Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams

The guy, the girl, the artist and his exA review by Nalini Haynes

Guy is in the last year of high school. He’s a bit of a slacker, forging school reports so his parents think he’s doing better than he is — while he slides deeper into apathy. When his parents go away for the weekend, Guy’s friends organize a party.

Rafi’s brother drowned when he was 3 years old; Estelle, their mother, has been wracked with grief since. Rafi, 17 and also in the last year of high school, is meticulous, organizing her study and her bedroom to be in complete control.

Penny was a journalism student until she got pregnant. Although she managed to finish her degree, being Joshie’s mom has radically changed her life at 23. Joshie’s father, Luke, is a complete asshole, unlikeable from the outset, but Penny is one of those girls who likes a ‘bad boy’ and lives in hope of him changing.

Picasso’s Weeping Woman was stolen from the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) in 1986 FOR REAL. Gabrielle Williams’s story is a novelization of the events around the theft and the return.

With four main point of view characters, we explore life with Australia’s version of the SATs on the horizon, being a mom at 22 and 23, and the pure selfishness of the guy who’s already making a bomb wanting to screw the establishment.

The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex is somewhat like the Bank Job but, although inspired by real-life whimsy, it’s not a comedy. It’s more an ‘issues’ book about families, relationships, mental illness and consequences. A quick read and well worth your time. Highly recommended.

Rating:  full starfull starfull starfull starEmpty star 4 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781743319550
Format: paperback, 244 pages
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Subject: Young adult fiction