Coming Attractions: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review, if you will) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.

Fan Art
Sarah Tregay
Series: Standalone
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Rating: DNF - 2 stars
Word rating: *anguished cries*
Full review to come in May!
Reviewed by: Blythe

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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.

*sigh* I DNFed this at about 60% then skimmed to the ending. Rating to be decided, but right now is a hesitant 2 stars, and may be lowered. (This is also a pretty thorough pre-review, but you can expect a full review to come on the blog in May.) You should also know that I am the black sheep for this so far, and that you may like it more than me. But anyway, here's a rundown of why I DNFed:

One, I'm not a fan of the writing at all;  it's pretty much entirely telling, and wasn't a huge fan of the poetry bits (which were in my opinion unnecessary, but one was really well-written: At Night I Dream). The poetry part may be perfect for other readers, but I just didn't see the point of it in the story. Also, Jamie describes guys as, and I quote, "H. O. T." (which again, might not be a problem for you--I found his gay teen voice forced, along with everyone else's, with exclamations of "awesomesauce" and "OMG" as an acronym in legitimate conversation). Instances similar to this are common in Fan Art, and the jabs at humor at best decent and at worst painful. But if stuff like the quote below makes you laugh, maybe you'll be okay with the humor portion of Fan Art:

It should be in the Bible. Thou shalt not check out thy best friend.

As well as that, the characters are just flat, and I had hoped to feel a lot more for them and especially the MC's situation, but I just didn't. A gay teen is in love with his best friend! That should be perfect for me. Maybe it will work for me in another book, but it definitely didn't in this. Everything was just bland. Some things were cute, though, like when we're told (not shown) how Jamie came out to his parents.

ALSO, another big problem I had with this book relating to characterization: there's a black character who is defined solely by the fact that he does not play basketball. The book literally introduces him as "one of those black kids everyone thinks should play basketball just because [he's tall]." All we know about this character is that he's black and does not play basketball; hooray for racism and feeling the need to point out that he doesn't play basketball, even though it's entirely irrelevant to every single thing in the book.

More characterization issues I have: pretty much all of the girls in this book want to be Jamie's friend because:

"If there's one thing that girls--gay or straight--like, it's gay boys."

You'd think this book would try its hardest to stray from stereotypes being the only thing to define the characters, but that's pretty much the one thing Fan Art manages to accomplish. The characters are stereotypes, and that's all there is to it.

I never had baby dolls, never played dress up in my mom's high heels, and never wanted to join the cheerleading squad, so it wasn't like my mom knew I was gay.
More stereotypes! (Because dolls and heels and cheerleading are the only things gay boys are interested in, right?)

Then there's the token redneck character (who is literally referred to as The Redneck by Jamie) who, immediately upon meeting him, we find out is homophobic when he called Jamie "Fagmag," know, being gay and working for the school magazine. Because this book has to build its characters around the most annoying and basic of stereotypes, or else there will be next to nothing written on the page.

I'm happy that books like this exist for gay youth to read and relate to, but Fan Art is really just not for me. It absolutely should be, but it's not. And I am incredibly, incredibly sad about that.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah. You might still like it, though! It seems I'm the black sheep so far.

  2. Aw no. :( I was really hoping this would be good. I can see A LOT of those stereotypes bothering me, and I'm not sure about the humour either, so I'm worried I won't enjoy this now... But I hope going in with lower expectations will help a bit. Sorry this didn't work for you, Blythe, but thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. I look forward to seeing what you think of you do decide on reading it! I think lower expectations will certainly help.

  3. I work with someone that regularly uses OMG in conversation. I hate her. Yeah, those stereotypes would have had me cringing. Don't blame you one bit. Sorry this one wasn't as good as you'd hoped.

    1. It's so annoying. I'm a high school teacher and even I don't hear anyone actually use OMG.

  4. I don't mean to be ignorant or anything, but I just don't like gay books. I find them really hard to connect to and it isn't something that I'm just into. I don't think I'll read this one, but I did like hearing your thoughts on it.

    1. No, not ignorant. You like what you like, no one can blame you for not being able to relate to books about gay situations/people. It's not like you said you don't like gays. ;)

  5. No, noooo! I was looking forward to this as a humourous entry in LGBT fiction but it is full of stereotypes which is a complete turn off! What you've described here is not appealing, at all. Gah, the sadness and disappointment that comes with reading a book you were excited about!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. I mean, some things were kind of humorous? Not for me, certainly, but for other people I would imagine? Maybe you'd like it more! I'm the black sheep on this.

  6. Noooooooooooo!! No to all the telling, no to all the stereotyping. Just no, no, no. Dammit, I wanted this to be good. *goes off to cry*

    1. *sigh* I know. It's possible (and probable) that the characters grow out of their stereotypes as the novel progresses, but building them around stereotypes to begin with is lazy and poor characterization, so.

  7. Eh. Yeah, I'm not looking forward to this anymore. Why does a book that is supposed to break stereotypes do the opposite? And seriously, "awesomesauce"? Cringing. This sounded like something I would love, so I'm sad to hear that it's such a flat story. I will still give it a try (if my e-reader ever lets me download it, that is) but my expectations are not that high anymore. Thank god not all YA is meant to ruin LGBT books. (I just read Something Real by Heather Demetrios which had a great gay relationship. Some books can do it.)


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