Release Date: May 28, 2014
All over tumblr and twitter, you can see it. People 'shipping' characters- wishing two characters were in a relationship even if they aren't together on screen. It's all well and good to believe that Hawkeye and Black Widow are secretly smooching, but what happens when the girls in Jamie's art class start shipping him?
Jamie is almost done with high school, so close he only has a few more boxes to check. But, if he's honest, there's one more thing he wishes he could do before graduation: tell his best friend, Mason, that he's fallen for him. But, if that means that there's a chance that he could lose the friendship entirely, he might chicken out and just keep the secret, even if it hurts. But when Eden, the girl who sits next to him in art, and her friends, guess what he's hiding, will he be able to keep the truth under wraps for long?
This is a romance that also takes a moment to look at the ramifications of thinking about real people as if they were characters on a tv show. Jamie is just trying to keep his head down and get to a safer space (college) and doesn't particularly want to reveal his inner self to the classmates he's about to leave behind. Eden and her friends create "fan art" (which is included, thanks to illustrations from artist Melissa DeJesus) about books, movies and other things they love. But, when Eden and her friends go too far, the consequences are far from fictional.
Fan Art is sweet and full of awkward almost moments. It also features a subplot involving the school litmag that makes it more than a fluffy book with a heart on the cover. It's also interesting because it's set in a conservative school in a post David Levithan world. Jamie and the teens who submit poems anonymously to the school magazine know that there are places where they could find acceptance easily, but they do not happen to live there...yet. They have to ask themselves whether they want to put themselves at risk by making an effort to try and make their school a more welcoming place or if they just want to wait till they can get out and find someplace else. Jamie's struggle with this question gives extra heft to the story of his crush.