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.
Hardcover, 368 pagesExpected publication: June 17th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher in Exchange for an honest review.
Four stars: A contemporary book about finding your true self and not being afraid to show it to the world.
Jamie is happy and anxious about finishing high school. On one hand, he will miss his friends, activities and all the good things about high school, except for the fact that he has spent the last few years hiding his true self. Jamie is gay, and while he has come out to his family, he hasn't told his best friend, Mason, because he fears it will ruin their friendship. As senior year draws to a close, Jamie finds himself fighting to make sure that the voices of the gay students are heard, even if it means doing something that could cost him his future. Will Jamie find the courage to be himself?
What I Liked:
- This is a book with a strong message: be yourself, love who you want and don't be afraid. For anyone struggling to find acceptance whether they are gay or straight this is a book that should be read and discussed.
- I hate to date myself, but it has been a long time since I was in high school. When I was in high school, it was unheard of to admit you were gay. This was before people came out of the closet. It was when it was socially acceptable to be homophobic, but it was not okay to be gay. I was pleased and surprised to see how things have changed in high schools. In this book, while there are still plenty of people who are homophobic, there are many students who are openly gay, and there classmates are fine with that. This book shows just how far we have come over the last few years in changing the way we view gays, but it also reveals that there is still more work to be done. This is an eye opening and candid look at the struggles, fears and hurdles a gay teen has to overcome. This is an excellent book to share with any teen whether they are gay or straight because I think everyone can relate to Jamie. At some point life, we all know the pains of trying to fit in, and reading Jamie's story will show you how important it is to be open minded and tolerant of others. Everyone deserves the chance to be loved and to love back.
- I liked that Jamie had strong family support behind him. His mom and his stepdad know the truth about him, and they openly accept and support him.
- The romance is sweet and it follows the well loved trope of best friends developing romantic feelings for one another. It is a romance that takes its time to build, and when it finds its footing it is lovely and believable. I couldn't help but feel a bit emotional at the end. A wonderful romance.
- I especially liked the snippets of poetry included in the book. Some of the poems where heart felt and just lovely. I thought they were a nice addition to the book, along with the controversial piece of fan art.
And The Not So Much:
- While I liked Jamie, I had issues with him at times. I could see why he wanted to hide his true self, but he has plenty of opportunities to open up and be honest but he is too afraid. It is almost painful at times waiting for him to find his courage. I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about his whole debacle with the Gumshoe magazine. On one hand, I admired his courage, but then I wasn't thrilled that he took such a big risk.
- As the book progresses, it becomes painfully obvious that the romance isn't one sided. The constant miscommunication or rather avoidance of the elephant in the room becomes frustrating. Then when the big moment comes, I felt it was a bit of a let down. I wanted more talking and admittance of feelings. I wanted to know more about how the other party felt. Still I was satisfied with what I got. At least it ends on a positive note.
- One other problem I had with Jamie is that he has issues with being friends with girls. The girls were so supportive of him, and I didn't like that struggled to be friends with a girl. You would think that he would be more open to friendship, especially knowing the prejudice he will have to fight once he comes out.
- I wish that there had been a bit more development with Eden's story line. She was struggling against her family and had no support. I wanted to see her stand up and show courage and deal with her family.
Fan Art is a book that explores what it is like to fall in love with your best friend and the struggle to be true to yourself and not hide your sexual orientation. This is a book about growth, courage, first love and loving others no matter what. This is a terrific book for teens of all ages, and a book that will start a conversation. I highly recommend checking this one out.
"But they don't believe in lesbians---for them, it's something I did, not something I am."
"Here, in my dreams, we love whom we love, blinded not by the color of their skin, worried not by the details of their gender, nor about the book in which they find their god."
"Like, if people didn't care, if love was love."
"It feels nice to hold someone---to be half of a whole---like them, I admit to myself."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.