons, but I liked it.
Despite the issues I had with the plot and Jamie’s narration, I would recommend that you pick up this book if you were a fan of David Leviathan’s TWO BOYS KISSING or really any other LGBT love stories. Yes, the story is cheesy and overdone, but I truly think that Sarah Tregay kept the story entertaining. The entire purpose of reading this was to have a cheerful story and I think that FAN ART does exactly that in the telling of this witty and humorous love story, even though I didn’t enjoy every aspect of it.

Reviewed by Sydney L., Teen Board Member on June 17, 2014

Fan Art
by Sarah Tregay

  • Publication Date: June 7, 2016
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062243160
  • ISBN-13: 9780062243164