Book Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

17924987Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

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?

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Everyone has a weak spot for a certain genre of books. While my ‘me’ books are realistic with teens that have serious, life threatening problems, I have an unbelievable weak spot for GLBT, more specifically gay boys. I don’t even fucking know why or how this came to be but it is what it is. Anyway, moving onto the book, Fan Art is a hit or miss type of book. It’s cute and light, with some deep undertones however, it’s also judgemental and stereotypical. For me, this story was a miss that was almost a hit.

I’ll start the bad stuff off with the representation of the GLBT community. The stereotypes of what makes a gay boy gay is horrible. I was angry with the way that Jamie thinks that since he never played with dolls, never played dress up, and plays sports that it’s crazy that he turned out gay. Another thing that I disliked about Fan Art is the school part of it all.  I get that it’s all about the art but Jamie gets a scholarship to play music at a university yet there is close to no music explained in the whole book. I’m a band kid, I was excited once he mentioned he’s in band but it’s not properly explained how he practices and lets the music take hold of him. It’s just straightforward boring. The relationship between Jamie and Mason was also a problem for me because it feels a bit contrived at many times. Readers are told they’re extremely close but for a lot of the novel, I didn’t feel it since there aren’t enough flashbacks and such to support their relationship.

My relationship with Jamie is a love/hate one. I hated how harsh and stupid he is but I loved how awkward and nervous he is. He remind me of myself and I could relate to his situation because it happened to myself. I was screaming, laughing, and all around flipping out whenever something happened between Jamie and Mason. I just couldn’t stop myself. The writing is smooth and relaxed, I found myself reading instead of studying for my exams many times. Adding on to all of that, I loved that Tregay decided to add in the art works that are featured in Gumshoe. The poems and visual art pieces make the story more unique.

Fan Art is not a book for everyone. Although it is light, it has a few problems and some of them are offensive. However, I found some things to be enjoyable, like the romance and the characters despite them being undeveloped. I recommend this to anyone looking for a story to pass the time and enjoy fun albeit underdeveloped characters, art, and don’t mind a typical love story.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

17586458The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 352 (Paperback)

good good

Lexi has a secret…

Ever since her mom found out she was in love with a girl, seventeen-year-old Lexi’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

You are on the road to truth. Help is on the way.

The road signs leading to New Horizons summer camp promise a new life for Lexi—she swears she can change. She can learn to like boys. But denying her feelings is harder than she thinks. And when she falls heads over heels for one of her fellow campers, Lexi will have to risk her mother’s approval for the one person who might love her no matter what.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Wow. What a fucking ride this book is!

Upon starting, I thought I was getting just a bunch of insta-love and maybe some “Okay. I okay with myself yay!” kind of stuff. But what I got is something different. A lot different. Okay, so I did get the insta-love (mutual by the way. Ugh) and the romance did take over some times but all in all, it’s great. I loved how Verdi teaches the lesson between right and wrong. Like how some people believe that being gay is wrong and is a sin but know that abuse of any sort is certainly wrong for everyone.

The worst part of this novel has to be the romance. It’s just so infuriating. I didn’t want to read about how much Lexi wanted to kiss Carolyn when she’s supposed to be focusing on herself and what she really wants. From the very first day, there’s romance and it really takes away from the story. I also felt that the characters for the most part were choppy. This is evident because the only time anything is told about the characters is at the very beginning and that’s it. There’s not much of a back story except then. The activities that the characters do are all right, but are quite confusing because they’re either too simple or too silly.

The Summer I Wasn’t Me is still a fairly beautiful story about acceptance. Lexi is a strong character, especially by the end of the story and I loved the way she accepted herself and her friends. Beautiful! The best thing about the camp is the cult-like feel it has, the exorcism that goes on is really well described and intense. I was shocked and enraged by it. It’s pretty awesome in a very sadistic way.

I was really skeptical when I first read this simply because many authors have tried this (not in YA) and have failed miserably. However, Verdi does a good job and had me at the edge of my seat more than once. Lexi’s story is pretty typical and so is the romance, but the execution is lovely and I felt connected to her. I recommend this to anyone who’s curious to see what it might look like inside of a “de-gaying” Christian camp.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

Book Review: Proxy (Proxy#1) by Alex London

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Proxy (Proxy#1) by Alex London

Publisher: Philomel

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

opinion

Oh, Alex London, You had my attention from the first page, then lost it and then snatched it up again. The characters are well written and nicely developed, giving readers a protagonist they will love (Syd, I love that boy) and one to hate (Knox needs to get high-fived in the face. With a frying pan.) Unfortunately, the explanation behind the world building comes a little too late as well as the reasons for Knox being such an ass all of the time. Nonetheless, I really liked this one and can’t wait for the next.

The novel lost my attention during the middle, although it had a lot of action and suspense and just, aweness (for a lack of a better word) with Syd and Knox, I felt bored and found myself skimming the pages to get to the better parts. Syd and Egan are best friends but at many times, their relationship felt contrived to me and I couldn’t believe some of the things that Egan does in order to help Syd out. With that being said, it’s obvious that some things in this book feel too nicely done for my liking.

Syd is an awesome character, not only is he a character that I wanted to beat up all of the bad guys, I also wanted him to get the guy and have that happy ending that he so totally deserves. Even with him being the ‘chosen one’ it didn’t make too much of an annoying statement. I really liked the idea for the novel as well with and how it really uses the lesson, Everything has consequences to its advantage, London does an excellent job of portraying that. The book also doesn’t have a lot of romance in it which I loved! There was only enough that I think the author will bring it out some more in the next book but didn’t let it overtake the story. Proxy has a great ending also. I was expecting the whole thing to be predictable but then it wasn’t. The ending is really open, readers won’t be sure of anything.

Overall, quite a great read that I think a lot of people will enjoy. I recommend this to anyone who loves science fiction novels with an excellent message about life. I’m hoping that the sequel to Proxy will blow me away better than this one!

3.5 Dreamy Clouds
3.5 Dreamy Clouds