***I really had no idea what to expect going into The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex. But sometimes going into a book with absolutely no expectations is the best way to start reading. It didn’t take me long to get completely hooked on this, or finish reading it for that matter. Definitely a new favourite for me and right up there with the best Aussie YA I’ve read. The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex takes the space between the theft of Picasso’s Weeping Woman and its return and cleverly imagines a story which may fill the gaps. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I had no idea this was based on a real event (perhaps it’s because I’m from the ‘cultural backwater’ of Queensland? I’m kidding. It’s probably just because I was only born in the mid-90s). Whatever the reason for my ignorance, I loved the fact Williams based the novel on this little snippet of Australian history and the way she used it to connect the lives of each of the characters. Like all my favourite contemporaries, The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex wouldn’t be the same without a bunch of wonderful characters. I loved them all! Well, except for Luke who was a bit of an arse. Actually, he was a lot of an arse. But Rafi, Guy and Penny were all so relatable and instantly loveable. I think about 20 pages in I was already completely invested in them and their unfolding story. It’s been far too long since a book dragged me in and made me keep reading in quite the same way. The pacing of The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex couldn’t have been more perfect. The chapters were relatively short and flowed together so well. The story unfold really quickly, but it didn’t feel lacking in depth because of that. Williams is masterful in the way she write so minimally, yet with so much feeling. Like any good book should, The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex just stuck in my mind until I finished it, and even then the characters kept swirling around in my mind. Luckily, Williams is writing a sequel which I have no doubt will be just as fabulous. The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex is without a doubt a new favourite for me. It’s the perfect example of everything I love about contemporary novels; heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure with a nice big slice of humour and a dash of quirkiness thrown in. Instantly absorbing, wonderfully written and packed with emotion, contemporary fans simply cannot not miss The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex. Sounds like: Say You Love Me || Fleetwood Mac
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for providing a copy of the book for review.