Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay - Book Review

All I do anymore is book reviews. Sorry that I'm not actually sorry.

Today's review is on Fan Art by Sarah Tregay. Before I get into the full review I want to say upfront that I was disappointed by this book. I'll get into the details later, but I felt it had a lot of potential, but didn't live up to it.

Photo Credits:


Fan Art is the story of Jamie Peterson in his senior year of high school. He's eager to leave high school and start a new life, one where he can be openly gay. But before that, he realizes he's fallen in love with his best friend.

While Jamie fights to stay in the closet, a group of girls are determined to get Jamie and Mason together. But will telling his best friend the truth ruin a life-long friendship or start a new relationship?


Fun fact, when I got this book I was not immediately aware it was about a gay boy. Sadly, when I saw the name Jamie and skimmed through the description I thought this story was about a girl. (Sorry to my future nephew Jamie being born in a few months. Don't worry, I'll never mix you up with a girl.)

However, when I learned that this was a LGBTQA book I was even more interested in reading it. I have never read a book with a main character who is gay. I'm married to a man, so it's something I don't relate to, but I'm always open to learning more. So going into this I was excited to see this story from a gay perspective.

I feel that this is a story anyone, gay or straight, can relate to, to a point. Falling in love with your best friend and worrying about ruining the friendship. That's something that can happen to anyone, which is why this book was intriguing to me before I even knew it was about a gay teenager.

I also feel that making the main character gay and having him fall in love with his male, straight best friend is a great way to twist on the relate-able plot line. This book had so much potential to be something truly great, but I felt severely let down.

The story dragged on forever and I didn't understand why. This book was fairly long for what it was. I'm pretty sure I could explain the whole story in a few paragraphs (but I don't want to spoil anything in case you want to read it). There just wasn't enough substance and I had to force myself to finish it because I got very bored.

Yet somehow, this book ended so abruptly. While the boring things seemed to last forever, the ending seemed cut short. It was unfulfilling.


I hate Jamie. I'm sorry. I do. He is incredibly annoying, moody, and he doesn't think straight (ha ha, that's punny and I didn't intend it to be). There were way too many instances when he would take something someone said to him and go off course with it. It was ridiculous. I kept thinking "There is no possible way anyone would get to that conclusion from what was said."

He wasn't a realistic character. Sadly, I have to blame the writing on this one. He's a seventeen year old who acted like a child, with tantrums, with not understanding basic speech by others, and just acting dumb. I've mentioned in other book reviews that I love YA fiction, but when an author can't form a good teenager voice and makes them either too smart or too dumb it can be very frustrating to read.

Jamie's family was interesting to me. His mother was so happy about him being gay. His step-father was very open and understanding about it. His younger, twin sisters were too little to know what was going on. But there there was his birth father, who was mentioned maybe twice. And each time he was mentioned I expected some conflict to come of it, but it never did, and they stopped talking about him immediately. It was weird.

Mason, his best friend, was a good person. Again, family issues were weird to me because there was always hints at conflict that never followed through. Mason wasn't that exciting of a character though, and you would think, with this book coming from Jamie's perspective, I would have fallen in love with Mason just like Jamie did, but I just didn't.

Then there was Eden, Jamie's girl best friend. She was a fun character, but still not a favorite. She also had family conflict that was never fully addressed or resolved. It's like every character had to have something strange in their family or past, but we just ignored it to focus on the love story. I don't understand why that happened, but I wasn't a fan.

I suppose my favorite characters in the whole book were Jamie's younger sisters... and it's probably just because I'm baby hungry. But none of the characters really stood out to me and I barely cared for any of them.


Oh man... hmm.... I don't know. I really am not a fan of this book. Not a fan of Fan Art. I guess the one thing that stood out to me was Jamie's passion for getting a certain graphic novel published in the high school literary magazine.

Basically, a graphic novel depicting two gay guys playing a game and kissing was submitted for the magazine and Jamie very strongly wants it to be included, to a point where he's willing to get in trouble to make sure it gets done. I liked that. I liked his passion and that he was so willing to share the story with the whole school. That's probably my favorite part.


I read a couple reviews of this book on GoodReads because I wanted to see how this book was viewed by someone who is gay. I think that I'm not alone in saying this book had good intentions and had potential but didn't follow through.

There's a lot of great reviews on there, some positive, some not, but I would maybe suggest reading through those if you're still on the fence of whether or not you should read this book.


I don't think I can recommend this book to other people, because I just didn't like it. It's a cute story, I guess. It's not one of those depressing YA novels like what I've read a lot lately. It's very light and happy, there is conflict, but it gets resolved it a unique (abrupt) way. It's not the worst book I've ever read, so I wouldn't judge you if you go read it yourself, but I'm just not a fan myself.

What were your thoughts on Fan Art? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you know a really good LGBTQA book I should read just let me know, I'd love to check them out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Daycation in Pineview, Utah

Last Friday Chris and I spent most our time at Pineview Reservoir. We swam, ate wonderful food, and did a lot of searching for Pokemon. I forgot to take pictures the second day we were there, with  jet ski and paddle boards, but here are the pictures I did take from our "daycation."


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Book Review

Another book review? Yes, another book review. I'm currently in a rut. I want to blog, I want this blog to get more followers but I've been so discouraged because it feels like nothing I do helps me get more followers and it's just upsetting. So I'm sticking to what I enjoy, because it keeps me going, and for now, that's a bunch of book reviews.

Please keep in mind that this is a sequel. Scarlet is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. So the synopsis alone had a spoiler to the first book, so maybe check that one out first. You can read my review on the first book, Cinder, by CLICKING HERE.


Scarlet is a retold version of Little Red Riding Hood. In futuristic France, Scarlet is looking for her missing grandmother. After meaning a street fighter named Wolf, who may have information about her grandmother's whereabouts, she is forced to trust him and they journey together to Paris unraveling mysteries together.

Also returning is Cinder, escaping from prison and teaming up with a fugitive space "captain" as she figures out what's next in her future.

I just realized how cheap these books are on Amazon. I should totally just buy them, I'm so sick of waiting for the library to have them available. The library in my city is not my friend. 


Fun fact, I read this book in one day. Yes. One day. July 3rd, I got home from church, laid in my bed and read through the entire book. It's not like I do this often and it's a pretty long book too so I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment. 

I liked this book a lot better than Cinder. If you read my last review you may remember that one of my biggest problems was not connecting to the characters. In Scarlet I felt the characters were more interesting and I cared more about their stories. 

The story was well written and less predictable than Cinder. There was a good flow to it and you knew more of what it was leading towards so it kept me interested. I love stories where you know where it's generally headed because then I have something to look forward to. 

Scarlet and Wolf are awesome. I'm a huge fan of shipping love interests (any other Olicity fans here?) and Scarlet and Wolf are amazing. I find it entertaining to have two people so different that are drawn to each other. They have arguments and are more realistic as a couple than two similarly minded people. I very much enjoyed watching their interactions together as they traveled together. 

Also, I love how protective Wolf is of Scarlet even after just meeting her. It's adorable. 

But, on that note, Scarlet is one of the coolest characters ever. She is not afraid to speak her mind or fight, literally fight, for what she believes in. She is such a strong female lead and I'm obsessed. And while she doesn't always need Wolf's protection, she accepts it and is grateful for it. She's just amazing. I love her a lot. One of my favorite strong female leads I've read about in a long time. 

I've also heard (because I am terrible and look at spoilers way too often) that the rest of the Lunar Chronicles has strong female leads. So bravo to Marissa Meyer. 

I also enjoyed the sequences with Cinder. Thorne is an incredible addition to the series. He adds a different level of humor and he's just a fun character to have around. Again, though, I don't have much of a connection to Cinder, which I feel bad about because she's kind of the main person in the series. 


Train scenes between Scarlet and Wolf. I think particularly jumping onto the train, because the intensity of him wanting to keep her safe is just amazing. 

I also really enjoyed the way Wolf's fighting sequences were written. As a street fighter, there were a couple of these scenes for him and they were enjoyable. As someone who is writing stories about super heroes I can tell you that writing fight scenes are difficult (so difficult, it's the reason I've pushed all my release dates back) but Marissa Meyer handled them very well. 

Scenes focusing on Kai were also good. I love his character a lot and I just feel bad for him a lot having to become emperor at a young age. But every time a scene with him comes along I get excited, even though in this book he basically stayed seated in the same room for every one of his scenes.


I really enjoyed this book. I liked Cinder a lot but this one was so much more enjoyable for me and actually made me love the first book even more. It also got me more excited for the rest of the series. 

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but definitely read Cinder first. While it is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood a lot of it is unpredictable and it's a book that definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

Side Note: I literally kept singing Little Red's part from "Into The Woods" in my head through this whole book. "Into the woods to grandmother's house!"

I've also had an obsession with James Corden lately and the very end of this clip always makes me laugh.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Stand Up To Cancer - Charity of the Month

Hey friends! It's a new month and we're attempting to get back on track for Charity of the Month. It's been a difficult year for me, I'm sure you understand, but I'm trying to make this blog more of a priority as we get into the final half of 2016. Although I am thinking each charity will be highlighted for two months instead of just one.

This month's charity is Stand Up To Cancer.  Cancer is just the worst. I'm pretty sure there isn't a person left on earth who hasn't seen someone go through cancer or have cancer themselves. I had my own cancer scare before my wedding, watched a friend go through chemotherapy for cancer, and had an aunt die from cancer. Cancer is the devil and I think if there's anything we can do to stop it, we should.

You can make your donations to Stand Up To Cancer by CLICKING HERE. The minimum donation about you can do is $35, however, if you download my new favorite app Charity Miles, you can walk, run, or bike and help donate to the charity as well!

If you want to join this blog's team on Charity Miles just search for DancingCowHerd and become a team member. If we're all running for Stand Up To Cancer this month we can really make a difference!

Any chance we have to help rid the world of cancer should be taken. It's a terrible disease that needs to be stopped.

A Classy 4th of July Outfit

I love the 4th of July!! I have quite a few outfit posts that are red, white, and blue, and here I am just adding another. But this one is much classier, it's a dress.

I've posted this dress before but it really is a favorite and reminds me of my wedding, so I'll probably never let it go. It's like getting to wear my wedding dress without having to deal with the massiveness of my actual wedding dress... but I wish I could wear that dress all the time.

I'm sure I'll have another post about something on the 4th of July, but if you only read my fashion posts then I wish you a very happy and safe Independence Day!!

Cardigan: Old Navy (Similar Item)
Shoes: Sam's Club

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