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.*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:
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Rating: DNF - 2 stars
Word rating: *anguished cries*
Full review to come in May!
Full review to come in May!
Reviewed by: Blythe
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.
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.
More stereotypes! (Because dolls and heels and cheerleading are the only things gay boys are interested in, right?)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.
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," for...you 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.