Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Title: Fan Art
Author: Sarah Tregay
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Rating: 2/5

Cover Impressions:
I really liked it when I first saw it, but, having read the book, I feel like there was so much more potential cover fodder that they could have used.  I would have loved to see part of the actual comic that was such an important part of the story.

The Gist:
In Jamie Peterson's high school being gay is right up there with kicking puppies and stealing candy from babies.  He is out, but only to his mom and is trying to hide who he is from the rest of the town, including his best friend who he maybe, kinda, sorta, definitely likes.  The art girls in his school have created a fantasy world where they are together and their interference, not to mention their artwork, threaten to crumble the walls Jaime has so carefully built. 


I really wanted to love this book.  It had a nice premise - not the most unique but fair enough.  It had a great forbidden romance angle - who hasn't pined after someone that they thought they could never have?  There were some side characters who were enjoyable - though they didn't get nearly enough page time.  I guess where it really fell flat for me was the conflict.  I just didn't care that much about the literary magazine (P.S how many high schools actually have these things?  I feel like every other YA book is featuring one nowadays) I get it, the comic was good and it was a step towards showing the LGBTQ kids that they were not alone, but the way Jaime went about including it annoyed me and I got bored to tears every time he went to another office to check font or color or whatever.

When he wasn't making terrible decisions to hijack his way into a magazine, Jaime was whining about how he loved his best friend and trying to tell the reader that his gayness should be a big secret because he didn't play with dolls as a kid and he took pains to never dress nice or stand out in a crowd.  Way to perpetuate some stereotypes Jaime!  Meanwhile, it was painfully obvious to everyone but him that, not only was he gay, but he was in love with his best friend who - to the surprise of NO ONE - clearly loved him back.  Despite all of this being clear, we had to spend the entire book getting Jaime to put down the I'm Not Gay sign (that no one was buying anyhow) and see it for himself. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Child Abuse
Inappropriate Language: Pissed, Fag, Queer, Tit, Pussy
Substance Use/Abuse: Underage Drinking


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