Author: Anne Whitney
Published: June 18, 2013 (Anne Whitney)
Rating: Lunch Break Read
Format: eARC, won from The Book Brats
Purchase: Amazon | SmashWords
Summary: Marina Phillips has spent her entire life as her father’s victim. But enough is enough. All it took was one moment of realization to send her fleeing across the country into the unknown of New York City with no plans and no money. A new life without the constant torture is all she wants, but what she finds waiting is something she never expected.My foremost thought about this book is that it was certainly unlike anything I've read before. Marina's story was interesting, and more than a little creepy. But there were definitely funny moments. Marina and Fitz had one of the most original and hilarious meetings ever.
Fitz is New York’s premiere playboy artist. Sexy, tattooed, and coveted by women and men alike, his performances are heralded as the coming of a new god of modern art. But when Marina wanders into his show, she becomes the inadvertent piece he’s always waited for – a girl to sculpt, to change, and to craft in his own image.
She never expects to fall head over heels into the world of parties, drag queens, agents, and artists craving for her and her benefactor. She didn’t even expect to begin falling in love with someone like Fitz, the sexy, pretentious man of her nightmares.
Above all, Marina never expects her father to stage a cross-country mission to paint her as a kidnapped girl taken by a psychopath.
Like Marina, I'm not a fan of modern art. I just don't get it. So it was especially enjoyable to read about Fitz's world from Marina's point of view. Having grown up very sheltered from the outside world, due to the extreme possessiveness and protectiveness of her abusive father, Marina was not accustomed to any of the things to which she was exposed. She was naïve in a lot of ways, though never annoyingly so. It would have been easy to overdo her character, but I think Whitney captured a very realistic combination of strength, vulnerability, and hesitancy. Her development as a character was believable (even if her mysterious weight loss and lack of concern about it was not).
A big part of Fitz's world was comprised of his best friends, who were vivid and very involved in the story, as well as being my favorite thing about the book. There was Derek, the self-described stereotypically gay man and drag queen, as well as Viridian, the secretive but friendly painter. Each of them helped bring out something in Marina. I especially enjoyed her interactions with Viridian.
Unfortunately, not everything in this book did it for me. I never quite connected with the story like I wanted to, and the romantic aspect never clicked. This was partially because I never fully liked Fitz. He was a very nice and creative guy, but some aspects of his character and behavior rubbed me the wrong way. I thought Marina deserved better. I did enjoy the writing style, although there were quite a few typos and grammar mistakes. These will probably be resolved in the finished copy.
The Art of Love was unique and edgy, as well as entertaining. If you're looking for a New Adult book unlike any of the others, this one would definitely fit the bill.
I forget to chew my food. It’s hard when you’re eye level with a man’s naked twig and berries dangling like Christmas ornaments.
There are two types of man in New York. They’re either assholes or they’re gay. Well, and then there is Fitz.
“Everything is art,” he says. “Life, death, love, hate, beauty, nature, pain. This world you live in is art and we are its artists.”
*Quotes are from an advance copy and may be slightly different than the finished, published version.