The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex – book review

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex is an enjoyable and fun book, written by Gabrielle Williams.

A rock chic. An artist with an attitude. A girl with a past. A party animal.

Four lives collide when one of the world’s most famous paintings is stolen. It’s a mystery that has the nation talking. While Picasso’s Weeping Woman may be missing from the walls of the National Gallery, the controversial painting’s presence is being felt in other parts of Melbourne by Guy, Rafi, Luke and Penny, and for all very different reasons.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex. The story revolves around the true event of the early 1980s when an activist group called the Australian Capital Terrorists managed to steal a Picasso painting from the National Gallery of Victoria in protest of the cuts to art funding. I had never heard of this happening, so it was really interesting to learn a bit about this and also have an enjoyable and fun story to get immersed in. This book is told from four points of view, and it’s pretty obvious what those four points of view are – the guy, the girl, the artist and his ex. Normally I’m a bit sceptical about reading books with multiple points of view because I’ve had a couple of bad experiences, but this book was exceptionally well written and I loved the multiple points of view because I felt as though it made the book just that much more enthralling. Admittedly, this book could have been told from one point of view alone, but I felt as though getting to know those four characters so well really benefited me and the book.

The thing I loved most about this book was just how funny and lighthearted the majority of it was. Towards the end of the book, it did get a little more serious, but that’s not to say that this book just wasn’t a fun and easy book to read. I felt relaxed reading it, which is often not the case with intense thrillers or dystopians. For me, I can’t read too many intense books in the same week because it starts to feel as though I don’t have any time to take a breath and relax. This was definitely a book that I would recommend picking up whenever you have a spare moment and this is a good book to get into also for escapism. I felt fully involved in that world and the lives of the characters and I just found myself having a good time. Because of this, I never wanted to put the book down and I ended up finishing this book in just over a day because of how grabbing it was.

This book caught my attention from the very beginning and I could hardly take my eyes off the pages. There wasn’t a boring moment for the entire book, which was really impressive. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next and I felt as though the pacing was perfect. This is definitely a fast read just because of how intriguing it is and it’s something that I will be able to read over and over again just because of how much I loved it. This is definitely the perfect book to read when you have a couple of hours to spare, because trust me, you will not want to put this book down!

I loved how the author used a true story as a backdrop for this novel. I don’t think I’ve read any books like this; books that have been loosely based on a true story, but I must say, I absolutely loved it. It was really interesting to see what the author interpreted this true event to be like and to see their idea of a possibility of what really could have happened to this missing painting in the 1980s. The characters in this book were also very well developed. I felt like I knew each of them really well, which was impressive for a book that isn’t particularly long. There was Rafi, a studious Year 12 student, Penny, a 22 year-old single mother and the ex of the artist, Luke, and Guy, a laid back person whose main talent is the hacky sack. I was initially curious to see how all of these people would have interweaving lives, but it became more and more obvious as the book progressed. I felt connected to all of the characters and I loved all of their chapters equally. It was beautiful to see how their lives intertwined to tell a bigger tale of art, love and loss in Melbourne during the 1980s.

Overall, this is a hilarious and cute read. The romance was another thing that I loved about this book and I genuinely wish I could spend more time with all the characters. This is a book I definitely recommend for everyone who is looking for a fun and quirky contemporary to read. I’d give The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex a score of 10 out of 10. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

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